Premier League Preview
Premier League Preview
It's that time of year already! Soccer's back like it never left. Probably because this summer, it really didn't. Just a few short weeks after the World Cup ended, the beautiful game has returned once again. The Premier League season kicks off tomorrow, and we at WhoReps are here to give you a quick rundown of what to expect!
Of course, It all starts with reigning champs Manchester City. City is coming off literally the best season in Premier League history, having become the first side to ever reach 100 points in a single year. As you might expect, Pepe Guardiola's side made few changes over the summer, preferring to keep their championship squad intact. The one addition they did make was to pick up winger Riyad Mahrez from Leicester, for a cool £60m. However, its unclear how much Mahrez will even play, given that starting wingers Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling were an integral part of their record-setting campaign last year. It's possible he plays more inside, alongside the great Kevin De Bruyne. If there's one side you can trust to figure it out, it's Manchester City.
The side that unequivocally won the offseason was none other than eighth-placed Everton, who made a flurry of moves in an attempt to return to the Champions League for the first time since 2006. Having lost star striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United last season, they badly needed to remake their squad in order to remain in the mix for a return to European football. And did they ever. First they snagged exciting young Brazilian winger Richarlison for a club-record £50m, then they went out and added a trio of Barcelona men headlined by defender Yerry Mina, who is coming off of a tremendous World Cup performance. Left-back Lucas Digne as well as midfielder Andre Gomes are also on their way over from Barca. The Blues will have all the tools they need to make a run at true relevance.
On the absolute opposite end of the spectrum is Tottenham Hotspur, who made history in becoming the first ever Premier League side to not make a single signing during the summer window. Clearly they're feeling confident in North London. With superstar Harry Kane, fresh off of winning the Golden Boot at the World Cup, lining up in front of dynamic midfielders Christian Eriksen and Heung-min Son, it's not hard to see why.
Annual powers Arsenal, Chelsea, and Liverpool were also largely quiet over the summer, and frankly none of the trio appear likely to catch either City or United. The story for these sides is one of goalkeepers on the move — Chelsea lost the elite Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid, while Liverpool brought in Alisson to replace the gaffe-prone Karius. At £66.8m, Alisson becomes the most expensive goalkeeper of all time. But the biggest change for Arsenal is obviously the replacement of longtime manager Arsene Wenger. Successor Unai Emery has big shoes to fill, as the first man other than Wenger to manage the Gunners since the early 90's.
Likely bringing up the rear this season will be the three teams promoted from the second tier, as per the relegation system. Wolverhampton, Cardiff, and Fulham are back at the pinnacle of English football, but its hard to say for just how long their stays will be. Fulham appears best equipped to make this a more permanent residence, having made a host of signings to bolster their starting eleven — headlined by midfielders Jean Michael Seri and Andre Zambo Anguissa, who arrived from Nice and Marseille, respectively. They'll need all the help they can get.
The season officially starts tomorrow with Manchester United taking on Leicester City at 3pm EST/12pm PST. We can't wait to see what another season has in store!