When Manchester City lifted the famous Premier League trophy at the end of the 2022-23 season, it marked the third consecutive title for the boys in blue. No team in history has managed to top the Premier League table four years in a row, and although the best Bitcoin betting sites online price City as a clear favorite to create history this coming campaign, there are a handful of teams that are capable of challenging for glory should the reigning champions slip up.
Arsenal enjoyed their best campaign under the guidance of Spaniard Mikel Arteta last season. “The Gunners” never dropped below second place and found themselves at the summit for 30 of the 38 game weeks. However, a loss of form at the business end of the season ultimately resulted in Arsenal falling short of their 14th Premier League title and their first in 19 years.
The Arsenal Board is entirely behind Arteta and has financially supported him in the transfer market over the past few years. Currently, Arsenal has a squad of talented players most likely to topple Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table. During the close season, Arsenal spent €231.6 million on a trio of players, with each of those players adding something different to the Arsenal roster.
Arsenal’s New Signings Strengthen Key Areas
Jurrien Timber arrived from Dutch outfit Ajax for €40 million. Arteta has long been a Timber fan and jumped at the chance to bring the center half to the Emirates Stadium. Central defense was one area that left Arsenal down last season. It was no coincidence that the wheels falling off their title charge coincided with William Saliba missing the final 12 games with a back injury. Timber’s arrival adds some much-needed depth to a crucial position.
Arsenal paid London rivals Chelsea €75 million for German international Kai Havertz. The fee raised a few eyebrows among the footballing fraternity, mostly because attacking midfield is a position where Arsenal already had strength in depth. However, Havertz should fit perfectly into Arsenal’s free-flowing attacking style, and he will take some pressure off his teammates as he can also play as a false nine.
The €116.6 million signing of Declan Rice from West Ham United is a major coup for Arsenal because Rice is one of the best midfielders in the world. Rice is a versatile player who can operate as a defensive midfielder or in the traditional number eight role, plus he is a model professional.
Football pundits have questioned Arteta’s decision not to bring in an out-and-out striker. Gabriel Jesus is Arsenal’s starting striker, with Eddie Nketiah operating as his backup. Folarin Balogun is Arsenal’s only other striker, and he looks set to leave the club permanently after enjoying first-team football during his season-long loan at French team Stade Reims. However, Arsenal scored 88 goals in the Premier League last season, only six fewer than Manchester City, who were deemed deadly in attack.
Expect a Much Better Season From Liverpool
Not many teams could finish fifth on the Premier League table and have their season deemed a failure, but Liverpool is one of those sides. Jurgen Klopp’s men were inconsistent during the first two-thirds of the campaign before going unbeaten during the last 11 fixtures.
Many Liverpool supporters see this season as one of transition, with several incoming and outgoing players resulting in a new-look Liverpool. Out went popular center forward Roberto Firmino and veteran utility player James Milner. Naby Keita, who failed to live up to lofty expectations, also left the club, while club captain Jordan Henderson looks set to move to Saudi Arabia.
Klopp sanctioned the incoming transfers of two midfielders, adding something to an area of the pitch that Liverpool often lacked last season. Argentinian World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister arrived from Brighton & Hove Albion for a bargain €42 million. At the same time, Hungarian star Dominik Szoboszlai became a Liverpool player after the Red agreed to a €70 million fee with RB Leipzig of the German Bundesliga.
Much of Liverpool’s success will boil down to how Mohamed Salah and Darwin Nunez perform. Salah managed 19 goals in 38 games yet was off the boil for large parts of the season, while Nunez only managed nine goals in 29 appearances following his €80 million move from Benfica.
The Best of the Rest
It is challenging to find any team other than Arsenal and possibly Liverpool that could prevent Manchester City from winning a record-breaking fourth consecutive Premier League title. City’s arch-rivals Manchester United may have finished third last time around, but they do not have enough attacking options to mount a serious title challenge.
Anthony Martial is United’s only first-team center-forward, and the Frenchman is one of the most inconsistent players on the planet. Marcus Rashford enjoyed a brilliant season in 2022-23, scoring 17 goals in 35 games, but he cannot be expected to carry the team again. The fact United is struggling to bring in players shows they no longer have the draw they once did.
Chelsea finished 12th last season, the club’s lowest position since 1993-94. The Blues are a club in transition, with a new owner seemingly having a scattergun approach to signing new players. Chelsea has spent more than €600 million on players in less than 12 months, yet they still have a massively unbalanced squad.
New head coach Mauricio Pochettino has a monumental task ahead of him to gel his squad together, especially as Chelsea has let go of six first-team players in a vain attempt to balance the books. Although Chelsea are priced as the sixth favorite, finishing in the top half of the table should be deemed a success.
Lastly, you have Newcastle United, one of the most enjoyable teams to watch last season. Eddie Howe has worked wonders at St. James’ Park, and his dealings in the transfer market have been shrewd despite Newcastle being one of the wealthiest clubs in world football. However, Howe’s men are competing in Europe this season, which could prove to be a significant distraction. Newcastle will ruffle a few feathers throughout the season, but playing two games per week with a squad smaller than its rivals’ could see their league form suffer.