Several of Arsenal’s youngsters have shined in pre-season, with Eddie Nketiah and Bukayo Saka particularly impressive for Unai Emery’s side.
Matches against Newcastle and Burnley could be ripe opportunities for investment in attackers, but clashes with Liverpool and Tottenham may be a sobering experience.
The Gunners youngsters will be aiming to go one better this season, and reclaim the title that they won during the 2017/18 campaign.
At least three games will take place at the Emirates Stadium over the course of the season.
While there is intrigue surrounding Villa, there is also scepticism. Villa have spent a lot of money on players with little top-flight experience. Out of the 11 signings, only Tyrone Mings and Matt Targett have played in the Premier League with 46 starts between them, at a combined cost of £35m.
Five new defenders should reinforce a rearguard that conceded more goals last season than Stoke and Birmingham, who finished 16th and 17th respectively.
Furthermore, numbers suggest that Grealish’s influence is stronger than before. Out of the 15 league games he did not start last season, Villa won three compared with the 19 they won from 31 with him. The 23-year-old appears to have matured and, although still overburdened, the player who was fouled 158 times last season, more than anyone else in the Championship, is a slicker, sleeker and stronger force.
Eddie Howe is hoping lightning will strike twice this season. This season, having spent almost £20million on the likes of Lloyd Kelly and Jack Stacey, he will want his team to break up the cluster of clubs competing behind the so-called ’top six’.
Scoring goals has rarely been a problem for AFC Bournemouth and last season, from 38 league games the Cherries bagged 56 goals.
No team outside of the top six scored as many goals as AFC Bournemouth.
40 of those goals came via the established front four of Callum Wilson, Joshua King, David Brooks and Ryan Fraser with the partnership of Wilson and Fraser breaking Premier League records.
Brighton and Hove Albion
Last season Brighton and Hove Albion narrowly survived relegation. However, this season they start with a new manager and a lot of ground to cover. New players are already being signed but there could be some notable departures too.
The Seagulls only won nine league games last season. Twenty times they tasted defeat in the Premier League. Only three points were earned from their last nine league games. It was a spectacular drop in form at a time when they made their way to the FA Cup semi-finals.
Brighton’s main signing so far in the summer transfer window has been that of Leandro Trossard from Genk for £15m. He scored 14 goals for Genk last season when they won the Belgian Jupiler League. Brighton will be hoping he can repeat that success in the Premier League.
Their five opening fixtures give Brighton the chance to make a decent start to the season. You can get odds of 4.06* on Brighton winning at Watford on the opening day of the season. The games against Southampton and Burnley in particular are the type Brighton need to be getting points from.
Two of the past three seasons has seen Burnley struggle, and we expect no less this time round. Burnley had a terrible start last season, finishing 15th and six points above the bottom three.
68 goals were conceded and only 16 games saw under 2.5 goals scored. The defence that only conceded 37 home goals in the past two seasons, let in 32 last season. To avoid any chance of ending up in relegation trouble this season, that defence has to improve. Some good news for Burnley is that they won’t be travelling around Europe this Europa League season. However, the bad news is that they have a tough start to the season, paired with Southampton they will need to get three points as they get progressively more difficult.
Chris Wood and Ashley Barnes scored 22 league goals between them last season. If they can make a good contribution again, then Burnley should be able to keep out of relegation.
Several shining loan stars from last season have been given the chance to impress Frank Lampard and the Englishman has tinkered with his line-up on several occasions in pre-season.
Mason Mount is a clear favourite of the new Chelsea boss and he looks primed to start the season in the first-team.
We’re likely to see a gap open up between the top three and the ‘next three’ (Arsenal, Chelsea, Man Utd) with the battle for the top four set to be immensely tight. Their points tally may not rise greatly, if at all, but Arsenal have a deadly touch that Chelsea and United may lack in the hunt for the top four.
Palace have only had one top ten finish since returning to the Premier League in the 2013/14 season. Last season they finished 12th with 49 points, 17 points behind the top six.
If Palace are going to have any chance of making it in the top six, their home form will have to improve tremendously.
Each of the past five seasons has seen Crystal Palace concede over 50 league goals. With Aaron Wan-Bissaka having departed for Old Trafford, Palace need even more to find a replacement. The money is there, it needs to be spent.
Palace will need to get their season off to a good start. With their fixture against Everton they are currently at odds of 2.85*.
Everton last managed to finish in the top six back in 2013/14, and will be looking for a repeat occurence this season. Last season the team finished eight, 12 points adrift the top six and just two points closed than in the previous season.
Everton have struggled with consistency this last season, having failed two consecutive away games.
The best example of their inconsistency was when they lost 6-2 at home to Tottenham. Just three days later they went to Burnley and won 5-1. During the months of March - May, Everton saw their defence working wonders with five straight home clean sheets - which included wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United plus a draw with Liverpool. If they want to improve from last year, they will need to focus on their consistency.
Leicester City have not finished higher than ninth since the 2015/16 Premier League season. They have settled at ninth place for the past two seasons, but they have been busy this transfer season to focus on improving that number.
Last season they earned 52 points. While it may have been the highest total since winning the league, they also ended up losing more games than they won and ended the season 14 points behind the top six.
