Jorginho will be pulling the strings in the Chelsea midfield.
Jorginho will be pulling the strings in the Chelsea midfield.

Robbie Slater’s ultimate Premier League guide

TOO much football is never enough. Following the excitement of the World Cup, the Premier League kick-off is just a week away. Check out title winner Robbie Slater's ultimate guide:

TITLE CHALLENGE

Liverpool

After the heartbreak of losing a Champions League final this new chapter promises to be exciting. Jurgen Klopp has made a massive transfer-market statement, outlaying a total $400 million on Brazilian World Cup star goalkeeper Alisson, Naby Keita, Fabinho and Xherdan Shaqiri. Champions in the making.

Key player: Mo Salah

Key signing: Alisson Becker ($118m from Roma)

Manchester City

Pep Guardiola is set to shift some focus to the Champions League. Last season was the best in history, a flawless campaign with 100 points and most goals scored. Now he'll be desperate to prove he can win in Europe with an English club. Good for second place.

Key player: Leroy Sane

Key signing: Riyad Mahrez ($106m from Leicester)

Riyad Mahrez will add to the Manchester City campaign.
Riyad Mahrez will add to the Manchester City campaign.

Manchester United

Finished 19 points behind City and enduring a rough pre-season, losing 4-1 to Liverpool in the US. Talk of third-season syndrome is starting to plague Jose Mourinho and if they don't win something this time the Portuguese grouch is as good as gone.

Key player: Paul Pogba

Key signing: Fred ($94m from Shakhtar Donetsk)

Tottenham

It's days before the transfer window slams shut but are Spurs still on holidays? Movements in the market have been non-existent. Mauricio Pochettino's football philosophy has w

on over the fans but sooner or later they'll demand trophies.

Key player: Harry Kane

Key signing: None

EUROPEAN PLACE

Arsenal

The ultimate unknown. Arsene Wenger is finally out and former Paris Saint Germain manager Unai Emery fills the Frenchman's big but too-old boots. The long-suffering Gunners faithful will view this as a fresh start and, though the ride might be bumpy at first, trust is key. Might surprise.

Key player: Mesut Ozil

Key signing: Lucas Torreira ($30m from Sampdoria)

Mesut Ozil will be key for Arsenal.
Mesut Ozil will be key for Arsenal.

Chelsea

It's no surprise Antonio Conte is gone. His replacement Maurizio Sarri has brought creative midfielder Jorginho with him from Napoli. The biggest hurdle Chelsea face is keeping all their stars with Willian, N'Golo Kante and Eden Hazard at the centre of heavy transfer rumours.

Key player: Eden Hazard

Key signing: Jorginho ($88m from Napoli)

 

West Ham

Looked at risk of battling the drop at one stage last season and it didn't take long for Slaven Bilic to get the axe. Better things to come under Manuel Pellegrini and having made a statement in the transfer market with a few good recruits including Jack Wilshere and Lukasz Fabianski.

Key player: Marko Arnautovic

Key signing: Felipe Anderson ($62m from Lazio)

MID-TABLE FINISH

Everton

A club in transition. Finished a respectable eighth last season and that was before Sam Allardyce got the sack. His replacement Marco Silva will do everything he can to keep Jordan Pickford after the England goalkeeper's impressive World Cup, while Wayne Rooney has left for the US.

Key player: Jordan Pickford

Key signing: Richarlison ($70m from Watford)

Everton will be without Wayne Rooney.
Everton will be without Wayne Rooney.

Wolverhampton

With strong signings come strong hope, and there's suggestions the Wolves could enjoy a first year back in the top flight. This will be markedly more challenging than The Championship, which they won in a stroll, but there's reason for optimism.

Key player: Joao Moutinho

Key signing: Rui Patricio (from Sporting Lisbon)

Bournemouth

These minnows defied low expectations under the likeable Eddie Howe, who steered them to 12th on the back of resilience and comebacks aplenty. Benik Afobe has been lost to Stoke and Howe could yet dabble in the transfer market.

Key player: Nathan Ake

Key signing: Diego Rico ($18.8m from Leganes)

Newcastle

Rafa Benitez is revered on Tyneside after pulling off a Houdini-like escape from a dire relegation dogfight. But can he continue to perform minor miracles on a painfully limited budget? A season of discontent is on the cards unless owner Mike Ashley relents.

Key player: Jamaal Lascelles

Key signing: Martin Dubravka ($7m from Sparta Prague)

Can Rafael Benitez and Jamaal Lascelles help keep Newcastle in the Premier League?
Can Rafael Benitez and Jamaal Lascelles help keep Newcastle in the Premier League?

Fulham

Slavisa Jokanovic has secured promotion through the play-offs but, unlike many in his situation, is aiming higher than survival. Recent acquisitions appear shrewd - Andre Schurrle is in on loan from Borussia Dortmund and Spanish goalkeeper Fabri has been signed on the cheap from Besiktas

Key player: Jean Michael Seri

Key signing: Aleksandar Mitrovic ($40m from Newcastle)

Leicester

Remnants of the team that won the 2015-16 trophy are fast fading and Claude Puel has lost his star player Riyad Mahrez to Manchester City. Puel survived the chop after rumours he'd be sacked but needs to steady the ship quick smart.

Key player: Jamie Vardy

Key signing: James Maddison ($39m from Norwich)

Crystal Palace

The loss of key players, including Yohan Cabaye, leaves Palace in a precarious position. But all signs say they're in a better place than 12 months ago, and when you start a season with a record-breaking seven-game scoreless losing streak it's not that hard.

Key player: Wilfried Zaha

Key signing: Cheikhou Kouyate (undisclosed from West Ham)

DROP-ZONE BATTLE

Watford

Richarlison's move to Everton comes as a blow but at least he commanded a decent fee, and Javi Gracia already has several new arrivals with more cash to spend. The squad appears stronger than last season but it's still unlikely to be enough.

Key player: Gerard Deulofeu

Key signing: Gerard Deulofeu ($20.4m from Barcelona)

Huddersfield

A whisker away from relegation last out and David Wagner, who saved his side's skin in the last couple of games, will want to save his heart this time around. Tom Ince is a big loss in the middle but Adama Diakhaby is a gain.

Key player: Aaron Mooy

Key signing: Terence Kongolo ($20.5 from Monaco)

Brighton

Australia's Mat Ryan was critical during testy times in Brighton's first season back in the Premier League, and he'll have to be consistent again. And while Iranian international Alireza Jahanbakhsh is a good get this could be a battle.

Key player: Mat Ryan

Key signing: Yves Bissouma ($35m from Lille)

Cardiff City

Old-school manager Neil Warnock is still toasting his record eighth promotion and will be out to stir the pot back on the big stage. Cardiff's last Premier League sojourn, in 2013-14, was short-lived. Whatever goes down this time, at least won't be dull.

Key player: Sean Morrison

Key signing: Josh Murphy ($19m from Norwich)

Burnley

Expectations are on the rise after a seventh-placed finish but could that be the most Sean Dyche could hope for this squad? Burnley took on and beat some of the biggest clubs and now return to European football for the first time in 51 years. Yet depth could be an issue if injuries hit.

Key player: Jack Cork

Key signing: Priced out

Southampton

After a dramatic escape from the drop, Southampton are looking to a new dawn under Mark Hughes. More arrivals are expected but last month's 3-0 pre-season loss to Derby County didn't exactly instil confidence.

Key player: Angus Gunn

Key signing: Mohamed Elyounoussi ($28m from Basel)