The wait is finally over — the weekends have meaning once again. After an excruciating two-month hiatus, football fans from around the world now have something to look forward to. Although the World Cup finals provided some form of reprieve, the excitement of the cup pales in comparison to that of league football.
The Premier League season is set to kick off this weekend. 20 teams will be thrown into the boiling cauldron, the battle will be intense and the drama interminable. The hair-raising matches, the superb goals and the utterly ridiculous refereeing decisions will all be just a sliver of the hysteria that is the Premier league.
The influx of foreign players has certainly made the league more attractive, and several teams have significantly bolstered their ranks. Players such as Arsenal‘s Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea‘s Diego Costa will be adding new dimensions to their respective teams.
Defending champions Manchester City also made several key additions with Eliaquim Mangala being the latest. Liverpool lost Luis Suarez, but the club has moved on and recruited Lazar Marković, Emre Can and Javi Manquillo, just to name a few. Manchester United signed Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw, and the club has also been linked with Juventus‘ Arturo Vidal and Real Madrid‘s Ángel Di Maria.
Not all teams improved, though; a few of them are actually worse off this season. Southampton were raided by Liverpool, and the loss of manager Mauricio Pochettino won’t help; his new-found command of the English language would have been quite beneficial. Crystal Palace also lost their manager in Tony Pulis; he was probably the best thing to ever happen to the team. Fortunately, the transfer window is still open and the opportunity for improvement still remains.
Tottenham fell way short last season, and they aren’t expected to usurp any of the teams that finished above them. Everton, on the other hand, have a slim chance of getting into the top four; the team has a great manager and signed Belgian Romelu Lukaku to a permanent deal.
Newly promoted teams Burnley, Leicester City and Queens Park Rangers will attempt to extend their stay past one season. The relegation battle will be as fervent as the title race, providing entertainment and trepidation at both ends of the table.
This season’s excitement will surely surpass that of the previous season. The last title race went down to the wire and was the best season in Premier League history. If anyone thought that things couldn’t get any better, they were wrong. The best league in the world is about to cough up its best season ever.
Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool will engage in the battle for supremacy while Manchester United will try to claw their way back in. New players will be out to prove their worth while managers will attempt to assert their dominance. We can expect entertaining spats between Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger and Louis van Gaal as they use their famous mind games to gain advantage.
There will be plenty of shocks, spills and thrills throughout this campaign and another tight race looms. Margins for error have been trimmed significantly, and personally, I really can’t wait!