Another striker who can score at least ten league goals was a crucial need. After Jamie Vardy’s 18 last season, the next highest was seven from James Maddison. Hopefully the signing of Perez will improve this situation.
Rhian Brewster could be handed a rare starting role for the beginning of the campaign, with Firmino fighting to regain fitness.
Champions League hero Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri could also start on the wings as Liverpool’s African duo Mane and Salah recover from AFCON.
Jurgen Klopp will be hoping to take home their first Premier League title. Last season they came close with 97 points, but it was not enough. The Reds finished a point behind City but a massive 25 points clear of third placed Chelsea.
The odds on them being the 2019/20 champions are 3.6*.
Manchester City has been dominating the Premier League for the last two years, and as back-to-back champions, they are favourites to win at 1.5*. We expect them to continue playing in their best form so that they can join the select group of clubs who have achieved this landmark position.
With Fernandinho a key member in Brazil’s Copa America triumph, new signing Rodri could start the season as the defensive midfielder. Mahrez, who struggled to break into the starting team last term, will most likely be rested for the first couple of matches to regain his fitness after his exploits with Algeria in the AFCON.
Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus both featured for their respective countries this summer – so Raheem Sterling is looking likely to start as a false nine, where has played in pre-season.
Last season Manchester United had a hugely dissapointing stretch as they once again finished out of the top four. Ole Gunnar is in charge, and it will be bound to whether he is able to sign and sell players before the transfer window closes.
Manchester United finished sixth in the 2018/19 Premier League season. They were 32 points behind champions Manchester City. That’s the same number of points they were above the relegation zone. They won 19 league games, compared to 25 in the previous season.
Manchester United face a tough task in their two opening games. However, Chelsea are in a bit of a transition stage with their new manager, and without Eden Hazard. Then they take on Wolves who are in the midst of attempting to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League.
Palace at home and Southampton away are both fixtures that United drew last season but should be wins this season.
Newcastle United are set to begin their Premier League campaign under the stewardship of Steve Bruce. Following the conclusion of Rafa Benitez’ contract at St.James’ Park, Bruce was appointed to manage the Magpies.
Many within football are predicting a tough season for the club, with the odds on United being relegated dropping drastically following the news of Benitez's controversial departure.
Bruce’s side are expected to have 16 easy games, with six of those coming against three newly-promoted sides from last season’s Championship. However, they are expected to have most difficulty against Manchester City and Liverpool.
Heading into the 2019/20 season, Norwich City are arguably heading in with a majorly destructive decision. The decision to sell arguably their best player from the previous season, James Maddison, as well as Josh Murphy together for a combined transfer fee of £30m.
Despite all their successes in the Championship last season, Norwich City will most certainly need to bolster their squad going into the higher and of course more difficult level Premier League season.
Whilst it will be difficult for Norwich City to survive given the level of the teams currently in the Premier League, with Daniel Farke’s managerial talent and that of their players, they may be able to survive.
After just three seasons at the club Chris Wilder has shaped his team from League One to the Premier League.
Wilder will do everything in his power to keep Sheffield United alive and kicking throughout the 2019/20 Premier League campaign, and fans will back him all the way. However, we don’t expect Sheffield to get too far in the League. In fact, we predict they will be relegated along with Norwich and Brighton.
The Saints have oscillated from confidently breaching the top six to narrowly avoiding the drop in recent years.
Southampton were very close to relegation last season, before Ralph Hassenhuttl’s appointment proved effective enough to keep them afloat.
Now Southampton will be hoping to invest wisely and push on up the league with Hassenhuttl’s philosophy slowing diffusing through the club.
Tottenham have fallen short when entering the final stages of the League, yet this year we predict the Spurs will make it to the top 5.
Tottenham have had a low-key pre-season and will hope to start the campaign fresh and ready for action, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men have two tough trips to Manchester City and Arsenal in their first five games.
Harry Kane has the ability to score against any opposition but it might be worth waiting for kinder fixtures before signing up the Spurs rearguard.
Watford will be hoping to make an impact this Premier League season, after settling well under Javi Garcia last term. He inspired a respectable 50-point season in the wake of Marco Silva’s departure in the summer of 2018, and looks promising this year.
Garcia will be hoping a few extra additions give their side that extra push, with the seventh place spot set to court a host of contenders in 2019/20.
West Ham United
West Ham United’s Jack Wilshere endured a difficult debut campaign being affected by injurty. For that reason, Wilshere has been hard at work over the summer to ensure he will be in top condition for the 2019/20 season.
As their opening match with Manchester City draws closer, Wilshere is eager to use the team’s trip to Austria this week to ensure both he and the team are in the best possible place for their start of the campaign.
The Wolverhampton Wanderers will begin their Premier League campaign after finishing just below the top six last season. The Wolves’’ impressive seventh-placed finish also ensured their maiden European appearance since 1980.
Last season, Jimenez established himself as one of the best forwards in the Premier League, accumulating 13 goals and seven assists. The Mexico international's wonderful debut season in England tempted Wolves into making his deal permanent, which eventually did take place after they put together £30 million.
Now, in order to embellish the strike force, Wolves also completed a move for Patrick Cutrone from AC Milan for a reported fee of €18m. Having secured the services of the sharpshooter, we don't expect the management to tinker much with the 3-4-1-2 (3-5-2) formation that has yielded success so far.
*Odds are subject to change.