City remain the team to beat
Defending champions Manchester City will be gunning for their 8th Premier League title as they fixate to build following their coveted treble-winning season.
Pep Guardiola's side became only the second English club to win a treble after city rivals Manchester United achieved the feat in the 1998-99 season.
United backed it up by clinching the league the following season, and all eyes this time would very naturally be on City to do the same. However, Guardiola's task has become stiffer as potential candidates who would look to challenge the reigning European champions have all brought in significant reinforcements to help their cause as the 2023-24 season has just got underway.
Arsenal, who pushed City to the limit last season in the league, won the curtain-raiser of the season, the Community Shield, on August 6 to bring Mikel Arteta only his second win against Guardiola's City in 10 meetings.
City have rarely had to rely on other sides for their destiny as they have consistently managed to churn out success with fluid football but they also have an interesting record to help them envision lifting another league title.
In the last decade, no side other than themselves have won the league after clinching the Community Shield! City were the ones to do it in the 2018-19 season.
Guardiola, in an interview previously, credited a big part of his success to his mentality of upgrading or bringing in fresh players to the side after a successful season. "When did you see me with the same squad after winning the league?" Pep had asked.
With club captain Ilkay Gundogan and winger Riyad Mahrez having left, City have brought in Chelsea's Mateo Kovacic and defender Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig as reinforcements and upgrades, with potentially more coming in.
Despite Arsenal being the only real contender last time around, City turned around a five-point deficit and clinched the crown but they are set to have at least a few more teams, who look the part to pose a serious challenge to Pep Guardiola this time around.
Arsenal have made serious reinforcements to their side too, making their intentions clear with a statement signing when they roped in West Ham captain Declan Rice for 105 million pounds after getting the signature of Kai Havertz from London rivals Chelsea.
With the new-found belief of actually being able to compete against City for the Premier League title, Arteta's Arsenal have gained that attitude adjustment and would look to go for the title with a much more refined group, not just a young, talented bunch.
Rivals Chelsea were eagerly waiting for the transfer window to begin after a mishap of a season that saw them being managed by four different managers. The Blues cashed in big time on the window as they staged a squad overhaul where they let go of as many as 17 players, with 13 of those being permanent offloads as owner Todd Boehly takes a second chance to get their new beginning off to a less tumultuous start.
However, the one position that has haunted The Blues over the years -- the number nine curse -- is yet again at the forefront as French striker Christopher Nkunku was ruled out owing to a knee injury leaving Nicolas Jackson with the onus of leading the line. As shirt numbers were revealed last Tuesday, it was evident that no one wanted to even try spurning the curse as all forwards snubbed the number nine shirt!
A young side, with a new manager in Mauricio Pochettino, Chelsea's primary objective this season has to be to get back to competing with Europe's best.
Another side that has been crying out for a striker has finally managed to land one ahead of the new season. Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag's demands were met when Danish striker Rasmus Hojlund was brought in as United's most expensive signing of the summer so far.
Ten Hag's struggles to instil his ideology and system have been evident throughout last season as the Red Devils try to work out the puzzle to get back to their former glories with the resources they have.
One of the biggest resurgences of the 2022-23 was Eddie Howe's Newcastle, who maintained remarkable consistency to cement a place in Europe after an absence of almost two decades.
With both feet on the ground, Newcastle have remained measured so far in the market, with an exception in the form of signing Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali for 55 million pounds followed by Leicester City's Harvey Barnes for 44 million pounds. These signings, however impressive, infer their desire to solidify a top-six finish in the Premier League.
Liverpool's fall from grace saw the Merseyside team make a shuffle in terms of recruitment. A handful of outgoings have made way for some new, exciting incomings -- World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai. With the top four on the primary agenda, Liverpool also have the chance of getting back to the Champions League by winning the Europa League.
Eyes on the prize is the name of the game but another season of traditional top six teams aspiring to reach City standards might just be the case, while the Citizens look to push themselves and surpass their own standards as they eye their sixth title in seven years.