Alex Livesey/Getty Images
As I mentioned before, I think the title this year will come down to a three-horse race—most likely just a two-horse race between the Manchester clubs. Having said that, let's take a look at the chances for the top sides in the EPL this year.
With big acquisitions in Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, Arsenal have put themselves in a great position to challenge once again this year. They have lost key striker and captain Robin van Persie, however, and haven't really done anything to help themselves defensively this summer. So whilst I can see this club finishing top four, I can't see them challenging for the title.
Fresh off their Cup-winning double season last year, Chelsea have again made big offseason moves—bringing in Eden Hazard, Oscar and Marko Marin to their already star-studded attack. They have one of the best defenses in the league on their day, though I think it will take some time for their new signings to all gel together this year. Fernando Torres will have a better year this year, but I can't see the Blues finishing any higher than third.
City have kept the same squad and the same management that won them the league title last year, so who's to say they can't do the same again this year? The Citizens were dominant in defense and clinical at the Etihad and enter the season as the deserved favorites to repeat their Premier League success.
Trying to stop them will be Manchester United, who will no doubt be buoyed on by last year's heartbreaking loss on goal difference. The Red Devils now have Kagawa and Van Persie and will certainly offer more in attack this year—plus they have Nemanja Vidic back from injury on the defensive side as well. If any side is going to stop City this year, it will be United.
Newcastle aren't quite there for me, so the last side to watch will be Tottenham. They've ditched Harry Redknapp for former Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, who is seeming to start his Spurs career off on a great note. They've kept Gareth Bale, Rafael van der Vaart and potentially Luka Modric all for this season—plus they've brought in Gylfi Sigurdsson and Jan Vertonghen.
This is a strong side, though there are question marks about consistency and cohesion. I think they're still another year away, but could shock many this year with their performances.