Will Manchester City retain their Premier League crown?

The transfer window is now firmly closed to teams until January, which means the focus is totally on the actual games for now. Last season’s Premier League champs Manchester City look impressive again, although the teams that pushed them close last time – Liverpool and Chelsea – also seem ready to challenge once more. You will get odds of 11/4 from bookmakers on Manuel Pellegrini’s side bringing the title back to the Etihad again, but which are the sides that might stop them in their tracks?

Well, runners-up Liverpool (11/1) look like they might be stronger this season – as the money from the Suarez sale has let Brendan Rodgers reinforce the defence that proved their undoing last time (as well as recruiting Ballotelli). Of course he can be flaky, but many expect Rodgers to handle him better than Roberto Mancini did. Chelsea (4/5) have also rebuilt during the summer, and have the talismanic figure of Jose Mourinho at the helm at Stamford Bridge. Diego Costa has made an electric start and promises the goals the Blues lacked last year – while Cesc Fabregas gives them greater drive and creativity in the centre. You also cannot rule out Manchester United at 12/1, although they are rebuilding under new boss Van Gaal, or the revived Arsenal (11/1).

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