Premier League outright predictions: City and Liverpool to renew title scrap
Manchester City and Liverpool scrapped it out for the Premier League title right up until the final day last season and the two rivals are expected to be the main contenders once again in 2022-23.
City ended up edging out the Reds by a solitary point, with Chelsea finishing a further 18 points behind in third, demonstrating the gulf in class between the top two and the rest.
Tottenham were fourth last term as Antonio Conte's side secured the final Champions League spot ahead of North London rivals Arsenal, while Manchester United's disappointing campaign left them way off the pace in sixth.
With the new season just around the corner, we look at the runners and riders for what is set to be another thrilling tussle for top-flight supremacy.
Top two still look formidable
Both City and Liverpool have made changes to their squads over the summer.
But neither look weaker, so it would be a major surprise if it is anyone else who ends up top of the pile come the end of the season.
Once again, City look like they will take some stopping.
Erling Haaland has arrived from Borussia Dortmund to add more firepower to an already devastating attack that top scored with 99 goals last season.
To make room for Haaland, Raheem Sterling has left for Chelsea and Gabriel Jesus has joined Arsenal.
It shows how much confidence Pep Guardiola has in his squad that he is willing to offload players to perceived rivals.
If anyone is going to stop the Citizens from winning a fifth title in six years then it is likely to be Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp's men were relentless in their pursuit of the leaders over the final weeks of last season, triumphing in 15 of their final 17 league games.
In the end, they had to settle for second place and winning the two domestic cups before Real Madrid beat them 1-0 in the Champions League final in Paris.
Darwin Nunez has joined for an initial £64million from Benfica to make up for Sadio Mane's departure to Bayern Munich, while exciting teenager Fabio Carvalho offers Klopp a fresh attacking option following his switch from Fulham.
With Mohamed Salah — who shared the Premier League Golden Boot with 23 goals last season — finally penning a new contract and January signing Luis Diaz also expected to star, Liverpool should push City all the way again.
Spurs could be best of the rest
Tottenham could emerge as the best of the rest under Antonio Conte after some eye-catching summer transfer business.
Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Ivan Perisic and Clement Lenglet have all joined to further strengthen a squad that already boasts the considerable talents of Heung-Min Son, Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski.
Spurs finished strongly in 2021-22, winning four of their last five games to beat Arsenal to fourth place, and they will be targeting a repeat of that achievement as a bare minimum.
Chelsea will also want to ensure they stay in the Champions League places and that is a realistic aim following the signings of Sterling and centre-back Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli.
The Blues started last season very well but an expected title challenge fizzled out in the second half of the campaign.
They have the quality to trouble anyone on their day, with Reece James, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz among their star players, but bridging the considerable gap to Liverpool and City looks too big an ask.
Ten Hag faces tough challenge
Arsenal appear to have recruited well with Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko joining from City, but trying to break into the top four will be the Gunners' main aim.
Erik ten Hag is charged with trying to improve Manchester United's fortunes after a dismal campaign last time out.
The early signs in pre-season have been good under the former Ajax boss.
But with frustration over their failure to secure long-term transfer target Frenkie de Jong from Barcelona, a period of transition and steady improvement is expected rather than a sudden rise up the table.