Chelsea- Despite having lost the peripheral figures of Joe Cole, Michael Ballack and Juliano Belletti, Carlo Ancelotti’s squad is hardly weakened from the team that wrapped up the double in May. What might hurt them is the loss of Ricardo Carvalho, so often John Terry’s safety net. Even without the Portuguese defender The Blues have enough going forward to comfortably secure their fourth Premier league crown.
Arsenal- Arsene Wenger can be more than satisfied ahead of the new season after a decent summer's work. A new forward, in Marouane Chamakh, a dominating centre half in Laurent Koscielny and the retention of Cesc Fabregas has been the fruit of the Frenchman’s labor but acquiring a new goalkeeper, perhaps Mark Schwarzer, will be vital to their title challenge.
Manchester United- While Sir Alex Ferguson is yet to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, not to mention spend the money from the sale of the former world player of the year, the Scot does appear intent on building for the future. The signings of Javier Hernandez, Bebe and Chris Smalling might help United to future glories but they are unlikely, along with the old guard of Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes, to lead the club to another league triumph this season.
Manchester City- The most active of all of their Premiership’s elite, and given their spending power there is only so long they can be kept out of the top four; this season should be the start of their breakthrough. Jerome Boateng and Yaya Toure will add defensive steel, while new boys David Silva and Mario Balotelli can be called upon up front, along with Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor.
Liverpool- Roy Hodgson has his work cut out to survive The Reds’ impending takeover, let alone to reclaim one of the four Champions League spots. While his reputation will help retain his job, the problems on the field make it difficult to contend for the title. Fernando Torres’ fitness will be crucial, as will the ability to keep Javier Mascherano happy, as the Argentine looks for the move to Barcelona.
Tottenham Hotsphur- Have been surprisingly quiet during this summer on the transfer front, and that lack of action might be their downfall come May. Loic Remy does appear to be on his way however, and he needs to help improve Spurs’ away form if they’re to challenge with the ‘big four’ again. Perhaps some strengthening to the back four needs to be made with Ledley King’s injury problems still apparent.
(Everton)- As a top four side invariably reaches the FA Cup final the Premiership's seventh placed side is handed a European place and after the resignation of Martin O'Neil, Everton look the most likely after retaining their star names after the World Cup.
Wigan Athletic- Were the third lowest scorers in the division last season and even with the signing of Mauro Boselli it’s unlikely their fortunes will change. The loss of Charles N’Zogbia, whose transfer request is imminent, could be the final nail in the coffin.
West Bromich Albion- Another whose failure to find the net could well be their downfall. Have the likes of Chris Brunt and Graeme Dorrans in midfield, but don't have a forward with the ability to find the net with any great consistency in the Premiership.
Blackpool- Simply don’t have the resources to keep up with even the more modest Premiership sides and a quick return to the Championship is on the cards. Marlon Harewood is the highest profile name to arrive but even he won’t be able to keep The Tangerines afloat.