For the final part of my Premier League 2017/18 season preview, I look at the three clubs who I reckon will be battling it out for the trophy this season and I decide my pick for the title.
Champions Chelsea will look to become the first side to retain the Premier League crown in nine seasons but with their title rivals meaning business in the transfer market, a seventh top-flight title may have to wait.
I really like what Conte has accomplished with the Blues with his 3-4-3 formation proving very successful to helping them towards the title, with player of the season N’Golo Kante becoming an important figure just in front of the back line.
The defence also proved rock solid with Gary Cahill, Cezar Azpilicueta and Davis Luiz proving to be a formidable threesome, but I do think they need to add some depth to their defensive options for the new season.
Last year they proved people wrong by beating the Manchester clubs to the title, but the pressure is now on as the reigning champions. They will be in the mix, but I think the Blues will come up short in their quest to retain the trophy.
2. Manchester United
Jose Mourinho’s first season at Man United was a mixed bag. Despite finishing a disappointing sixth in the Premier League, the Red Devils did manged to pick up two trophies: the EFL Cup and the Europa League.
Their Europa League success earned them a spot in the Champions League as the former Chelsea’s boss risk paid off, as he threw all his eggs in one basket after realising a top four finish was beyond them.
However, fans will be expecting Man United to be back in the title hunt for the first time since Alex Ferguson’s retirement and with a couple of quality signings to their squad such as Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic, I think they will be back in the mix.
There will be a big season ahead for Paul Pogba in the middle of the park, while promising striker Marcus Rashford will be out to prove why he is one of the hottest young strikers in England.
However, there is still worries about their defence and I think they are still one or two quality players away from being certain champions. It will be a close run race towards the end of the season, but Mourinho’s first title in Manchester might have to wait another season.
1. Man City
Pep Guardiola’s first season in England did not go quite to plan as the pre-season favourites failed to live up to expectations, but the former Barcelona head coach will be hoping to learn from last season’s mistakes.
The former Bayern Munich gaffer has now got a sense of what the Premier League is like and after splashing the cash to add much-needed improvement to the Man City defence, the trophy could be heading back to the Etihad Stadium.
Kyle Walker is a quality addition at right back, while they also forked out over £50m to land Monaco left-back Benjamin Mendy. There will also be a big season ahead for John Stones, as he aims to prove why Man City forked out £47.5m to sign him last summer.
They have some great striker options including promising Brazilian Gabriel Jesus and 20-goal man Sergio Aguero, while Bernardo Silva is another quality addition to their already impressive attacking midfield options.
There is a question mark over their defensive midfield but Guardiola’s side still have enough quality in this squad to be one of the favourites for the title. I think it will be a Manchester battle for the title and I think it will be Man City to clinch a fifth Premier League title come May.
Do you agree with my choice for the title? Who do you think will be the champions next May? Let me know by leaving a comment below and please check back tomorrow as I preview the opening weekend of the new season.