A summer without a major international tournament is always difficult for football fans. However, we are not far away now from the start of the domestic action for the new campaign. The summer transfer window has been very busy for the big clubs as their squads are now starting to take shape.
Chelsea go into the 2017/18 campaign as the defending champions after they were so impressive last season in taking the title. Since manager Antonio Conte switched to a 3-4-3 formation back in October, his side proved difficult to beat as they conceded very few goals, while going forward they had no problems finding the opposition’s net. The challenge Conte faces is to keep his squad motivated to go again. Manchester United made defending the Premier League title easy during the ’90s; however, since then, not many clubs have been able to do it.
The Blues have already missed out on a number of their transfer targets; most notably Romelu Lukaku, who chose Manchester United over a return to Stamford Bridge. That could prove to be a big blow as Diego Costa looks set to leave the Blues over the next few weeks after falling out with the Italian. Conte now has to rethink about who will lead his line next season as the defending champions do look weaker than they were 12 months ago.
Manchester City are the side who have done the best business so far of the top four clubs in the Premier League. Not only have they made some quality signings, they did their business very early into the summer to ensure their acquisitions had the maximum amount of time to settle into the club and were present for the start of preseason training.
The bookmakers have installed Manchester City as their 15/8 favourites in the football betting and they look to be the best bet in the outright market. Pep Guardiola was probably surprised at how tough the Premier League was in his debut season last year, however, he has assessed what his squad needs and has looked to put it right.
City’s biggest problem last season was at the back. They did not have a steady and reliable ‘keeper between the sticks which cost them several goals. Ederson has joined the club from Benfica and he arrives with a big reputation. The Brazilian has Champions League experience and should settle in straight away to English football.
Bernardo Silva could prove to be the signing of the summer by any club in Europe. City splashed £43 million on the Monaco forward but in doing so they fought off a number of clubs who were interested in the Portuguese player.
Clearly Manchester United and Arsenal will be stronger this season but they are unlikely to have enough to challenge for the title, while Tottenham have the hindrance of having to play their home games at Wembley, which won’t help their chances. City have been handed a reasonable start to their fixtures in the 2017/18 campaign so they should be able to make a fast start.
The opening game of the new season is on August 11 when Arsenal host Leicester as Friday Night Football kicks off on Sky. City are in action the following day when they travel to Premier League newcomers Brighton.