With pre-season effectively over and the Community Shield done and dusted after Arsenal's 3-0 win over Manchester City on Sunday, all that remains is to look ahead to the start of the Premier League season.
For the 2014-15 campaign, there are seemingly more genuine possible winners than ever with Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and City all in the mix and Manchester United something of an unknown quantity under new boss Louis van Gaal.
Here are what the bookies think ahead of the start of the new term:
|Premier League 2014: Title Odds|
As well as the challenge for the title, there will inevitably be a scrap to avoid relegation, with the newly promoted sides looking to establish themselves in the league.
Read on for the full power rankings for all 20 teams and their respective outlooks ahead of the new season.
Jose Mourinho has bought very well during the transfer window with the signings of Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa, Filipe Luis and Didier Drogba.
He has dealt with the deficiencies up front that so dogged the Blues last season and added greater creativity in the midfield.
Furthermore, Mourinho has a knack of improving in his second season in charge of a club. He did so at Real Madrid—beating a great Barcelona side to the Spanish title—and at Porto and Inter Milan by winning the Champions League.
He looks set to repeat the trick by winning the Premier League again in 2014-15.
Arsenal topped the league for significantly more days than any other side last season but ended up finishing fourth due to injuries and lack of depth.
Along with marquee signing Alexis Sanchez, they have added strength in key areas over the summer and proved against City in the Community Shield that they are ready to finally take a proper tilt at the title after 10 years without a league win.
In Arsene Wenger they have the most experienced manager in the Premier League, and he could be the trump card in this season's campaign.
3. Manchester City
The reigning champions have added midfielder Fernando, right-back Bacary Sagna and goalkeeper Willy Caballero to their ranks over the summer. While all three are good players, the Sky Blues' summer business has not been overly remarkable.
It is very difficult to defend a title, as City found out in 2012-13, and although they will no doubt be in contention for much of the season, they may be found out through lack of depth, especially considering the inconsistent nature of their front men.
4. Manchester United
United's best acquisition of the summer is Louis van Gaal, a world-class manager who is already having an effect, as illustrated in a successful pre-season in the USA.
The additions of Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera should bring greater quality in the new campaign and, though unlikely to win the title, United look on the up after the debacle of last term.
The Uruguayan's move to Barcelona is a huge loss, and despite the additions of the likes of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Lazar Markovich and Emre Can, his absence will be felt.
Additionally, the Reds squad will be stretched further in the new season with Champions League football to play, which will affect their Premier League form and inevitably create a tougher time in the new season.
Everton look set for another fine season as Roberto Martinez continues at the helm after an impressive opening term in charge.
The signing of Romelu Lukaku will be key for the Toffees next season, the Belgian proving last term just how important his goals can be for the Goodison outfit.
Ross Barkley, Seamus Coleman, Tim Howard and Leighton Baines all remain and will be the core of the squad which will be a challenge for any side to face.
7. Tottenham Hotspur
Mauricio Pochettino is an incredibly exciting young manager and proved with Southampton just how effective his methods can be.
However, with yet more change at the top, Spurs are likely to suffer a similar fate as last season, when a host of new players—rather than a new manager—took time to settle in at the club.
Though unlikely to perform significantly poorer than they did last season, they will likely struggle for the Champions League places, as the competition all seem to have made greater improvements.
8. Stoke City
Mark Hughes took Stoke to an unprecedented ninth-place finish and 50 points in the league last season and looks set for greater success in the coming season.
The Potters have added well in the summer, with Bojan Krkic, Steve Sidwell, Phil Bardsley, Mame Biram Diouf and Dionatan Teixeira all making the move to the Britannia Stadium.
Hughes continues to move Stoke toward a more attractive style of play with more flair players. They look like a club on the up.
Alan Pardew and the Magpies had a shocking second half of last season, but with astute business done over the summer, they should start the new term with some confidence.
A new-look side including summer signings Remy Cabella, Siem de Jong, Emmanuel Riviere and Facundo Ferreyra should most certainly see them improve on last season's performances, although so many new men will inevitably take time to find their feet.
