Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

8 Reasons Why 2017/18 Promises to be the Best Premier League Season Yet

After an eternity of talking, the new Premier League season is now just days away.


The curtain has been unofficially raised after the Community Shield at the weekend, and Arsenal  and Leicester will kick off 2017/18 at the Emirates Stadium on Friday night.


Here are 8 reasons why it promises to be the best one yet...

8. Sleeve Sponsors

Manchester City v West Ham United - Pre Season Friendly

Sleeve sponsors will be a quirky new addition for the 2017/18 campaign, with a total of nine clubs opting to put the name of a partner on their left sleeve ahead of the new season.


With Premier League badges remaining on the right arm, Manchester City's left arm will bear the name of Nexen Tire, while Chelsea will have Alliance Tyes, a principal product of existing shirt sponsor Yokohama Tyres.


Watford, Leicester and Stoke are among the others to have signed up sponsors for the new advertising space, while Manchester United have even been in talks with dating app Tinder.

7. More Brand New Clubs

Barnsley v Huddersfield Town - Pre Season Friendly

It is always exciting to see new clubs reach the Premier League. Bournemouth became the 47th different side to compete in the top flight following the 1992 re-branding when they earned promotion in 2015, and now Brighton and Huddersfield have swelled that number to 49.


For Brighton, a club that flirted with relegation to non-league football in the late 1990s, this will be only their fifth top flight season ever after a short run over 30 years ago. Huddersfield were England's champions three times in the 1920s but haven't played at this level since 1972.


Both represent relative unknowns and either could potentially spring a surprise.

6. Unknown Relegation Battle

Birmingham City v Swansea City - Pre Season Friendly

Both Brighton and Huddersfield understandably start the season as favourites for relegation with bookmakers. But predicting three clubs to drop into the Championship is by no means an easy feat when compared to the state that Sunderland and Hull were in this time last summer.


Led by Rafa Benitez, it would be a surprise to see newly promoted Newcastle battling the drop, but Burnley and Watford both struggled toward the end of last season. If things don't go well for Frank de Boer at Crystal Palace they could be sucked in, while it wouldn't take much for Stoke to become embroiled in a fight after minimal recruitment.


Swansea, West Brom, Bournemouth and even West Ham could all flounder or flourish.

5. Respected New Coaches

Southampton v FC Augsburg - Pre-Season Friendly

In Mauricio Pellegrino and Frank de Boer, two bright new coaches will be gracing the Premier League for the first time with Southampton and Crystal Palace respectively.


Briefly at Liverpool towards the end of his playing career, Pellegrino is a protégée of Rafa Benitez and helped Alaves punch above their weight in La Liga last season, even guiding the club to a Copa del Rey final against Barcelona.


De Boer, meanwhile, was a four-time Eredivisie winning manager with Ajax and previously worked at the highest level as an assistant with the Dutch national team. His spell at Inter Milan was short and ill-fated but should not serve as a reflection of an otherwise good career.

4. Second Season For Big Hitting Coaches

Manchester City v Manchester United - Premier League

For Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola, the second season in their respective jobs should provide an opportunity to improve after mixed debut campaigns.


Neither coach mounted a successful title challenge straight off the bat, and while Mourinho guided Manchester United to double success in cup competitions, Guardiola endured a trophy-less season at Manchester City for the first time in his career to date.


With a year each under their belts and more settled into the rhythm of their clubs, both men will desperately be looking to kick on and make serious Premier League progress. Anything less would almost certainly be considered a failure.

3. The Big Buys

International Champions Cup 2017 - Manchester United v Manchester City

Anticipation is high to see the numerous players in real action who have moved for very big money this summer, both between Premier League clubs and coming in from abroad.


Manchester City have spent more than £200m on Bernado Silva, Ederson, Kyle Walker, Danilo and Benjamin Mendy, the latter the most expensive defender of all time. At £75m, Romelu Lukaku is English football's most expensive ever striker, while Chelsea spent a record fee to buy Alvaro Morata, and the same can be said of Arsenal for Alexandre Lacazette.


Liverpool spent in excess of £34m on Mohamed Salah. Tiemoue Bakayoko, Nemanja Matic, Antonio Rudiger, Victor Lindelof, Javier Hernandez, Kelechi Iheanacho...all have fans up and down the country eager to find out how they will fare.


Then there is the ambitious Everton project...

2. The Everton Factor

FBL-UEFA-EVERTON-RUZOMBEROK

For a club forced to be as frugal as Everton were in the recent past, the Toffees' summer recruitment has been something of a revelation. Majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri has pumped money into the club and close to £100m has been spent on five major acquisitions, plus the free signings of Cuco Martina and returning local hero Wayne Rooney.


With rising England stars Michael Keane and Jordan Pickford, as well as former Ajax captain Davy Klaassen on board, the business has been heavily praised and it now remains to be seen just what the results on the pitch might be over the coming months.


Could Everton upset the apple cart? Could they sneak into a Champions League place? Will their domestic efforts be negatively affected by their own Europa League commitments?

1. An Impossible to Predict Title Race

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League

The title race has become almost impossible to predict.


As many as six clubs will feel they have a genuine chance. But there is no obvious standout and despite plenty of quality and strengths on display in every team, no single contender is anything close to being devoid of noticeable weaknesses.


Chelsea have had a poor summer and arguably lack the strength in depth to mount a top four challenge, let alone a title charge in light of returning Champions League football.


Liverpool still have defensive flaws regardless of their attacking ability, Manchester City are without a real spine to their team, Manchester United need experience, Arsenal are still Arsenal and Tottenham have virtually stood still.


You wouldn't count any of them out, but you couldn't bet your house on any of them either.

TOP ARTICLES