The 2023/2024 English Premier League (EPL) season is already underway and set to be an exciting and drama-filled tournament, with several candidates trying to unseat Manchester City from their lofty perch. Let’s take a look at the prospects of some of the top contenders, focusing on the top 5 from last season:
It would take a brave man to bet against Manchester City, with the defending champions having won the title for 3 years in a row and completed a treble last season. With their superstar manager Pep Guardiola at the helm, City are undoubtedly the favourites to win and grab an unprecedented 4 consecutive EPL titles. City’s greatest challenge may not be Arsenal, United or Liverpool but complacency and attrition.
City has shown mixed form heading into the season, with a 5-3 win over Yokohama Marinosv and a 2-1 victory over Bayern Munich in Japan slightly blotted by a surprise 2-1 loss to Atlético Madrid in Seoul and a defeat on penalties by Arsenal in the Community Shield.
Ilkay Gundogan (C ) - to Barcelona
Riyad Mahrez – to Al-Ahli
Josko Gvardiol – from RB Leipzig
Mateo Kovacic- from Chelsea
Arsenal finally returned as a serious title challenger in 2022/2023, as they led the table for most of the season before eventually succumbing to City in the final weeks of the tournament. They will aim to go one better this season and recapture the title they last won in the 2003/2004 season with the “Invincibles” team.
Their dealings this summer were conducted with chilling efficiency, as manager Mikel Arteta’s top targets were identified and locked down by the time the team departed for their pre-season tour, thanks to a €200M war chest. New signings include the much talked about Declan Rice, with the expectation being that he will inject youthfulness and drive into Arsenal’s midfield and justify his £105m price tag. Jurriën Timber is set to add athleticism and versatility in defence, but Arteta will also need to find a viable deputy for Bukayo Saka.
Granit Xhaka – to Bayer Leverkusen
Matt Turner – to Nottingham Forest
Declan Rice – from West Ham
Kai Havertz- from Chelsea
Manchester United seemed like they were close to returning to their former glory last season, with a 3rd place finish last season, a Carabao Cup triumph and an FA Cup final defeat. But manager Erik ten Hag will have stronger ambitions this season and will be eying United’s first EPL title since the 2012/2013 season and the Alex Ferguson era.
Helping United along the way is the addition of Rasmus Højlund and Mason Mount, but the “elephant in the room” is the potential sale of the club and how this could affect the manager’s role. United’s pre-season tour wasn’t a smash in terms of results, with 34 losses and one win over Arsenal. United have also lost the young midfielder Kobbie Mainoo to injury at the start of the season.
David De Gea– free agent
Fred – to Fenerbahçe
Mason Mount – from Chelsea
Rasmus Højlund – from Atalanta
Newcastle’s 4th placed finish last season was undoubtedly a major achievement for a club that had previously not been a contender at the top level of English football for some time. And one can’t write off a team that already contains international players of the calibre of Sven Botman, Bruno Guimarães, Sandro Tonali and Nick Pope. The team will have to be fit to maintain their high-energy, high-pressing style that brought rewards last season, and manager Eddie Howe will be hoping that the team can reap success they haven’t experienced in years.
Much of Newcastle’s prospects for the new season depend on whether individual players such as Joe Linton, Sean Longstaff, Joe Willock and Miguel Almirón can improve last season’s progress. The team has also been bolstered by the acquisition of Tonali from Milan and former Leicester winger Harvey Barnes.
Yankuba Minteh- to Feyenoord
Chris Wood- to Nottingham Forest
Sandro Tonali – from AC Milan
Harvey Barnes – from Leicester City
After a magical run in 2019/2020 where they captured their first EPL title, Liverpool has gone somewhat backwards in the last 3 years. But an unbeaten 11-game run at the end of last season has restored belief and fine-tuned form, and there is general optimism and belief that The Reds can challenge for the title again.
This feeling is not only based on last season’s form but the acquisitions of the high-calibre duo Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai, although this is tempered somewhat by the loss of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho. Manager Jurgen Klopp still has several quality attacking options; last summer’s big-money buy, Darwin Núñez, has looked sharper in pre-season and the return to full fitness of Diogo Jota and Luis Díaz should help matters even further.
Fabinho: to Al-Ittihad
Jordan Henderson: to Al-Ettifaq
Dominik Szoboszlai- from RB Leipzig
Alexis Mac Allister- from Brighton and Hove Albion
While these 5 teams should be strong contenders for the title, you never know which other EPL side will challenge at the top! Make sure you have even more fun than just watching the EPL by placing your bets at www.Gbets.co.za. We have awesome soccer bet featres like Bet Builder, Cash Out, Multi Bet Boost, Super Bet and so much more!