It’s finally here! The 2022-23 Premier League season kicks off on Friday with Crystal Palace hosting Arsenal and this summer has been a quiet revolution up and down the table. From new signings to notable departures, from big clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool trying to reinvent themselves to ongoing projects at Arsenal and Tottenham, there’s a lot to discuss. Who will win the league? How does each team compare to last season?

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With important Premier League questions for the team guide, we’ll get you ready for kickoff on Friday.

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Jump on: Topical issues | Command Guide

Topical issues

1. Will Manchester City and Liverpool be able to keep the rest at arm’s length?

When City sealed their fourth Premier League title in five seasons in May, their total of 93 points was the sixth-best total in the competition’s history. Liverpool finished just one point clear of third place Chelsea by 18 points. Of the eight highest points in Premier League history, six have been achieved by these two clubs in the last five seasons, including all four of the best. City and Liverpool’s goal difference of +73 and +68 respectively places them both in the top five in league history. (The city monopolized the top three.)

As if all that wasn’t enough for the rest of the league, City signed Erling Haaland, the most promising player in the world, who scored 86 goals in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund, as well as Julián Alvarez, the most promising player. in South America, who scored six goals in one Copa Libertadores match, which was one of his last appearances for River Plate. Meanwhile, Liverpool have signed Darwin Nunez, a striker who scored 32 goals in 38 games for Benfica last season, including goals against Barcelona, ​​Bayern, Ajax and his new employers.

With the other top six clubs from last season all in various stages of transition, can any of them challenge the city/Liverpool duopoly that the pair have been able to build up again from such a strong position?

2. Will Erik ten Hag be able to start recovery without falling further behind?

It’s hard to believe that United are the only club other than City and Liverpool to finish in the top two in the last five seasons. Not only that, they did it twice. Still, a sixth-place finish last season means manager Erik ten Hag is starting at the lowest level with the club.

The former Ajax manager has remained in contact with the Eredivisie after his summer deals: Lisandro Martinez followed from Amsterdam, Tyrell Malasia from Feyenoord and even Christian Eriksen started his career in the Dutch capital. Several high-profile personalities and longtime players have been sacked since last season came to a halt under interim boss Ralf Rangnick, but settling the future of Cristiano Ronaldo, who has said he wants to leave despite trying to find any interested clubs, may be the most important part. United’s transfer business this summer.

It will be difficult for Ten Hag to implement his style of play in a team that has a 37-year-old striker, but can he risk doing without last season’s top scorer, who scored more than twice as many goals as anyone else in the championship? club?

Even if Ten Hag can get his house in order in time, that’s not all. He told Sportzshala’s Rob Dawson this summer that one of his key goals is to “regain confidence” at Old Trafford, but there’s little cause for optimism looking at their arch-rivals for a top-four spot next season.

3. Will we see the highest scoring Golden Boot race in years?

Since Mohamed Salah shocked everyone in his first season at Liverpool by scoring 32 Premier League goals and winning the 2017/18 Golden Boot, the numbers needed to win the award have returned to normal. Salah shared the prize with fellow Africans Sadio Mane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the following season, despite scoring 10 fewer goals (22) while he needed just one more to get it a third time ( with Son Heung-min) deadline. (That number, 23, was also enough to make Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy top scorers in the previous two campaigns.)

– O’Hanlon: Premier League top players, 97-71 (E+)
– Ogden: How ready are the big six for the new season?
– Johnson: What’s new in the Premier League for 2022-23

All this is a long way from the days when a leading striker for a top club could make 30 goals a realistic goal, but it promises to return this season. Haaland has averaged almost a goal per game in the Bundesliga while at Dortmund (22 goals in 24 games last season and 62 in 67 games overall), so his own problems with injuries. Nuñez’s 26 goals in 28 league games for Benfica last season is also colossal, although he needs a strong start to wipe out all rumors of a “one-season miracle”.

