Some seven weeks after England’s disappointing World Cup exit, the Premier League returns again as Manchester United take on Swansea City at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon, while champions Manchester City are in action versus Newcastle United on Sunday.
Manuel Pellegrini’s City beat Liverpool to the title by two points in 2013-14 after a string of good results in the closing stages of the season saw them leapfrog Brendan Rodgers’ side, while Chelsea eventually had to settle for third spot.
The aforementioned three teams will all be dreaming of Premier League glory again in the new season, while Arsenal and Manchester United will also have set their sights on the title after spending heavily this summer.
The Premier League lost its undisputed star player in Luis Suarez, who left Liverpool for Barcelona, but there are still plenty of big names to be found in the English top flight, with the likes of Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard, Mesut Ozil, Wayne Rooney and Christian Eriksen as the standout names.
Meanwhile, the incoming transfers of players like Alexis Sanchez, Ander Herrera, Diego Costa, Cesc Fabregas, Lazar Markovic and Fernando are arguably the biggest deals of the English summer window, while the domestic moves of Luke Shaw, Calum Chambers, Adam Lallana, Dejan Lovren, Mathieu Debuchy and Ben Davies all have not gone unnoticed either.
Despite the presence of talented individuals such as Edin Dzeko, Alvaro Negredo, Stevan Jovetic and Aguero, however, it was not only Manchester City’s prolific attack that made the difference in 2013-14, yet their strength in defence as they conceded just 9.5 shots per game.
Their biggest title rivals Liverpool for example had to deal with 12.8 shots on average each game. In Europe’s top five leagues, only Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich did better than Pellegrini’s men defensively.
Want to keep track of all the key statistics in Europe’s top five leagues? Keep an eye out for the Huawei European Team Ranking, due to be launched in the first week of September.