Fourth: Arsenal — Some will say that Arsenal are doomed, having lost their best player in Robin van Persie, as well as a very good player in Alex Song. The same was said about this team last season. It is fair to criticize manager Arsene Wenger for his transfer policies, but he remains one of the best managers on the planet. With new signings like Santi Cazorla (possibly the best signing of the season), Arsenal should be able to secure the fourth Champions League place, despite fierce competition.
Third: Chelsea – Chelsea have made a serious splash this summer by signing the Belgian star Eden Hazard and Brazilian midfielder Oscar, who is tipped to become one of the best players in England in the near future. Hazard has already made a positive impact in Chelsea’s first two games. That said, this team finished sixth last year, despite winning the Champions League. And without Drogba, who at times carried the team last year, Chelsea have not improved enough to be true title contenders. They are by far the 3rd best team in the league, but still have a ways to go to catch either team from Manchester.
Second: Manchester City – City have made no (truly) notable signings this summer (sorry Jack Rodwell). City’s squad is teeming with talent. Other than the defense, it is hard to imagine where they would be looking to upgrade. They have the strongest starting lineup of any team in the league and their depth is matched only by United. But Mancini’s men may not have the chemistry and stamina to beat the other team from Manchester. It took an amazing season and a miracle to beat them last season. It won’t happen again.
First: Manchester United – Please be aware that I am a United fan, and this probably makes me a touch biased. That being said, I choose United as champions for two reasons. The first is that the Red Devils are historically dangerous in the season following a year they have lost the title. Following their heartbreaking loss last season, Ferguson told his players to “never forget [this loss]…because this will win you titles. This will make some of you into men and be the best you can be.” The second reason is that with Robin van Persie and Shinji Kagawa signed to the squad, United potentially have the most lethal attacking lineup they have had since 2008. However it turns out, the battle for English dominance will be staged in the city of Manchester. The race between United and City will go to the wire.