With the English Premier League already into round two having kicked off two weeks ago, majority of the local and international pundits think Manchester City will retain this year’s title.
This will make Manchester City the first team to win a hat trick of Premier League trophies since Manchester United in 2009. Will anyone stop them from completing a hat-trick?
No team has been champions of England for three successive years since Manchester United reigned from 2006-07 to 2008-09, but that seems to be the next target for City boss Pep Guardiola, who has already achieved the feat in Spain (Barcelona, 2008-11) and Germany (Bayern Munich, 2013-16).
Pundits believe, he will achieve it. They think Liverpool will come second, Tottenham Hotspurs third and Manchester United will squeeze in at fourth Place. I don’t want to sound any different from their predictions.
Though, with Arsenal, having had their best start to a Premier League campaign since the 2008/2009 season, they will have a word to say on how the table will finally come out in May 2020.
Unai Emery is seriously working on a team that is improving day by day from what former Coach Arsene Wenger left behind.
Having been beaten in the Europa League Finals last year, their first European final since losing to Barcelona in 2006, Emery has attempted to blend experience and youngsters with the signing of David Luiz from Chelsea, Nicolas Pepe, on loan Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid among others.
This new-look Arsenal side with an experienced manager in Unai Emery and the enthusiastic Manchester United will have a say on how the Premier League table will look like at the end of the season.
Their only undoing will be their participation in the Europa League, where they will be required to play on Thursdays, Sundays or Saturday late kick-offs or Monday night football. This may have a negative impact on their performance in the Premier League if they insist on staying longer in the Europa League. Notwithstanding though, they have the squads that can help them negotiate through.
Manchester United’s strengthening of the defence through the acquisition of the now most expensive defender in the world Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan Bissaka, which was their weakest department last season, will likely earn them a top-four finish this season. They can still be big contenders to the Premier League Trophy if Manchester City and Liverpool slip up.
A combination of experience, ambitious and enthusiastic youngsters will likely push Ole Gunnar Solskjear’s troops to perform better than last season. Even Paul Pogba’s decision to stay for another season will be a big factor in this achievement.
The only shortcoming may happen to Chelsea who has not won a game in their two opening matches, have not signed new players following the UEFA ban and have a new Manager with seemingly little experience in Frank Lampard and will have to play in the UEFA Champion’s League courtesy of their winning the Europa League and Premier League Third Place Finish last year.
With such a small squad of no additions and his opening campaign to the season was suffering a 4-0 humiliating defeat to Manchester United a fortnight ago at Old Trafford, Lampard will encounter a very tough season. Brandon Rodgers’ Leicester City also gave him a tough start to his Stamford Bridge debut with the visitors looking the far better side.
Tottenham Hotspurs will still be a tough opponent this season but I don’t think they will be able to finish in the top four this season. I believe, them and Chelsea will be the two teams to forfeit their positions in the top four finish this year. Other teams like Wolves, Everton, Leicester City, Burnley and West Ham United will compete for the other Europa League positions and also giving a tough challenge to the top six teams.
MY TOP TEN PREMIER LEAGUE TEAMS FOR 2019/20 SEASON
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Tottenham Hotspurs
- Leicester City
- Wolver Hampton Wanderers
20. Sheffield United
18. Norwich City
17. Aston Villa
15. Brighton and Hove Albion
14. New Castle United
12. West Ham United
WHAT OTHER PUNDITS THINK
Predictor 1st 2nd 3rd 4th
Ian Wright Liverpool Man City Tottenham Arsenal
Alex Scott Liverpool Man City Tottenham Arsenal
Sue Smith Liverpool Man City Tottenham Arsenal
Martin Keown Liverpool Man City Tottenham Arsenal
Stephen Warnock Liverpool Man City Tottenham Arsenal
Danny Murphy Liverpool Man City Tottenham Man Utd
Alan Shearer Liverpool Man City Tottenham Man Utd
Matthew Upson Liverpool Man City Tottenham Chelsea
Ruud Gullit Man City Chelsea Liverpool Man Utd
Karen Carney Man City Liverpool Man Utd Arsenal
Mark Schwarzer Man City Liverpool Chelsea Tottenham
Jermaine Jenas Man City Liverpool Tottenham Arsenal
Paul Ince Man City Liverpool Tottenham Arsenal
Chris Sutton Man City Liverpool Tottenham Arsenal
Leon Osman Man City Liverpool Tottenham Arsenal
Pat Nevin Man City Liverpool Tottenham Arsenal
Michael Brown Man City Liverpool Tottenham Arsenal
Mark Lawrenson Man City Liverpool Tottenham Arsenal
Micah Richards Man City Liverpool Tottenham Man Utd
Lindsay Johnson Man City Liverpool Tottenham Man Utd
Kevin Kilbane Man City Liverpool Tottenham Man Utd
Rachel Brown-Finnis Man City Liverpool Tottenham Chelsea
Chris Waddle Man City Liverpool Tottenham Chelsea
Joleon Lescott Man City Liverpool Tottenham Chelsea
STORY WRITTEN BY PAUL TENTENA
Additional Content is BBC SPORT