The biggest and most followed football league in the world is back this weekend after a couple of month of inactivity. The Premier League has undergone several managerial changes in that time, and it will be exciting to see how the new bosses change and influence their new sides. For the first time in some 26 years the Premier League begins without Sir Alex Ferguson leading his Manchester United side onto the pitch. It will be difficult to see another man at the helm of the Red Devils, and that unenviable job has gone to David Moyes, and he will have to earn the respect and adoration of the Old Trafford immediately if he wishes to remain there much longer.
The British Premier League Odds
Manchester City 9/4
Manchester United 11/4
Manchester United will not be the only top side to enter the new campaign under new management, however, with joint-favourites Manchester City and Chelsea on the same boat. City boss Manuel Pellegrini replaces the man who brought league success to the blue half of Manchester for the first time, whereas the long awaited return of Jose Mourinho at Chelsea will inevitably raise a lot of interest in the media as well as among football fans.
It will be a long season, filled with many twists and turns, no doubt, for sides as well as punters, but this is the beauty of the game. It is difficult to see a side outside these top three challenging for the title, with Arsenal having done little in the transfer market to bolster their squad, and with the imminent departure of Welsh superstar Gareth Bale, Tottenham will not be the same side they were last season, despite having strengthened their squad much more than their London rivals.
Looking at the top three sides, the return of Mourinho at Chelsea will no doubt boost their chances this coming season, and the pre-season odds reflect this. A lot will depend on the relationship between Mourninho and Chelsea supremo Roman Abramovich, which negatively effected the Portuguese manager’s previous stint with the club. But should these two men be able to keep their egos in check, Mourinho and Chelsea have shown in the past that they can be a winning combination. Pellegrini will have a difficult task on his hands, having to meet the expectations of coaching the richest club in the world, and has been given a few presents for his arrival, not least the signing of Stevan Jovetic from Fiorentina, who could with Sergio Aguero make up one of the strongest attacking forces in Europe this season.
Looking at the other end of the table, it will be interesting to see how the newcomers fare. The battle for the top newcomer will be an interesting on to follow as the season progresses, with Cardiff (8/11), Hull (5/2) and Crystal Palace (10/3) first and foremost looking secure looking to secure their place in the top flight for the next season with strong starts, then looking to push for higher places. Cardiff will be buoyed by the prospect of a Welsh derby with Swansea and are perhaps the best placed of the new sides to cause a stir in the Premier League.
The opening week of the campaign kicks off on Saturday afternoon with Liverpool hosting Stoke, and ends on Monday night as Newcastle travel to Manchester to take on City. United travel to Swansea first up, while Chelsea host Hull. Arsenal, who will struggle to field eleven first team players due to injuries and a dormant transfer window to date, welcome Aston Villa to the Emirates.