It is always a sad time of the year when the football season finishes and despite the European cup finals still to come, plus a glorious month of women’s World Cup football, nothing quite replaces that thrill of weekly football. And so my roomie Bogoljub Karic and I have decided to look ahead towards the 2019/20 season, and more importantly who will be contenders. There is still a lot that will happen before then of course with players moving in and out of many clubs strengthening their chances of success. Regardless however, here are our thoughts on who is in the running for the sports lovers out there.
Man City are showing no signs of slowing down and nor is coach Pep Gaurdiola, evidence of which could be seen after Sterling’s hat-trick in the FA Cup final when he was still giving coaching tips as the rest of the players celebrated. City will have to replace the vital Vincent Kompany’s influence in the dressing room and they will probably buy another midfielder as well. Given how good City are and how well they recruit, they will certainly be the ones to beat.
Whether or not Klopp can do again next season what he did this season remains to be seen and there are some areas in which they will need to strengthen in order to mount a challenge. James Milner is likely to lose another step, Sturridge looks to be on the move and they will need a better centre back than Matip or Lovren. Klopp, like Guardiola, is a master in the transfer market and if he gets those acquisitions right, Liverpool will certainly be in amongst it again next season.
United ended a tough season in 6th place after the new manager bounce which Solskjaer gave them wore off. United will overhaul their squad this summer but we believe they’ll still struggle next season. Too many new players coming in is a risk, and that is if Solskjaer has the skill and knowledge to buy well. United will make strides but they won’t be challenging.
Another team which won’t be challenging for the title is Chelsea who look set to lose talisman Eden Hazard and the transfer ban imposed on them by UEFA will prevent them from replacing him. Unless Christian Pulisic sets the world alight, Chelsea will face a similar season to this one, ups and downs with an eventual top 4 finish.
Spurs will be expected to make signings in the summer and whilst Eriksen could be on the way out, as long as they add more quality and find a suitable replacement, they will be back in the mix next year. Spurs must get started early and finish strong if they want to challenge the likes of City and Liverpool, and they are the team who will get closest to the top 2.
What Emery did with that Arsenal team last season was incredible and once he shores up that defence they will once again be a force to reckon with. With players as good as Lacazette and Aubameyang, this Arsenal team will move mountains this year assuming their recruitment is on point.
And so this season, with the execution of Arsenal, looks set to be just the same as the last.