After another dismal international break, the Premier League returns to give fans plenty of excitement and drama during the latest club fixtures.
England managed to find some success during their Nations League outings but all the focus now goes back on to the country’s top-tier division, where the title race is beginning to take shape as the key sides show their strengths.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City ran away with the Premier League crown last term, blowing every other team away with their dynamic, attacking approach under the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich tactician.
But that doesn’t look set to the case this season, as many other teams look to challenge for the top prize on offer and dethrone the Sky Blues come next May. So, who are the leading contenders for the title this 2018/19 season?
[credit]Josep Guardiola by Thomas Rodenbücher (CC BY 2.0)[/credit]
The reigning and defending champions look a promising shout in the Premiership predictions from Betfair to go all the way once again and clinch a second successive top-flight title under Guardiola this current campaign.
They have looked sharp once again so far in the early stages of the campaign, though there have been some minor slip-ups, something which didn’t happen often during their dominant surge last season.
Man City still look more than capable of going on to secure a second consecutive title victory with Guardiola, but their little shows of weakness might give the others in the chasing pack a slight bit of hope of overtaking them in the long run.
When Antonio Conte was eventually dismissed from Stamford Bridge, Chelsea fans could have been forgiven for thinking ‘here we go again’, ahead of what could have been a faltering season.
But the appointment of former Napoli boss Maurizio Sarri, a controversial character in his native Italy, has proved to be a shrewd move from the Blues.
The experienced previous Serie A manager has overseen a solid start to proceedings in the league and supporters are already getting excited about what lies ahead for them as they sit towards the summit of the standings.
Jurgen Klopp has built a strong Liverpool squad for this season, having been toppled by Real Madrid in the Champions League final last term.
With such a dazzling array of talent going forward, such as Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, Klopp has also acquired an imposing defensive unit.
The Reds are used to hearing ‘it’s their year’ each passing season, but this could ultimately be exactly that, if they can keep form and momentum going consistently.
Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United have fallen well off the pace already this term, which is a boost for those at the top of proceedings, including Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham Hotspur.
Spurs have come close to realising their long-term goal of winning the title in recent seasons but they always fall short at the final hurdle.
Could this finally be their year? They have that man Harry Kane up front and plenty of other top talent around him, so it’s possible for the Londoners.