The transfer season ahead of the new campaign is something that has had strange feel about it at times.
One moment it’s very quiet and not much business is being done then bang, they start to flow and clubs let loose.
I’m always intrigued as to how the new players settle and how quickly they do it.
Fans and clubs alike are looking for immediate success which adds pressure to what is already significant investments.
This season has been no different seasons but the standout newcomer to the Premier League is Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid.
Wasn’t nailed down for game time at Real, but has come with a big fee so can he score goals for Chelsea to give them a repeat season?
Manchester City started brilliantly last season with many thinking by how far they would win the league.
That slowly changes as the season got into gear and they may hold a favourites tag but this will be a very tight contest this season with the depth of title candidates expanding a little from previous years in my opinion.
City have recruited well and not overly heavy with players coming in.
Settle and settle quickly is key but teams get plenty of games in pre-season to allow for the new players to settle in.
There’ll be a winner from the top six (Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool) but if there’s a surprise, maybe a team like Everton could string a season together that takes a progressive step.
They have invested plenty and brought in some quality players from well-established leagues.
Wayne Rooney coming home can play a real positive for Everton this season.
I thought Leicester City would have a letdown last season and the two that could be left behind this season are Arsenal and Liverpool.
I say Liverpool until they show a trend of consistency otherwise they’ll always be a good team but not quite there.
Arsenal are probably in a position right now where there is more hope in the future.
They have some great young players coming through and I was very fortunate to see them up, close and personal here in Australia during the off-season.
Reiss Nelson looks very promising and Alexandre Lacazette ooks like a handy signing and should adapt to the Premier League without any real issue.
Of the newly promoted teams; Brighton & Hove Albion, Newcastle and Huddersfield Town, I expect Newcastle to be the better equipped than the other two.
Slightly biased being a club I played at but always big expectation on winning a trophy.
Newcastle’s trophy this year is cementing their position in the EPL and building.
I know they’re a massive club and I hope they’re the team that can hold their position from the newly-promoted teams.
Brighton and Huddersfield will have their work cut out but there’ll be a separate title race in the bottom half that will be just as important to all of them.
There are a host of stars in the EPL this season and someone will be looking to cement their name as the no.1 star of the league.
You’ll always get a couple of bolters but I’m really liking the signing of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.
He’s a man mountain that should thrive in the environment and tradition of such a great club like Man Utd.
He has a great all-round game with unbelievable power and I think if he starts the season by getting goals, he can be a standout.
So which lesser known player can make their mark?
This is the hardest question to answer as the EPL has great depth of quality but obviously there are some real standouts.
Hard to pinpoint a player but the French market keeps on throwing out players who do very well and aren’t household names in England.
They have their reputations back home but are a little less known in the UK.
I have no doubt that will change for a few players this season.
Which team outside of the big six and surprise?
Let’s not get carried away, but Everton can have a good season but I also believe that West Ham can also have a decent season.
They haven’t had wholesale changes but have bought in some quality in Javier Hernandez, Marko Arnautovic, Pablo Zabaleta and Joe Hart who will have plenty to prove.
Their experience could help them immensely this season.
Small contingent of Aussies in the EPL this season and I hope Aaron Mooy and the Aussie boys do very well but they’re in with the big boys and the class isn’t slowing down.
They’ll need to grow a leg at times and take their game to a new level to make telling impacts.
The experienced they’ll gain though and having the ability to hang in there and progress is the most important thing.
They need to perform well for themselves and their teams for the benefit of continuing to grow our game and profile of Australian players.
Premier League Winner
Unibet Odds: Manchester City 2.80, Manchester United 4.33, Chelsea 4.50, Tottenham 10.00, Arsenal 12.00, Liverpool 13.00, Everton 81.00, Leicester City 251.00, Southampton 251.00, Newcastle 501.00, West Ham 501.00, Stoke City 751.00, Bournemouth 1001, Crystal Palace 1001, Swansea City 1001, Watford 1001, West Bromwich 1001, Brighton & Hove Albion 1501, Burnley 1501, Huddersfield Town 1501
Tip: Manchester United
To score most goals in the competition
Unibet Odds: Harry Kane 3.75, Romelu Lukaku 6.00, Sergio Aguero 7.50, Alvaro Morata 9.00, Jesus Gabriel 10.00, Alexandre Lacazette 13.00, Alexis Sanchez 13.00, Diego Costa 15.00, Marcus Rashford 26.00, Michy Batshuayi 41.00, Manolo Gabbiadini 31.00, Oliver Giroud 41.00, Eden Hazard 41.00, Sadio Mane 41.00, Daniel Sturridge 41.00, Jamie Vardy 41.00, Wayne Rooney 81.00
Tip: Romelu Lukaku 6.00
Tips and Preview provided by UniBet. Read more about UniBet at https://www.justhorseracing.com.au/reviews/unibet