The Tottenham son will keep himself up to at least last season’s level as Spurs went through a full pre-season under Antonio Conte while his teammate Kane aims to equal Thierry Henry’s record of four Golden Boots “. At Arsenal, Gabriel Jesus has a chance to fully confirm his status as the Gunners’ best striker as the Gunners’ undisputed number 9, with a constantly changing line-up of busy young midfielders working to create chances for him.

Chelsea don’t have an obvious candidate for this race, but in Raheem Sterling, 27, they now have a player who scored 20 league goals the previous season and is approaching his peak age. In addition, if Ronaldo stays at Manchester United this summer, then we will also have the best scorer of our time. And we can’t rule out a peripheral rival either: after scoring 43 goals in the Championship last season, can Aleksandar Mitrovic finally make his mark in the top flight with Fulham after two previous failed attempts?

4. Can a revamped Newcastle United beat the big six?

It shouldn’t be difficult for Eddie Howe to start this season at Newcastle United better than his predecessor Steve Bruce did last season. Without winning his first nine games of the season before the club was taken over by the Saudi-backed PFI, Bruce was granted one farewell match at St James’ Park in the form of a 3–2 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur before being sacked. . After two draws and a defeat under guardian Graham Jones, Howe was named the man to lead Newcastle into a bold new era.

The former Bournemouth manager had just won one win before the opening of the January transfer window – a 1-0 home win over Burnley – but mid-season arrivals of Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimarães and Dan Burn, and the sale of Joelinton after Misfires The striker developed into a versatile central midfielder, prompting Newcastle to pick up another 12 wins and secure a comfortable mid-table spot. The transfer business has been just as smart this summer, with England goalkeeper Nick Pope from Burnley and Matt Target’s loan from Aston Villa made permanent, with defender Sven Botman the closest thing to a glamorous and opulent foreign contract.

These signings are not meant to make the average fan’s heart skip a beat, but they reinforce Newcastle’s rapid improvement in the first half of the year and give them a real platform to become ‘best of the rest’ this season. And if they manage to camp below the top six this season, the next phase of the PFI plan will come into effect in the next summer window. Plus, if they can surprise everyone by looking like third-party bets on the top four in January, who knows what they can do to kickstart their campaign?

Howe is too sensible to look too far ahead, and he can’t afford to do so: matches against Man City and Liverpool until the end of August will be his focus.

5. Can the conflict between the Premier League and the Championship stop?

This will be the fifth successive season in the Premier League to feature Fulham or Norwich City, but never in that time have both clubs been in the top flight at the same time. These two clubs, plus Watford and West Bromwich Albion, form a group of clubs that have bounced back and forth between the top two tiers of English football over the past few years without ever establishing themselves in either. Bournemouth – on their second try this season – and Burnley could also be part of that group if they switch divisions again next summer.

For those clubs that regularly receive Premier League parachute payments – perhaps in addition to the generous support of their owners – it is becoming increasingly difficult to break out of this purgatory as all other Premier League clubs get richer and the chasm widens. between the Big Six and the rest means that fewer points are actually available to new parties.

The aforementioned Mitrovic will be key to Fulham’s chances of staying afloat – though it was said the last time they came to an end and the time before. If the Serbian international can score at least half of the 43 league goals he scored last season, Marco Silva’s team may have something to fall back on.

— Tony Mabert

Command Guide

Jump on: Arsenal | Aston Villa | Bournemouth | brentford | Brighton | Chelsea | crystal palace | Everton | Fulham | Leeds United | Leicester City | Liverpool | Manchester city | Manchester United | Newcastle | Nottingham Forest | Southampton | Tottenham | West Ham | Wolves


– Transfers to: FW Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), ZF Oleksandr Zinchenko (Manchester City), MF Fabio Vieira (Porto), GK Matt Turner (New England Revolution), FW marquinhos (Sao Paulo)
– Transfers outside: MF Matteo Guendouzi (Marseille), defender Dinos Mavropanos (Stuttgart), defender Daniel Ballard (Sunderland), goalkeeper Bernd Leno (Fulham)
– Last season: Premier League (fifth), FA Cup (third round), Carabao Cup (semi-final)

Will they be better or worse this season?

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