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Premier League Preview Pt.1 – The key issues each team faces

Leicester championsWith less than a week to go until the new Premier League season kicks off, there are plenty of intriguing questions waiting to be answered.  

Here we look at the key issues facing each of the twenty sides ahead of the 2016/17 campaign.

Leicester City

How do they cope with the burden of expectation?

The most obvious question facing any Premier League club.  What’s next for the champions?  It’s difficult to define what would be a success for Claudio Ranieri’s team.  Would finishing in the top 10 be acceptable? It certainly wasn’t for Chelsea.  

Arsenal

Is this Wenger’s last season?

The perennial question has added potency as the Arsenal boss is in the final year of his contract.  If he fails to guide the Gunners to the title this time, he will surely be shown the door.  Should he manage it, he might decide it’s the right time to walk away.

Tottenham Hotspur

Have they missed their chance?

Spurs were breath-taking for vast majority of last season but stumbled over the line, failing to win any of their last 4 games and being pipped to second place by Arsenal.  Has their best chance of a Premier League title gone?

Manchester City

What’s Pep’s priority?

It could well be the case that whichever Manchester club finishes top will be crowned Premier League champions.  The question for Pep Guardiola is whether winning a third crown for the club is more important than a first Champions League success.  It’s very rare managers can have both at once.

Manchester United

Which Mourinho will show up?

The one who unseated his new club at the head of English football’s top table in his first season in the Premier League or the one who was sacked before Christmas less than 12 months ago?

Southampton

A sale too far?

Victor Wanyama, Sadio Mane and Graziano Pelle are the latest stars to be moved on for profit by the South Coast club.  Surely they can’t keep selling key players every season and continue to be a force in the top half of the table?

West Ham United

What affect will the change of address have?

The Olympic Stadium looks great and was a snip at the price West Ham paid but there’s no getting away from the huge gap between the pitch and the stands.  The Boleyn Ground atmosphere will be hard to recreate

Liverpool

Will Klopp finally win a cup?

Jurgen Klopp took Liverpool to two finals in his first (not quite full) season in England.  His team lost both, meaning Klopp has now been defeated in his last 5 final appearances.  Can he go one step further this time?

Stoke City

Push on or fall back?

After successive 9th place finishes this feels like a key season for the Potters and manager Mark Hughes.  The next step forward is to qualify for Europe, two steps back and they could find themselves in a relegation battle.

Chelsea

Can they return to the top 4?

One season out of the Champions League is acceptable, another and players will think twice about moving to West London.  Making up 6 places on last season won’t be easy but it’s the minimum requirement for Antonio Conte.

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