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2. Manchester City
Is this the most open Premier League title race in recent memory? It might not be excessive to suggest that five teams could realistically top the league this season, making it maddeningly difficult (especially with two weeks still to go before games get underway) to pick apart the differences between the various contenders and pretenders.
Chelsea seem to have the backing of the majority of observers, encouraged by summer transfer activity that has seen them strengthen a number of key areas. There now appears to be no obvious weakness in Jose Mourinho's squad, and if Diego Costa proves to be the prolific striker most expect, the Blues will be hard to overcome.
However, as champions, Manchester City will surely expect to be there or thereabouts once again.
Manuel Pellegrini has also strengthened his squad, but after lucking into the title somewhat last season (realistically, Liverpool or Chelsea should have finished stronger), questions remain about Pellegrini's ability to inspire the team—especially now that the competition is stronger than ever. Still, if Sergio Aguero is fit, they will surely be too good to drop out of the top three.
That leaves Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool vying for third and fourth. At this stage, everyone will have a subjective opinion, but one suspects Manchester United still have reforming to do before they are ready to compete for the top three. Liverpool will surely experience a drop-off as they adapt to life without Luis Suarez (and the players bought to replace him adapt to new surroundings).
That leaves Arsenal. If the Premier League lost Suarez in the summer, then perhaps it gained another star in Alexis Sanchez. If the Chilean hits the ground running, Arsenal have the firepower to challenge anyone in the league. Their mental strength, of course, will remain a concern.