By Chima Azu
The new EPL season 2023/2024 just started with one round of matches already played and looking at the performances of other top teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool, Manchester city is still the team to beat this season with their convincing victory over Burnley and their recent UEFA Super Cup triumph.
MANCHESTER UNITED :
Manchester united labored to a 1-0 win over Wolves who had better chances to seal all three points if converted and had a possible penalty that wasn’t given.
Although they had and abysmal performance, United reinforcement aside Onana doesn’t seem like they will add much quality that will improve the team. Mason Mount against Wolves struggled to neither keep possession nor create chances for his attackers. He was dispossessed of the ball on several occasions and did little to help Casemiro and Bruno in the midfield.
Rasmus Hojlund seem like a good acquisition on paper but for a player that struggles to score double figures of goals in less tactical leagues, how well is he going to excel in a more demanding league? The top nine position has been one area Erik’s team need to fortify the new number nine doesn’t look like who can push United for the title.
Liverpool played out a 1-1 draw against Chelsea over the weekend and started like a house on fire by scoring first and almost getting the second before it was chopped off for offside.
With the two new acquisitions (McAllister and Szoboslai) there was little or no improvement from the Liverpool of last season. Kloop’s questionable tactics, error prone defense and a struggling midfield if not nipped in the bud as soon as possible will rule the Kops out as contenders this season.
The Gunners came close to winning the league last season after topping for so many months; they have started the new season quite well by defeating Manchester City in the Community Shield and also held on to secure all three points against Nottingham Forest.
The EPL title would be Arteta’s main objective this season that’s why they broke the bank to sign Declan Rice, Timber and Raya to add more quality and depth to the team.
However the attack is one area where they still fall short; with Jesus mostly out injured players like Havertz and Nketiah cannot win you titles. Arsenal would need to strengthen in attack if they want to be one of the contenders for the trophy but they still look like the only team that can push City for the title.
Playing out a score draw against Liverpool with a spirited performance in the second half, Chelsea currently looks rejuvenated with new coach Mauricio Pochettino. With so many new quality signings within 26 and below it means the team will ooze a lot of hunger and energy.
Also with a lot of players jostling for positions that will ensure all players will give their best when called upon. However, these players will need time to understand the league understand each other and the coach’s tactics before they can gel into a formidable team that can compete for the title. That might not happen this season and if it will, other contenders would have gathered points way beyond their reach to compete for the title.
Conclusively, although Pep has lost one of his top players in Gundogan and Mahrez, City still look like the team to beat this season. Filling Gundogan’s boot won’t be an easy task but Kovacic can also bring in something different to the team and already looks like his been part of the squad for ages. Haaland has continued where he left off from last season by scoring a brace against Burnley. Gvardiol has been added to the defense and it is as solid as solid as ever. Cole Palmer filling the big boots left by Mahrez already; with more quality additions to the team and a fit De Bruyne it looks like there is no stopping City for the EPL trophy this season.