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After breaking numerous records on their way to Premier League glory last season, Manchester City are the standout candidates to win English football’s top flight again in 2018-19.
Pep Guardiola’s team accumulated a remarkable 100 points on their way to the title, leaving the rest of the division in their wake. This season, local rivals Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will all be seeking to put together a more serious challenge.
Arsenal and Chelsea will want to get back into the top-four mix after underwhelming terms in 2017-18. New faces in the division come in the form of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City and Fulham.
Here’s a predicted table for the upcoming Premier League and a closer look at how the campaign could pan out.
Predicted Premier League Table (Points)
1. Manchester City (92)
2. Liverpool (85)
3. Manchester United (83)
4. Tottenham Hotspur (82)
5. Chelsea (75)
6. Arsenal (71)
7. Everton (58)
8. Leicester City (57)
9. Wolves (55)
10. West Ham United (49)
11. Newcastle United (48)
12. Crystal Palace (48)
13. Burnley (47)
14. Brighton & Hove Albion (45)
15. Watford (44)
16. Bournemouth (42)
17. Fulham (42)
18. Southampton (38)
19. Huddersfield Town (35)
20. Cardiff City (32)
City On Course For Back-to-Back Titles
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Not only did City play winning and attractive football last season, among their best XI there are a number of key players who can still improve.
Next season the attacking trio of Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling appear poised to lead the charge for Pep Guardiola’s men again.
Last year the City attack functioned incredibly well, as they netted a record number of goals and secured an unprecedented amount of points:
UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague
Manchester City in 2017/18 Premier League: Record points (100) ✔ Record goals (106) ✔ Record away wins (16) ✔ Record goal difference (+79) ✔ #UCL https://t.co/lJbk9TtfpO
The experience is still there for City to keep calm in defence of their title, too. Key men like Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Vincent Kompany will still be crucial to Guardiola’s side, while Kevin De Bruyne is in the prime of his career.
If a challenge is going to come Liverpool appear the most likely. The Reds made it to the UEFA Champions League final in swashbuckling style last season, and they have made some shrewd moves in the transfer market this summer.
The capture of Naby Keita was already wrapped up, but Liverpool moved quickly to strengthen their midfield further with the capture of Fabinho from Monaco. WhoScored.com’s Martin Laurence doesn’t believe the Reds are far away from giving City a run for their money:
Martin Laurence @martinlaurence7
Keita, Fabinho, Fekir. If Liverpool do get a class keeper they really could challenge.
City may also need to look across Manchester at United. The team needs restructuring, and the capture of Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk feels like a positive step for the Red Devils. Those who frequent Old Trafford will also want to see some more enterprising play from them in the months to come.
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As for Spurs, after signing a new six-year contract it’s clear Harry Kane will be at the club next season. These numbers sum up just how consistent he is in front of goal:
Harry Kane: Is one of three players, along with Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry, to score 25 or more goals in at least three consecutive Premier League campaigns For more player stats — https://t.co/OiGJl8Tijh https://t.co/QNFDKGxXNa
The challenge for Mauricio Pochettino will be making the most of his prolific forward. That may involve some big spending in the summer, as Tottenham begin an exciting chapter at a new stadium.
It’s also a new era at Arsenal, as Unai Emery takes over from longstanding boss Arsene Wenger. Given the seismic changes that have occurred over the course of the summer and the struggles in the top flight in recent seasons, a top-four finish would represent an excellent start for the new man in charge.