Going into the 2022-23 Premier League season, the stakes appear to be very high for a number of clubs vying for a top-four finish.
Manchester City and Liverpool were so far ahead of the competition last season that it would take an extremely unlikely event, such as the Reds’ injury problems in 2020-21, for either team to be in danger of missing out on Champions League football. However, the remaining positions are highly uncertain.
The last time a team other than City, Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, or Tottenham took one of the top four spots was in the 2015-16 season. Some may be hoping that this is their year, even though another outsider’s success will be difficult.
Chelsea’s upcoming season does not look promising, despite the fact that they were the closest contenders to the top two last year. Even though they had played one more game than Liverpool following their January 2 draw, they were still 18 points behind Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Along the way, Roman Abramovich’s media appearances for issues the club was probably unhappy with served as a significant diversion. Even so, little has changed since the oligarch handed over control to Todd Boehly.
We don’t know how Boehly will react to poor performance or whether he’ll be as rash with the gun as Abramovich was at times. However, a similarly poor start would almost certainly increase the pressure on the former PSG manager, who only managed 15 points in the final 10 games of last season.
Chelsea has a slight advantage over Arsenal because it finished fifth last season, five points ahead of them. However, the gap is not as wide as they had hoped, and they may need more points than the 74 they scored the previous season to secure a place in the Champions League the following year.
Despite the high cost of Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly, the Blues needed major changes this summer rather than minor tweaks. There are concerns about other players in the squad, and the loss of Antonio Rudiger could be significant, especially given that the club has let three younger central defenders go in recent years, and a fourth when Andreas Christensen’s contract expired.
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