Five Things to Watch out for in the Premier League this Season
Source: Manchester City via Facebook
After a hugely entertaining World Cup in Russia, club football is back to the delight of fans across the land. Drama, twists, turns and excitement are all in store and there are many things to watch out for in the season ahead. Here are five big talking points to prepare you for the Premier League.
1. Manchester City Looking to Become Third Club to Retain Title
Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, only two clubs have successfully managed to retain the title. Manchester United did it on numerous occasions while Sir Alex Ferguson was at the helm and Chelsea held their crown in 2005-06 under Jose Mourinho. It has been nearly ten years since a team retained the title, with United doing it last in 2008-09. As the league has become even more competitive, it has become a much harder feat.
Manchester City look like real contenders to dominate the league once again, though, after finishing 19 points ahead of their closest challengers United last time out. Few would bet against Pep Guardiola’s formidable force topping the division this term, but the manager will be faced with pressure from the club’s board to deliver the Champions League. Fighting on both fronts could prove a tough test, even for this dangerous City team.
2. Liverpool Look like Serious Challengers
Liverpool could have the best chance of getting close to the defending champions. Jürgen Klopp has been building well during his tenure at Anfield and took his side all the way to the Champions League final last term. The Merseyside outfit also had the top scorer in the Premier League with Mohamed Salah, who bagged 32 goals in 36 appearances in his debut season at the club. In the bookies’ estimations, the title could come down to a two-horse race between the Reds and the Citizens, but bettors would get better odds backing Klopp’s side. To minimize risk, using a free bet listed by Oddschecker, such as the £30 deposit bonus at Ladbrokes, could be the way to safely bet against Guardiola’s champions.
There is no doubt that Liverpool have one of the most exciting attacks in the division and opposition sides will be desperately trying to stop their main man Salah. This will doubtlessly lead to other players like Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino finding more space to get shots in on goal.
3. Kane Eager to get Back at Salah
Since breaking into Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur first team in 2014, Harry Kane has dominated the scoring charts. In his breakout campaign, he scored 21 goals for the North London club. The England captain followed that up with 25 and 29 goals in the seasons that followed, winning the Golden Boot on both occasions. Kane came close to making it a hat-trick of trophies last time out when he scored 29 goals again, only to be beaten by the brilliant Salah.
The Spurs man will be desperate to reassert his status as the most capable sharpshooter in the division and Salah may feel under pressure to match his output from last season. With Kane already having broken his August duck, the smart money would be on the 25-year-old adding another Golden Boot trophy to his already brimming cabinet this term.
4. Mourinho Running out of Time
Jose Mourinho’s days as one of the world’s elite managers seem to be over and the Portuguese is looking increasingly disgruntled in the United dugout. The two-time Champions League winner was supposed to restore the glory days at Old Trafford, but little progress has been made while a lot of money has been spent. Now, Mourinho is the bookies’ favourite to be the next manager to leave his post, and United fans would probably be happy if the defensive-minded tactician was replaced.
After Mourinho won the league in 2014-15 with Chelsea, he quickly lost the dressing room the following season and was ultimately sacked by the Stamford Bridge club. Now, there are common themes appearing in Manchester, where the former Real Madrid boss has frequently turned on his players when results haven’t gone their way. If Mourinho doesn’t deliver the title this season, his time will probably be up.
5. How Will Post-Wenger Arsenal Perform
Arsene Wenger was the longest-serving manager in Premier League history, having joined Arsenal in 1996 and stayed with the club until the end of last season. But for many Gunners fans, the resignation of the three-time top flight winner was long overdue. By the end of his tenure, the Frenchman’s ideas were not yielding silverware and it seemed that a shift in philosophy was required. In stepped former Paris Saint-Germain manager Unai Emery in the summer, who will be overseeing the overhaul.
It will be interesting to see whether the North London club can make immediate progress under the Spaniard. The worry for Arsenal supporters is that there will be a long transitional period, similar to United’s struggles post-Ferguson.
These are only a few of the main talking points for this season’s Premier League, and many more stories will unfold while the campaign progresses. So sit back, turn on the TV and enjoy the ride.