The Premier League season kicks off on Friday night with Arsenal’s trip to Brentford as anticipation builds.
Luckily this summer we had the Euros to fill the gap, but nothing quite feels like the domestic season.
Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel are expected to lead a title charge and are poised to add Romelu Lukaku.
Pundits from across the BBC and Sky Sports have all looked to predict how the top of the table will look come may.
The Premier League’s all-time top goalscorer has backed Chelsea to topple City and win a first league title since 2017.
Romelu Lukaku’s imminent arrival is set to be a major plus for the Blues, who will be looking to build on their Champions League triumph.
He also believes United will pip Liverpool into third, but is not expecting to see a run away winner this term.
He said: “I’m expecting it to be much tighter at the top than last time, with four teams in with a chance of being champions, not just City and Chelsea.”
The former City star expects the Etihad-outfit to retain their crown ahead of Chelsea, Liverpool and the Red Devils.
He said: “It’s tougher than ever to call it this season but I am still going to say City, even if they don’t get Kane.”
“United have shown that they can beat anyone but they seem to have too many off-days over the course of the season and for me they are a couple of players short of being a title-winning side – including a centre-forward.”
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The pundit expects his former side Liverpool to go close, but has backed City to again come out on top.
Liverpool were hit by injuries last term, but with a fully fit squad Murphy believes they will finish second ahead of Chelsea and United.
He said: “My gut feeling is that City are going to be really difficult to knock off their perch. They and Liverpool will just about have the edge on everyone but not by much – the top four will be really tight.”
Murphy also challenged the Reds to sort out any lingering contract doubts around Jordan Henderson, adding: “It is hugely important that Liverpool get Jordan Henderson’s contract situation sorted out. They have already lost Georginio Wijnaldum, who has been under-rated for the past few years.”
The long serving pundit has followed Murphy’s lead in backing City to again rule the Premier League ahead of Liverpool, Chelsea and United.
The former Red believes Liverpool’s desire will be a key factor after a hugely disappointing campaign last term.
He said: “A big factor for Liverpool is hunger after what happened last season. Yes, they had a lot of injuries but by their high standards it was a poor campaign.
“So they have a point to prove, especially in front of their fans at Anfield where they had such a poor run at the start of the year.”
The Sky pundit has backed City to again win the league if they pull off the signing of Harry Kane.
“If City get Kane they will win the league,” he said on the Overlap.
However he also urged his former side to challenge their rivals for the Tottenham striker in the market.
“If they (United) got Sancho, Varane and Kane they’d have a great chance (of winning the league).”
Liverpool have had a quiet summer with no forward players being bought in. That is a concern for the former Red who, like most people, has City down as the men to beat.
“I know Firmino is not a striker, they don’t play with one, but Liverpool don’t have a centre forward on their books,” he said.
“Divock Origi plays from the left wing, so they don’t have anyone – so that’s where I’d like to see Liverpool invest.
“If they did, I think they’d be there or thereabouts.
“I don’t think Liverpool will win the league with what they have, I’d like to see one more come in.
“If they had that they’d be in the mix, I wouldn’t say I fancied them, because City are favourites.”
The Irishman expects the title to be a two-horse race after Chelsea bolstered their ranks with the signing of Lukaku.
He said: “You were looking the last year or two going that out and out goalscorer. But Lukaku, gives them a great chance.
“I know Liverpool have a lot of players coming back, but I would still be looking at City and Chelsea.
“Unless United or Liverpool pull something out of the bag in the next week or two with a few brilliant signings, but I can’t see beyond City or Chelsea.”
He added: “If Kane goes to Man City it’ll be very difficult to stop them.”