The Premier League witnessed a title race for the ages last season. Manchester City pipped Liverpool to the title by a single point. City were on 98 points, and Liverpool were on 97 after the previous week. Only one team in the history of the Premier League has bettered this tally. That team was the City side from last season which smashed so many records. The duo of City and Liverpool were on a different level last season, and it could continue next season as well.
The gulf between the top two and the rest was huge. Chelsea finished third, and they were a whopping 15 points behind Liverpool. It was clear after a couple of months that two sides were the clear front-runners for the title. Both the teams produced brilliant seasons and pushed each other to the very end.
Looking forward to next season, no side below them has shown any promise of breaching that hierarchy.
City themselves are strengthening their squad, which is already unbelievable. Pep Guardiola is close to signing Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri. The Spanish midfielder is seen as a long term replacement for Fernandinho. City are also rumored to be behind Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo. European champions Liverpool will also look to deepen their squad. The likes of Junior Firpo and Nicolas Pepe have been linked with the Reds.
As for their competitors, they have their work cut out. Third-placed Chelsea are potentially facing a season without replacing Eden Hazard. The Belgian was their most important player by far last season, and he will play for Real Madrid this season. To add to his loss, manager Maurizio Sarri also departed Chelsea. He will manage Juventus and Chelsea are likely to appoint Frank Lampard as his successor. The situation is far from ideal at Stamford Bridge, and it’s hard to see them at the top next season.
Neighbours Arsenal are in a better spot, but not radically. They finished fifth last season in Unai Emery’s first season at the club. Emery needs to address the gaps in his squad before he can challenge for a title. As for fellow north London side Spurs, the picture is a bit different. After losing the Champions League final, it seems like a dead end for them. Players like Christian Eriksen can leave, and the future of Mauricio Pochettino is in doubt as well.
Manchester United are in limbo as well after finishing sixth last season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has a tough task ahead of him as he attempts to revamp the squad. Players like Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku could leave Old Trafford this summer.
The four sides beneath them are not in the ideal situation to compete for the Premier League title. Both Manchester City and Liverpool are getting stronger, and they should push on again next season. The duo will compete for the title in all likelihood. That may be repetitive, but expect another thrilling title race in the Premier League.