The 2023-23 English Premier League season is less than a month away, with newly promoted Burnley hosting reigning champions Manchester City at their Turf Moor home on August 11. The game marks the first of 380 fixtures of the fresh campaign, and if https://www.onlinesportsbetting.net/ is to be believed, Manchester City will finish the season as Premier League champions for the fourth consecutive year and for the sixth time in seven seasons.
There is not a football fan in the world that would deny that Manchester City are the best team in the world right now. Pep Guardiola has assembled a superstar squad that has competition for places throughout. The Citizens have been relatively quiet in the transfer market, but one would expect there to be a flurry of activity before the transfer window slams shut on September 1.
Manchester City lost German midfielder Ilkay Gundogan over the summer; he moved to Barcelona on a free transfer. However, they added Mateo Kovacic to their roster for a fee of £25 million. City is widely expected to add Josko Gvardiol to their ranks, too. The 21-year-old Croatian is considered one of the best defenders in the world, with City having already had a €75 million bid rejected by RB Leipzig. The German club is holding out for €100 million, and City is believed to be willing to make Gvardiol the world’s most expensive defender.
West Ham and England midfielder Declan Rice continues to be heavily linked with Manchester City. However, Rice looks set to leave the London Stadium for City rivals Arsenal in a massive £105 million deal.
Whoever finishes above Manchester City this season will become Premier League champions, of that there is no doubt.
Arsenal Strengthen, But in the Wrong Areas
Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal topped the Premier League table for 33 of the 38-week season but ultimately fell short of their first Premier League title in 20 years. Although finishing second t Manchester City was Arsenal’s best finish since the 2015-17 season, when they also finished as runner-ups, it was a bitter pill to swallow, having been the league leaders for most of the season.
Arsenal is set to announce the club-record signing of Rice from West Ham. It is believed Rice wants to leave West Ham but prefers to stay in London. The signing of Rice was made all the more likely when Arsenal allowed combative Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka to leave for German outfit Bayer Leverkusen in a £21.5 million deal. Arteta is not the kind of manager to allow a player to leave without bringing in an adequate replacement, and Rice is more than adequate.
A few eyebrows were raised when Arsenal agreed to pay Chelsea £65 million for 24-year-old German attacking midfielder Kai Havertz. There is no doubting Havertz’s ability, but he plays in a position where Arsenal already have the talismanic club captain Martin Odergaard and Emile Smith Rowe. The Gunners have been crying out for a striker for a couple of seasons now, and many fans believe the £65 million spent on Havertz should have been invested in a top out-and-out striker.
Furthermore, the wheels falling off Arsenal’s season coincided with an injury to French defender William Saliba
Expect to See a Resurgent Liverpool
Nobody could have predicted the poor season Liverpool would endure in 2022-23. Although the Reds eventually finished in fifth place, Jurgen Klopp’s men conceded an uncharacteristic 47 goals in 38 games and suffered nine defeats. So many times last season, Liverpool’s midfield was overrun, prompting Klopp to make some sweeping changes in that area of the pitch.
Veteran utility player James Milner left on a free transfer to Premier League rivals Brighton & Hove Albion. At the same time, Senegal central midfielder Naby Keita headed to Werder Bremen of the German Bundesliga, also on a free. Keita never lived up to expectations and will not be missed by the Liverpool faithful.
Klopp sanctioned the signings of two talented attacking midfielders. The Anfield club paid what could be a bargain £45 million to Brighton for Alexis Mac Allister. The Argentinian World Cup winner should fit perfectly into Liverpool’s attack-minded team.
Hungarian midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai joined for £60 million from RB Leipzig and could potentially be one of the signings of the summer. Szoboszlai has scored 64 goals and created 73 assists in his 226 professional appearances, so he will add some much-needed creativity to the Liverpool team.
The Best of the Outsiders
Manchester United, Chelsea, and Newcastle United are the three teams expected to occupy the other top six spots in the Premier League table, and although they are likely to have a say in where the trophy heads, none of them are good enough to mount a serious title challenge.
Manchester United has added Mason Mount to their midfield, and he is a quality signing. However, the Red Devils forward line is still severely lacking, plus they allowed goalkeeper David de Gea to leave on a free transfer. The Spanish shot-stopper has saved United’s bacon countless times during his career, and neither Dean Henderson nor Tom Heaton is of the same quality as de Gea.
Chelsea is a team in transition after appointing Mauricio Pochettino as heads coach. The Argentine has a monumental task on his hands, not least because the club’s billionaire owner is buying players right, left, and center without seemingly much thought. “Poch” inherits an imbalanced squad of highly paid individuals who did not gel last season.
As for Newcastle, it is widely accepted that Eddie Howe’s men overperformed last season on their way to a fourth-place finish and qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. Newcastle is a work in progress, a project, and they are likely a couple of years ahead of where they planned to be following their mega-money takeover. While fans of the Magpies will, no doubt, be delighted to follow their team in the Champions League, the additional fixtures and extra travel could hinder the club’s progress, especially as Newcastle does not have the deepest squad.