The season is back!!! Football is back!!! After a long summer break interspersed with international tournaments, gruelling preasons from Europe to Asia and to the Americas, another transfer window where clubs have smashed their transfer records and a record fee paid for a defender, there can’t be any better time than this especially for fans of the premier league as it kicks off in less than 24 hours with Liverpool and Norwich opening rolling the carpet with Friday night football for the first game of the 2019/2020 season.
A season that will for the first time see the introduction of VAR in the league, managers receive yellow cards for decent and the transfer window shutting before the a ball is kicked promises to be as exciting and intriguing as it has always been. With managerial changes, shocking transfers and exciting additions adding to the euphoria and expectations ahead of the new season, I provide for you an interesting analysis of how the season may shape up come May, 2020 as a champion is crowned.
Every new season starts with the discussion of who will be in the top four which is now top six depending on how you look at it. Hitherto the traditional top four teams would have not been a debate but the increasing competition has made it really unpredicatble these days. Man City and Liverpool on paper look to have distinguished themselves as the top two teams in the league by a mile and expect them to go neck-to-neck again like they did last season but the only problem with Liverpool may be their luck of depth especially in the attacking areas.
The surprise last minute capture of David Luiz from Chelsea and the smart acquisition of Nicholas Pepe may have boosted the chances of Arsenal making it to the top four after missing out on two consecutive seasons. Chelsea who are serving a transfer ban have not looked like a team ready to compete for accolades though the jury is still out on Lampard and his new look Chelsea team to go against the odds and Man Utd has not had the best of summers and this may go a long way to define their respective seasons.
Tottenham have had one of their best transfer windows in short while despite not finding a replacement for Trippier who departed for Athletico Madrid. Again there is a lack of proper cover for Kane which may be problematic as tiredness set in as the season wears on. Put all this together coupled with their preseason performaces and European engagements especially Thursday night football in the Europa league, and this is how I see the top four shape up. Man City will end as champions with Liverpool behind them. Spurs will pull their weight in third and Chelsea will complete the top four. Arsenal in fifth due to their Europa league committements which would be a worry with heavy legs and inadequate recovery times after trips to eastern Europe and the likes and Man Utd will settle for 6th as I see them lacking goals this season after the departure of Lukaku.
The battle for spots in mid table can only get fiercer with the investments clubs like Wolves, Everton and Leicester City have made and this is what defines the competition in the premier league as it moves beyond the football even into the transfer market. Throw in Westham and the conversation even gets more interesting. Nuno Espirito Santo and his team may struggle to repeat their last season heroics if they are to go far in the Europa league as we have seen it happen to clubs like Everton, Leicester and Burnley. It may be close to call for now and we can only wait for the season to start but I won’t be surprised to see Everton push for even a top six finish this season and Bournemouth may give teams a run for their money.
Aston Villa has been busy of the three newcomers with their buys in the just ended transfer window. They have shattered their transfer record and bought players with the quality to cause an assault on the league like Wolves did last season. But they must also becareful not to do a Fulham who bought all the players after promotion but got relegated at the end of the season. Norwich and Sheffield have gone under the radar a bit but that only makes them more dangerous as they can spring surprises on teams as their tactics and game plan may not be known. Of the three, Villa looks the team most ready for the season.
And oh! The struggle for survival and relegation battle. Brighton, Crystal Palace, Southampton and Newcastle should beware. These teams have toyed and yet escaped relegation in the past couple of seasons. With the league becoming more and more competitive each passing season, every team must start the season like they mean it because results may not go in your favour if you fail to perform. This is the time for bottom half table teams to up their game and gather the important points to ensure their safety come the business end of the league.
It promises to be another exhilarating nine month marathon of football action ahead of us and it does not get any better than this. The best league arguably in the world is here upon us. Bring on the players, managers and fans. Welcome to the 2019/2020 season of the premier league. Let the games begin! Stick and stay with KobbyKyei Sports News (#KKSN). We’re about hitting your pub with our PL road show.
Written By: Qwesi Nabila Zakariah (@qwesi_nabila)