In the end, the relegation race was more thrilling than the battle at the top end during the final few weeks of the season. As Manchester City put their foot down, helped by Arsenal surrendering some vital points, the championship chase was ultimately an easy gallop.
The wrong end was where the late season entertainment was at, but some will have you believe it’ll be nowhere near as dramatic down in the bowels of the Premier League this time around.
That’s because the sceptics say in Luton Town we have the smallest club ever to play in the top flight since it was rebranded in 1992. But Ross Barkley is on board and Kenilworth Road will be a tough place for any team to play at – if they start well, their home form could bail them out at the business end of the season.
They’ll tell you too that Sheffield United’s hellish summer which has seen them not really strengthen and lose some vital players has alright considered them to the Championship.
Some are now looking at Wolves and their eve of the season chaos and predicting a bleak year. Julen Lopetegui calling it quits days before curtain up can spell nothing but bad news – it’s been a concerning summer for the fans, who fear their squad is much weaker than last time out.
Of course saying anyone is down already is a total over-reaction, but fears are growing for those three. Thankfully there’s other teams tipped to struggle, like Nottingham Forest. They signed no less than 30 players last season but this close season it’s totally different this time around. Is less going to be more at the City Ground?
Many believe the promoted side with the greatest chance of remaining is Burnley. With a patient and possession-based approach, Vincent Kompany, a four-time champion with Manchester City, wants to show the world he’s creating something special when his former club visit on Friday.
Everton simply cannot afford to get sucked under this time, not with their new stadium now months away from being completed. It’s into the unknown again for Bournemouth, with former Rayo Vallecano manager Andoni Iraola becoming the club’s new head coach.
Aleksandar Mitrović is casting a shadow over Fulham’s preparation, as too is Willian, who was also having his head turned by Saudi interest. If Crystal Palace lose another key man, you also wouldn’t rule out a struggle at Selhurst Park, either.
|Luton Town||4/11 Paddy Power|
|Sheffield United||4/6 Betfair|
|Nottingham Forest||5/2 Betfair|
After winning it all last time, will Manchester City have it all their own way again? Erling Haaland certainly hopes so, and will want to go one better than last season when he scored 36 goals in 35 Premier League matches.
Premier League season preview 2023-24 – relegation odds – Starts Fri 11th August
You’d be well off the mark calling Erling Haaland a potential one season wonder but if you’re looking for value, Mo Salah usually provides it. He’s surely the one to push the Manchester City man and Harry Kane the whole way.