Last season, it was Chelsea who were crowned Champions for the second time in the past three seasons, and they’ll be looking to regain their title.
However, all of the top seven teams, except Tottenham, have invested heavily in talent during the transfer window. This will surely make things less straight forward for Chelsea at the top of the league.
The newly promoted sides, Brighton and Hove Albion, Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town are expected to face a tough ride this season. However, with sides such as Watford, Swansea and Burnley not overdoing their spending this window, they will be expected to be at the wrong end of the table as the season plays out.
In anticipation for the new season, here is a guide to the Premier League 17/18 season. Read on to find out what there is to look out for in the new season.
Who are the title favourites?
Most bookies across the country have installed Manchester City as the favourites for the Premier League crown this year.
City have been very impressive in the transfer market, bringing in quality, proven additions to areas where they have struggled in the last few seasons. In recent years, City have been blessed with quality attacking players, but have lacked quality in the full back positions.
Pep Guardiola has made it a priority this summer to add to his weakest areas. So far, he’s purchased three pacey, adaptable full backs in Kyle Walker, Benjamin Mendy and Danilo to fill the void left by Pablo Zabaleta, Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov.
City’s main rivals Manchester United and last season’s Champions Chelsea have been installed as second favourites by a number of bookmakers across the UK. It can be argued that both these sides have failed to add enough players throughout the summer, merely replacing the players they’ve lost through either injury or sales.
Time will tell if both these sides can mount a serious title challenge.
Who’s favourite for the drop?
Last season’s Championship Play-Off winners Huddersfield Town are the early candidates to finish bottom of the table come May.
To combat the drop, the Yorkshire club have spent close to £40 million on reinforcements, including the likes of record signing Steve Mounié, former loanee Aaron Mooy and Tom Ince from Derby County.
The two other teams that bookies wildly believe will be relegated this season are last year’s Championship title winners Brighton & Hove Albion and Sean Dyche’s Burnley who defied the odds to survive last season.
Burnley have not been blessed with the spending power of some, and have lost their star man Michael Keane to Everton. However, they have added players with a wealth of Premier League experience including Phil Bardsley from Stoke, former Chelsea and Swansea man Jack Cork, and Ireland international John Walters.
Surprises are certainly likely to occur in the new season, so don’t be surprised if three different sides fall out of the league in their place.
New signings to look out for
The spending power in the Premier League is out of this world if the first month of the transfer window is anything to go by.
So far Manchester City have spent the most on transfers this summer, spending around £90 million more than Chelsea, who’ve spent the second most on reinforcements. Arguably the most exciting summer signing for the Manchester blues is that of Portuguese international Bernardo Silva.
Silva was a key figure in Monaco’s title winning side last season and dazzled in both Ligue 1 and the Champions League, making him such attractive option for the top clubs this summer. City secured his signature early and will be hoping he can replicate his form from last season which saw him chip in with 10 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.
Elsewhere, Manchester United have moved to fill the void left by Zlatan Ibrahimović by signing another Mino Raiola client, Romelu Lukaku from Everton in £75 million deal. This agreement makes him the most expensive striker in Premier League history. With many free bets being offered by UK bookmakers, Lukaku is certainly worth a punt on being top scorer next season, with odds ranging from 7/2 to 9/2.
Lukaku’s former employers Everton have been arguably the most active in the transfer window, securing 10 new players including that of the returning Wayne Rooney.
However, the signing of Jordan Pickford is potentially the most important. If he can kick on from last season’s performances, Everton could have the next England number one on their hands. With excellent distribution and lightening reflexes, the Toffees may have finally found a replacement for the American Tim Howard who left Goodison Park in 2016.
Lower down the league, Bournemouth have moved for the experienced Premier League marksman Jermaine Defoe after scoring 15 league goals last season. Defoe’s goals were not enough to save Sunderland from the drop, but Bournemouth have invested well during the summer window and will be hopeful that the England International can help them secure another mid-table finish.
Throughout the 9-month campaign, there are going to be key fixtures at both ends of the table. Here are some of the most unmissable games in the early stages of the season:
- Tottenham vs Chelsea (Wembley Stadium, 20th Aug)
- Liverpool vs Arsenal (Anfield, 27th Aug)
- Man City vs Chelsea (Etihad Stadium, 9th Sept)
- Chelsea vs Arsenal (Stamford Bridge, 17th Sept)
- Man Utd vs Everton (Old Trafford, 17th Sept)
- Burnley vs Huddersfield (Turf Moor, 23rd Sept)
- Chelsea vs Man City (Stamford Bridge, 30th Sept)
- Liverpool vs Man Utd (Anfield, 14th Oct)
- Tottenham vs Liverpool (Wembley Stadium, 21st Oct)
- Chelsea vs Man Utd (Stamford Bridge, 4th Nov)
- Man City vs Arsenal (Etihad Stadium, 5th Nov)
- Arsenal vs Tottenham (Emirates Stadium, 18th Nov)
- Bournemouth vs Huddersfield (Vitality Stadium, 18th Nov)
- Liverpool vs Chelsea (Anfield, 25th Nov)