The 2014/2015 Premier League football season will commence on Saturday 16 August.
Here in the first preview of 2 parts we take a look at the first 10 teams in alphabetical order.
Arsene Wenger enters his 8th year as manager of Arsenal.
Chilean international forward Alexis Sanchez has joined from Barcelona and will bolster the front line and no doubt make an impact, though the loss of defensive pairing Bacary Sagna and Thomas Vermaelen is also noted.
Buoyed by last seasons FA Cup win and their recent 3-0 victory over current champions Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday, Aresenal are shaping up to be very competitive again this year, and are a good chance to improve on their 4th placing of last season.
Manager Paul Lambert continues on as manager for Aston Villa with Manchester United legend Roy Keane coming on board as an assistant.
There has been more Outs then Ins for Villa, with no big names arriving to save what appears to be a sinking ship. Their main mission this season will be to avoid relegation, which is a very distinct possibility.
Burnley earned promotion last season under the stewardship of manager Sean Dyche.
It will be a season of consolidation for Burnley as they look to survive their return to the Premier League. Their promoted squad remains largely intact and could be further bolstered with some new signings. A player with potential is defender Kieran Trippier who some tip as a future England squad member.
It’s a time of regeneration at Chelsea under the watch of the colourful Jose Mourinho.
Newcomers Diego Costa from Atletico Madrid and Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona are already making a meaningful impact in pre-season friendlies, while longtime stalwarts Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole have departed along with defender David Luiz on a record transfer.
Chelsea were disappointed with their performance last season when they were unable to collect any silverware. They will be looking to improve this year and are a good chance to collect at least one trophy, though there is some stiff competition out there.
Tony Pulis continues on as manager of Crystal Palace.
Striker Frazier Campbell from Cardiff is the signing of most interest so far to take place at Palace, who will need some more quality if they wish to stay up this season. A lot will come down to manager Tony Pulis again and his ability to get the best out of his squad. We think he should be able to do just enough to keep his team in the Premier League for another season.
Manager Roberto Martinez has been rewarded with a new contract after an impressive first season with the club, while former manager Joe Royle has returned in a role to develop and strengthen the squad.
Romelu Lukaku and Gareth Barry, who performed very well last season while on loan, have now signed to become permanent fixtures at the club.
After an impressive 5th placing last season Everton are now expected to be highly competitive and will be looking to go one better and make it into the top 4.
Steve Bruce will once again take the reigns for the Tigers.
Some reasonable signings have come on board in the shape of winger Tom Ince and midfielders Jake Livermore and Robert Snodgrass.
Hull City found themselves centre stage when they made it to the FA Cup final at Wembley in May. While similar heroics are not expected this time around, they have recruited well and should improve on their 16th placing from last season.
Manger Nigel Pearson has earned himself a new contract after Leicester took out the Championship and earned promotion to the Premier League.
Striker Leonardo Ulloa arrives from Brighton as the clubs biggest signing so far.
Nigel Pearson has kept his squad mostly intact and resigned a host of players which should stand them in good stead for the upcoming season. As long as they keep their nerve a mid-table finish is not an unreasonable expectation.
Brendan Rodgers enters his 3rd season at the helm of Liverpool.
It’s been an interesting off-season for the Reds, with big name striker Luis Suarez moving on and a raid on the playing stocks of Southampton in the form of Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren. Winger Lazar Markovic has also arrived on a long term deal from Benfica.
Suarez’s departure will be a big loss, though Rodgers has not stood still and has attempted to strengthen his squad. Last seasons 2nd place may be beyond them this year, though they are still expected to challenge, and should not drop out of the top 6.
The steady hand of Manuel Pelligrini continues to guide the side.
Two big names have arrived from FC Porto in the shape of defender Eliaquim Mangala and midfielder Fernando, while Bacary Sagna joins from Arsenal.
The reigning premiers will once again be at the top of the table this season, with the usual suspects in Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and the returning Manchester United the most likely challengers. Man City have recruited very shrewdly in the off-season and a top 2 finish is looking very likely.