Premier League 2023/24 Preview: Can Arsenal Or Liverpool Stop Manchester City's Juggernaut?
Premier League 2023/24 Preview: Can Anyone Stop Manchester City’s Juggernaut?

The Emirates Stadium is a place that is buzzing with hope and excitement.

The summer flew, and the autumn brings with itself a palpable sense of excitement, as the wheels of the Premier League that had gathered dust in the last two months are all set to whirr and whizz. Songs will be sung, banners will unfurl, new challengers will emerge again, but how many of them have what it takes to stop Manchester City’s juggernaut? This has been the constant theme for the last three seasons. How do you beat a club backed by a never-ending cash flow from a repressive petrochemical state? If the last three seasons are anything to go by, you can try your best and just wait for them to slip up. Arsenal came fleetingly close last season before but their reliance on a very small core of players came to bite them back. As the defending champion Manchester City takes on Burnley to kickstart the new season of the Premier League, we look at some of the most gripping storylines to follow.


Manchester City Without Gundogan & Mahrez



Manchester City will be venturing into the season without two of their most consistent players over the years, Ilkay Gundogan and Riyad Mahrez. The duo averaged 16 goals and 9.6 assists in their last five seasons at the club and offered an immense squad depth. Pep Guardiola identified the Croatian midfielder from Chelsea, Matteo Kovacic, as the replacement for Gundogan. While there’s no doubt about Kovacic’s ability, the question is how long does he take to settle himself at his new club. The midfield has surely taken a hit this season, and it would be interesting to see what tactical masterpiece Guardiola pulls out of his hat to tackle this problem. 


Arsenal Are Not Messing Around



Despite the heart-wrenching surrendering of what could have been their first title in close to two decades, the Emirates Stadium is a place that is buzzing with hope and excitement. Under the ruthless Mikel Arteta, Arsenal could now dare to dream. The imposing presence of Declan Rice will add much-needed defensive solidity in the midfield, while also allowing greater freedom to Bukayo Saka and Martin Odegaard. Last season it was their defence that went missing after the World Cup break, and Arteta hasn’t done much to add more depth to this department. Instead, they doubled down on their attacking philosophy and acquire Kai Havertz.


What About Liverpool?



Liverpool suddenly hit the wall and then somehow staggered their way to the fifth-position finish. To reclaim the highs of the Jurgen Klopp era look like a steep climb since they have already gone in the transition phase, with the departure of constants like Jordan Peterson, Fabinho, Naby Keita, and Roberto Firmino. They have added Dominik Szoboszlai from Leipzig and Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton to fill the void that has been carved in their midfield. They are not done yet, however. Liverpool shocked everyone by putting up the highest bid for Brighton’s midfielder Moises Caicedo. Their midfield surely looks like the one to overrun, but their defence still doesn’t inspire much confidence. If Salah continues his pre-season form, Nunez finds his rhythm, and luck favours them in injury, they could very well pull out a surprise. Too many ifs!


Is Rasmus Hojlund The Answer To Man Utd’s Striking Woes?



Manchester United finally appear to be a coherent unit with a vision and purpose under the Dutch manager Erik ten Hag, who knows what he wants and isn’t shy about taking bold decisions. Last season, they struggled mainly in front of the goal, with their strikers Anthony Martial and Wout Weghorst notching up just six goals in close to 1500 minutes of play. They responded by bringing in Rasmus Hojlund from Atalanta, a young and physically imposing striker who’s not a proven talent but possesses a very high ceiling. The inclusion of Mason Mount adds dynamism and another goal-scoring threat to their midfield.


Teams Outside Big Six To Watch Out For



It has to be Brighton. Last season a sixth-place finish secured them their first-ever European qualification, and they will be itching to leave their mark. However, they have lost Alexis Mac Allister and Moises Caicedo to Liverpool, and they surely don’t have a bench strength like elite clubs to cope with such big departures. This is where the tactical astuteness of their manager Roberto de Zerbi will come in handy.


Fresh Start For Chelsea



After a tumultuous start to the post-Abrahmovic era, not many are sure of what to expect from Chelsea this season. It was an eventful transfer window where they lost veteran midfielders, N’Golo Kante and Matteo Kovacic, but they have some of the most promising young talents already stacked up. They also have a perfect coach in Mauricio Pochettino to hone these talents. 

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