It is generally accepted that there is a new elite in the Premier League with various tiers within this set purported to rule for the next few seasons. There are seven but we know that while Tottenham Hotspur could push Liverpool or Arsenal, Mauricio Pochettino's side will most likely not finish above Manchester City or Chelsea. However, last season's top four along with Everton, Tottenham, and Manchester United are expected to make up a top seven. Will this happen or will there be any surprise teams that manage to break them up?
Liverpool weren't expected to finish in the top four let alone make a title challenge in the manner that the football world witnessed yet it was such a thrilling ride, one that looked like ending in glory. Alas, it was not to be but Liverpool reached the land of milk and honey. Interestingly, many football experts seem to think that Manchester United will regain a cherished top four spot at Liverpool's expense. Will Liverpool achieve successive top four finished under Brendan Rodgers or should the expectation for last season's number two team be higher than retaining top four status?
What of the one who should not be named who succeeded the one who wasn't to be named until his travails made it acceptable to invoke his name? Liverpool lost Fernando Torres for a sizeable fee but Luis Suárez took the mantle of goalscoring superstar. Suárez has left for Spain for the third biggest fee in football history to play alongside the fourth most expensive signing in history and Lionel Messi. Have Liverpool done enough in the transfer window to compete on multiple fronts without suffering too much? Will Daniel Sturridge continue to score goals at the astonishing rate we've witnessed thus far? Will he be durable enough for a potentially lengthy campaign? Perhaps predictions at this stage may be contingent on Liverpool's purchase of a striker to complement, fill in for, and push Liverpool's talented if sometimes fragile regular goalscorer?
What of Manchester City? Will they successfully defend their title? It was something they failed to do the last time they won the Premier League under Roberto Mancini and even Arsène Wenger's great title-winning Arsenal sides couldn't win successive league crowns. Defending the title. It is something José Mourinho did in his first spell at Chelsea but he hasn't won anything yet in his return to English football. Is the Portuguese charmer and instigator under pressure? His signings from Spain could bring the title to Stamford Bridge but if he fails, there could be trouble. Manuel Pellegrini proved he can win titles in Europe but surely the point of Mourinho is that his foibles are tolerated because he wins. What if he doesn't win?
There's someone who is back winning again and it's Wenger. An FA Cup and Community Shield have brought back that winning feeling and could this spur Arsenal to finish higher than fourth or third in the league? Manchester United have Louis van Gaal and a different formation in the club's pursuit of a minimum top four finish. Can Liverpool's arch rivals do it and who will most likely suffer if they do? Everton have retained key players through renewing contracts or buying loan 2013/14 loan stars. Roberto Martínez has brought a freshness to the side and built on the solid work done by David Moyes. Can Liverpool's Merseyside neighbours improve on fifth?
Tottenham have a new manager who is a disciple of the revered Marcelo Bielsa. The fluidity and fierce pressing that characterised his impressive Southampton side could push Tottenham on in the future but is this season too soon for Daniel Levy's customary demands? What of the likes of Southampton with the great but insanely profitable summer sale of 2014? Will Ronald Koeman prove to be the successor that Southampton needs and will the new signings make the impact needed? Newcastle have made some interesting additions and Alan Pardew will need to get off to a good start as he was extremely unpopular by the end of the season. Will the Toon Army spring a surprise or will another team make an unexpected push for one of the higher spots in the Premier League?
This season, the predictions are slightly different. Please make the following predictions if you dare.
Top eight in order:
Three relegated teams:
Premier League top scorer:
League Cup winner:
FA Cup winner:
Europa League winner:
Champions League winner:
Bonus question: How far will Liverpool go in the Champions League and domestic cups?
Good luck and it is difficult to make predictions when the transfer window is still open but there is a chance for prediction immortality as we'll revisit your observations at the end of the season. Tonight we dine in...forget it. Good luck!