It was a season to remember in 2015/16 as Leicester City shocked the world by becoming Premier League Champions. However, the 16/17 campaign saw normality restored somewhat as Antonio Conte’s Chelsea ran out winners, finishing 7 points ahead of Spurs in second.
It was always destined to be the battle at the top of the division that caught the eye with Conte, Pochettino, Guardiola, Klopp, Mourinho and Wenger all looking to challenge for the title and if not, secure Champions League football at the very least. In the end Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United fell well short in the title race, with Arsenal and Manchester United finishing outside of the top 4.
Guardiola vs Mourinho was eagerly anticipated with many feeling the title would end up in Manchester but Conte and Chelsea, after a bit of a stutter over the course of a 3 game winless run, changed tact by deploying a 3 at the back formation which saw them hit mercurial form overnight. It was a masterstroke by the Italian with other teams adopting this system over the course of the campaign.
Arsenal’s failures again came to the fore as the “Wenger Out” campaign gathered pace. The Frenchman’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season but he eventually penned a new deal much to the disapproval of some Gunners fans, who have now gone 13 years without seeing their side crowned champions.
The battle at the bottom of the table finally saw Sunderland, who had been teetering on the brink for a while, slip into the second tier, with promoted Middlesbrough and Hull accompanying them.
Looking forward to the 2017/18 season, it has all the ingredients to be the best yet. A lot of money is being spent, not just by those expected to challenge but by others too.
Everton have recruited well, spending over 90 million pounds while they also brought Wayne Rooney back to Goodison. However, they did lose their top goalscorer, Romelu Lukaku, to Manchester United in the process. West Ham have also done some very shrewd business too, with Joe Hart signing on loan and Javier Hernandez joining for 13 million.
The main money has been spent by Guardiola and Man City though. They’ve spent over 200 million so far in their quest to become Premier League champions once again. Every team in last season’s top 6 has strengthened, bar Spurs, and this is why the new campaign should see the most fiercely contested title race in a very long time.
Looking at the situation as it stands, it would be sensible to expect Manchester to boast the champions come May but even though Guardiola has sunk huge amounts into it, can you really write Mourinho and Manchester United off? The signing of Belgian international Romelu Lukuku is huge as he is capable of weighing in with the goals required. The linkup between him and Paul Pogba could also pay dividends.
The battle at the bottom could be an interesting one. Stoke have lost a few but don’t seem to be in a rush to replace them. So they could be outsiders for relegation. You’d expect the likes of newly promoted Huddersfield and Brighton to struggle too. More so Brighton, as Huddersfield have already been busy in the transfer window.
This summer we will no doubt see a record number of signings and money being spent, with Manchester City already exceeding £200 million. So this coming season should be even more exciting and thrilling that the last, with all teams now looking to impress and having a realistic chance of glory!