Haaland embracing life out of 'comfort zone'
For all the global appeal and excitement the Premier League generates, there is a clear danger that the dominance of Manchester City and Liverpool reaches a level of repetitiveness that undermines the competitive appeal of England's top flight.
The other members of the so-called "Big Six", however, are determined that when the action returns on Friday, with Arsenal taking on Crystal Palace, they can to least close the gap and begin to restore the unpredictable element that has been at the heart of the league's popularity.
City have won four of the last five titles with Liverpool's lockdown success in 2020, the only interruption to the dominance of Pep Guardiola's team.
Not since Chelsea triumphed in 2017, a year after Leicester City's utterly unexpected title, has the Premier League had a winner from outside the two North West clubs.
Chelsea's success was masterminded by manager Antonio Conte and the Italian coach, now in North London with Tottenham Hotspur, is hoping he can again disrupt the dominance of Pep Guardiola and Juergen Klopp.
Spurs finished fourth last term, securing a return to the Champions League, but their improvement under Conte and smart moves in the market have created the belief that they can further improve.
Premier League clubs have splashed an estimated £1 billion ($1.2 billion) in the arms race for new talent ahead of the start to the 2022-23 season on Friday, but champions City remain the side to beat.
After winning four league titles in five years, Pep Guardiola's squad has been bolstered by the biggest name arrival of the summer in Erling Haaland.
The Norwegian had his choice of Europe's top clubs after scoring 85 goals in 88 games for Borussia Dortmund and followed in the footsteps of his father Alf Inge -- a former City captain -- to the blue side of Manchester.
Haaland may have had a debut to forget as he missed a glaring opportunity towards the end of City's 3-1 Community Shield defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, but Guardiola warned the pretenders to his side's throne that "the goals will come".
Haaland has also warned the contenders to Manchester City's title that he will only improve in the competitive environment of English football as the Norwegian prepares for his Premier League debut away to West Ham on Sunday.
Haaland is the marquee arrival to the Premier League from over £1 billion ($1.2 billion) spent by the 20 top-flight English clubs so far this summer.
The 22-year-old had his pick of top clubs after scoring 86 goals in 89 games for Borussia Dortmund, but said the demands of playing under Pep Guardiola was behind his reason for choosing City.
"As a young player, playing for Pep Guardiola, playing for the best club in England, I have to keep developing and get better at a lot of things," Haaland told Sky Sports.
"That's what I like a lot about football, you can always develop, you can always get better at the game."