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From 17th August 2016

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The Premier League title race: predictions

The Premier League season is finally here and the entire footballing world cannot contain its excitement. Defending champions Leicester City will look to do the unthinkable and win back-to-back titles but England’s elite clubs will all fancy their chances of climbing above the Foxes this season. We take a look at the leading contenders and give our thoughts on who may come out on top.

Manchester City

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Manchester City

Without a shadow of a doubt, Manchester City stand a much better chance of winning the title than they did in 2015/16. Pep Guardiola has taken over as manager and the Blues are about to reap rewards from his unique, attacking philosophy. It hasn’t gone smoothly in pre-season but Guardiola will have his troops ready for battle on the competitive stage.

City have made a number of astute moves in the transfer window and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Pep push for one more defensive signing before the end of August. Vincent Kompany’s injury woes may tempt the City boss to consider a move for one of Europe’s top names, especially as Eliaquim Mangala isn’t a reliable option at the heart of the defence.

Guardiola’s new-look City side will be very strong this season and it is easy to see why so many people believe they will lift the title. Having said that, the Premier League is a very competitive division and Pep has never managed in England’s top flight. And for that reason, City may just fall short…

Prediction: 2nd

Arsenal

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Arsenal

Last season’s runners up could go one better this year – especially if Arsene Wenger sticks to his word and signs a top striker before the window slams shut. The Gunners are a world class centre-forward away from potentially winning the Premier League title and their supporters simply won’t stand for incompetent action in the transfer market.

On paper, the Gunners have a fantastic squad and this may be their greatest opportunity to get their hands back on the crown. Arsenal, priced at 5/4 to beat Liverpool with Betway in the opening round of Premier League matches, have been there or thereabouts but haven’t managed to maintain a genuine challenge over the entire campaign for quite some time.

If Wenger signs somebody like Alexandre Lacazette, Arsenal will be in business. If not, it could be another frustrating season for Gunners supporters. And based on their current squad right now, they may fall short once again as they look for a first title since going unbeaten back in 2004.

Prediction: 3rd

Manchester United

Two words: Jose Mourinho. Two more words: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Two MORE words: Paul Pogba. United moved swiftly to dismiss Louis van Gaal at the end of last season and Mourinho has almost transformed the club overnight, bringing four key players into the squad this summer. And if truth be told, United fans are full of confidence ahead of the new campaign.

The Red Devils emerged victorious against Leicester City in this season’s Community Shield despite playing poorly – a sign that the tide is turning at Old Trafford. Last season, United were struggling to inspire confidence but Mourinho will get the most out of his talented squad; he is a winner and he will bring the fear factor back to the club.

Pogba’s impending arrival is massive. United have lacked presence in midfield since Roy Keane and Paul Scholes left the club and the Frenchman, who is set to cost a world record fee of £89 million, will give United a dominant figure in the centre of the pitch. And with Mourinho, Pogba and Zlatan at Old Trafford, the title isn’t far away…

Prediction: 1st