Caption: Last season, Manchester City’s Champions League campaign finally took off
The last season has only just come to its dramatic climax, but already thoughts are turning to the next instalment of England’s top tier of football. There is a reason the EPL is one of, if not the biggest sports betting markets in the world. And that is because there is guaranteed to have surprises and drama at both ends of the league table. So what are the stories to look out for in the 2023/2024 season?
Can Manchester City Continue their Dominance?
Last season was the one Pep Guardiola and Manchester City finally got their hands on the Champions League. In fact, the League Cup was the only piece of silverware that they could have got that they didn’t. The way they finished the season it is hard to imagine anyone wresting the title off them next season, but let’s not forget that for much of the year, they were behind Arsenal. If the Gunners do manage to improve, and if the other contenders step up, not only will there be more competition for top spot, but they will inevitably drop more points. There is also the strong possibility that one or more important players will leave the Etihad this summer.
Guardiola, a man credited with changing the game, with his use of data and analysis as well as his ability to always reinvent his team will not stand still, and he will no doubt have a surprise up his sleeve.
Was Arsenal’s Season a Flash in the Pan?
Now Arsenal fans have had the chance to get over the disappointment of those final few weeks, and can reflect on the season as a whole they will realise it was one of promise and success. Even though it did end in them meekly surrendering their title challenge. Arteta has already made signings and more will come as he looks to bolster the depth of his squad. It was that lack of strength on the bench that ultimately cost his side last season and he won’t want to come unstuck again, if they find themselves in the lead as they enter the last few games next time around.
If he can turn last season into a positive in terms of the mindset his team will go into next season, if he can get the players thinking of themselves as potential title winners then he will be halfway there. A few good transfers, and that bit of luck that is always needed, could be the difference from being runners up to ultimately winning their first title since Arsene Wenger’s time at the helm.
Will Manchester United Be A Force?
Caption: Are the good times returning to Old Trafford?
A third place finish looked an impossibility when Brentford humbled them 4 – 0 last August. Erik ten Hag managed to turn his team’s fortunes around, however. With that third place, a League Cup in the trophy cabinet and a FA Cup final appearance, Manchester United fans could be forgiven for thinking they had a more successful campaign than Arsenal fans.
What ten Hag will be looking for, much the same as Arteta, is to use last season as a springboard for an even better one next time. Champions League football will be a welcome return to Old Trafford, but it is the league that they will be looking to make the greatest gains. It is a competition they still expect to be fighting for, but one they have fallen far too short in ever since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.
What About Last Season’s Underperformers?
Last season was as much about those teams who underperformed as much as those that met or exceeded expectations. Liverpool will be disappointed with their fifth place, but the last quarter of the season suggested that they had rediscovered their mojo.
That was anything but the case with Chelsea. London may be awash with tourist and film locations, but last season, Stamford Bridge was a very happy hunting ground for the rest of the league, despite spending more than half a billion pounds on transfers.
Tottenham will be hoping their new manager will be able to get a tune out of his team, something that the previous incumbents have continually failed to do.
Whatever happens, it will be a fascinating watch, and one that thanks to technology, will be accessible to everyone no matter where they are.