Is the Premier League just a duo?
Manchester City in 2022 and 2021. Liverpool in 2020. And… City in 2019 and 2018. For years now, the Premier League has belonged to the Citizens and the Reds. Only Manchester United has managed to interfere in one of the first two places in 2021 by overtaking Liverpool. But otherwise, the men of Pep Guardiola and those of Jurgen Klopp have monopolized the first two folding seats in the PL since 2018. Last season, the gap between Liverpool, second, and Chelsea, third, even reached 18 points difference. A hole. And this is not necessarily new in the Kingdom (+15 pts in 2019-2020, +25 in 2018-19…).
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So, does the Premier League now come down to a duopoly, as in La Liga for many years? If Arsenal, Chelsea or even Tottenham and Manchester United did not skimp on resources during this transfer window to try to catch up, City and Liverpool still seem above the fray. The arrivals of Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez, two of the greatest strikers in the world, have only reinforced this impression, despite several departures from both clubs (Sterling and Gabriel Jesus at City, Sadio Mané at Liverpool).
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola
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Nunez – Haaland, which of the two will score the most goals?
For this new season, the Premier League welcomes two phenomena in front of goal. And they arrive at two behemoths after monster transfers. Liverpool has thus put 75 million to secure the services of Darwin Nunez, author of 26 goals in 28 league matches last season with Benfica and 6 achievements in 10 Champions League matches. And City, for its part, broke its piggy bank (between 60 and 75 million according to different sources) to finally offer itself a major nine in the person of Erling Haaland, the Norwegian serial scorer.
A goal machine from a young age and his explosion in Salzburg, the native of Leeds scored 86 goals in 89 meetings with Dortmund. It will be one of the attractions of City. So, which of the two will drive the counters crazy and do better than the other? Haaland’s explosive journey pushes in his direction. But in the City of Guardiola, he will have to find his marks then…
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How will Chelsea approach after Abramovich?
Chelsea no longer belongs to Roman Abramovich, who bought the club in 2003 before making it a stronghold of the Kingdom and Europe. Todd Boehly, head of the consortium that got their hands on the London club, is the new boss, after being named president of the Blues. A real earthquake on the banks of the Thames. How will this new era unfold at Stamford Bridge, after a year spent under the sign of uncertainty? The doubt hangs for the moment.
The London transfer window has caused some frustration in the halls of Chelsea, while Raphinha, Jules Koundé (targeted by Tuchel) or Andreas Christensen have gone to Barça and Antonio Rudiger has signed up with Real Madrid while Romelu Lukaku is returned to Inter. But with the arrivals of Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly and while other reinforcements are mentioned with insistence (Frenkie De Jong, Marc Cucurella…), there is reason to say that Thomas Tuchel will still have a solid workforce. If the Blues manage to wrap up their targets, of course…
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Can Erik ten Hag save Manchester?
David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer… Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United have multiplied managers. With mostly mixed results. If United finished second in 2020-2021, disappointment was regularly there at the end of the season for the Red Devils. Today and after several months of reflection, a new boss has arrived: Erik ten Hag. And hopes with.
Triple champion of the Netherlands with Ajax Amsterdam, which he took to the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019, the Dutchman seems to have the profile to succeed in this pharaonic task which awaits him: to straighten the club. His philosophy of play, his charisma and his ability to advance young people but also to remobilize experienced players seem ideal in the current context. But he will have to be given time to put his principles in place. And that he manages to manage the case of Cristiano Ronaldo, eager to leave. Two points that can be key. But are not guaranteed in the North of England.
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Can Gabriel Jesus bring Arsenal back to C1?
Author of a remarkable season, however, ended in fifth place – two small points behind Tottenham and the Champions League -, Arsenal has still given itself the means to continue to grow to regain its past status. With the arrivals of Marquinhos (São Paulo, for 3.5 million euros), Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City for 35 million), Matt Turner (New England, for 6.5 million euros), Fabio Vieira ( FC Porto, for 35 million euros) and especially Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City, for 52.5 million euros), Mikel Arteta has new weighty arguments, especially if William Saliba, back from loan, confirms his beautiful season with Marseille. What to say that the Gunners of Martin Odegaard, who launched their season with a success Friday evening against Crystal Palace (2-0), finally have the means of their ambitions especially if Gabriel Jesus plants in front as he did in preparation (7 goals in 5 matches).
Gabriel Jesus at Arsenal
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Newcastle, finally at the height of its means?
Bought by a Saudi investment fund at the end of 2021, Newcastle was to be one of the big players in the transfer market. But after a winter transfer window not necessarily up to expectations despite the arrival of Bruno Guimaraes, the Magpies are still very discreet this summer.
The club from the north of England did not splurge. If goalkeeper Nick Pope (Burnley) and side Matt Targett (Aston Villa) have landed, Sven Botman (Lille) is the main recruit after being bought for 37 million. We are for the moment far from the follies expected during the takeover. And the tops of the Premier League are not yet for this season.
Steven Gerrard or Patrick Vieira, which former glory will shine the most?
Twelfth and fourteenth in the Premier League last season, Patrick Vieira (Crystal Palace) and Steven Gerrard (Aston Villa) met expectations for their first season on a Premier League bench by finishing in “respectable” places after inheriting situations complicated. But now they are going to have to confirm and aim higher if possible.
For this, the two former midfielders have registered reinforcements (Cheick Doucouré, Chris Richards for Crystal Palace, Diego Carlos, Boubacar Kamara for Aston Villa) without losing too many people. But on paper, Steven Gerrard, who also saw Philippe Coutinho stay in Birmingham, seems to have a little more right to think of a European place. But that’s on paper…
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