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We look ahead to a season set to define the next decade

Right, now all that other ‘sport’ is nearly over, we can get back to the real deal: Premier League football. This summer’s transfer market has been quieter than a gnat’s fart so far, but things are sure to pick up as deadline day approaches.

However, it seems unlikely that’ll we see the same kind of frenetic final day action of previous years.

Most clubs have assembled the core of their team for the coming season, and with that in mind, we’ve decided to preview each team’s chances for the coming season.

Arsenal: Arsene Wenger’s attitude to Robert van Persie is something akin to a Texan’s to his shotgun ie you’ll have to pry him from his cold dead hands. Whether RVP leaves or not, only a fool would dismiss Arsenal.

Expect a slow start, but with Lukas Podolski incoming, Theo Walcott, Keiran Gibbs, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsay maturing and Alex Song and Thomas Vermaelen fit, they’ll return to the title race.

Aston Villa: Paul Lambert taking the helm has cloaked a disappointing summer for Villa, who desperately needed transfers to strengthen.

Lambert has inherited a team which, despite some young talent, has struggled to be anything more than an also-ran in recent years. They could well be surprise relegation candidates.

Chelsea: A repeat of last season’s success would be nigh-on a miracle. With departed striker Didier Drogba’s long shadow hanging over the still-struggling Fernando Torres, Chelsea may struggle for goals at the start of the season.

There’s no reason Lampard and Torres couldn’t forge a Gerrard-Torres-esque relationship. If not, they could be looking at fifth. Keeping Ramires and keeping him fit is key.

Everton: David Moyes’ Manchester United management internship will undoubtedly continue with another season of massive overachievement.

Nika Jelavic looks like a striker with the whole package, and Marouane Fellaini is one of the league’s strongest midfielders, but Everton’s success is down the club’s core of consistent and hardworking players who work as a unit. As ever, they’ll be in the fight for Europe.

Fulham: Martin Jol has made some shrewd investments  over the summer, assembling a powerful, experienced team sprinkled with enough dynamic players to make Fulham tough opposition.

As long as Jol can hang on to Clint Dempsey and Brede Hangeland, expect Fulham to claim top four scalps and challenge for a European spot.

Liverpool: Brendan Rogers will find a receptive audience for his methods at Liverpool, a team whose recent playing style belies its natural talent.

Rogers may need time to achieve his vision, but Liverpool fans, whose patience with managers has surprised, might need another dose of it this season. However, given it, the rewards could be great.

Manchester City: How Roberto Mancini marshalls his resources on so many fronts will decide City’s fate. Managing the egos of a team (and bench and reserve team) of superstars will be his biggest challenge.

They’ve got the strength and depth, but have their stars got the togetherness? If so, 2012-13 could mark the start of a period of domination for Manchester’s blue half.

Manchester United: An uninspiring pre-season has left fans of the Red Devils worried. The arrival of Shinji Kagawa has done little to sate the desires of United fans starved of big-name transfers. Alex Ferguson is confident, but his young guns need to come good.

The gap between them and City might not appear vast, but they can’t afford to let it grow. That said, never underestimate United’s winning mentality.

Norwich City: For all Grant Holt’s heroics and history with the club, the striker wants away. Holt’s transfer won’t be as catastrophic as some might think; Steve Morison and Anthony Wilkinson are both underrated strikers and could certainly up their tallies this season.

The Canaries will be in the relegation mix, but should scrape through.

Premier League football: Looking ahead at a season set to define the next decade
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