Saints have been unceremoniously raided during the summer, losing their best players in the shapes of Luke Shaw, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Dejan Lovren.
They are also without the influential Mauricio Pochettino, and new boss Ronald Koeman faces a real battle to keep his side from slipping alarmingly down the table after being so impressive last term.
11. Crystal Palace
Tony Pulis engineered an incredible resurgence for Palace last season which saw them go from relegation certainties to mid-table wonders.
The former Stoke boss knows how to keep sides in the Premier League, and Palace fans can look forward to a less topsy-turvy season, as their club will be tricky to beat and should avoid any relegation shenanigans this time around.
12. West Ham
Sam Allardyce, much like Pulis, is a man who knows what he's doing when it comes to assuring mid-table finishes for his teams.
Though often unpopular, the Hammers finished last season far from any trouble and should do the same again this term with their strong defence, while the signing of Ecuadorian forward Enner Valencia should add some much-needed goalscoring prowess.
The Black Cats pulled off a great escape last season, as they avoided relegation despite looking dead and buried with just weeks remaining.
This should be a galvanising factor in the new season, as the club will no doubt be eager not to have to go through a similar ordeal in 2014-15.
Jack Rodwell and Billy Jones constitute fine additions to the Sunderland squad, and with Gus Poyet going into his second season in charge, there should be less drama at the Stadium of Light.
14. Hull City
Hull City enjoyed a strong return to Premier League football last season as Steve Bruce secured a 16th-place finish and an FA Cup final berth against Arsenal.
The added strain of Europa League football could cause problems for a relatively small squad in the coming season, but the experience of 2013-14 and the addition of Robert Snodgrass—Norwich's best player last term—should be enough to see them continue their fine form.
15. Queens Park Rangers
Harry Redknapp and his squad simply need to avoid the mistakes they made two seasons ago in order to stay int he Premier League.
They have a decent set of players and a manager with plenty of experience as well as superior financial clout than many of those against whom they will be competing to avoid the drop.
Rio Ferdinand will provide good leadership and should be a solid marshall of the defence—a key component for any newly promoted side—and QPR should have enough to stay out of relegation trouble.
Swansea found themselves in an unwanted scrap against relegation last season, and although they eventually finished comfortably out of danger, they may not be so lucky in the new season.
They have added Gylfi Sigurdsson and Lukasz Fabianski, but they must make sure to keep hold of Wilfried Bony, or else they will be in serious trouble.
They have taken something of a downturn since the heady days under Brendan Rodgers and could be set to fall even further under Garry Monk.
17. Leicester City
Leicester absolutely obliterated the competition in the Championship last season, as they claimed promotion with the league title and more than 100 points.
They have added well in the transfer window with six new additions, including the £8 million club-record signing of striker Leonardo Ulloa.
Although they will no doubt spend much of the season in the bottom half of the table scrapping for every point, they should take huge confidence from their fine form last season.
18. Aston Villa
Villa have been flirting with relegation for some time now, and they will do well not to find themselves in a similar position this year.
They are a somewhat underwhelming side and have made no marquee signings in the transfer window. Christian Benteke is a star but is likely to miss the start of the season.
Paul Lambert's position as manager is undoubtedly in a fragile place, and should Villa start poorly, he may be shown the door, which inevitably leads to an element of unpredictability.
19. West Brom
A new boss and a swathe of new signings including Craig Gardner, Joleon Lescott and Chris Baird may not necessarily add up to a more successful term in 2014-15.
They avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth last term but are a difficult side to predict too much of, especially as new manager Alan Irvine is largely inexperienced at the top level.
There are not many expecting much of Burnley in the new Premier League season, with the overwhelming feeling seemingly of doom and gloom with relegation expected.
However, such low expectations have previously been proven wrong—see Palace last season—and Burnley will be looking to make an impression in their return to the top flight.
There is valuable Premier League experience in the additions of Michael Kightly, Matt Taylor and Steven Reid, and holding onto Danny Ings and Sam Vokes will also be key if Burnley want to prove doubters wrong in the new term.
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