The English season starts this Friday evening with the move of the Gunners to Palace (9 p.m.). A first London derby to open a 2022-23 Premier League vintage which promises to be as thrilling as the previous one, and should, once again, be punctuated by the City-Liverpool duel for the title.
City, the outgoing champion still as greedy
Our opinion: ★★★★★
Champions with a 12-point lead over United in 2020-21, Manchester City slipped through a mousehole last season to offer themselves, at the end of one of the tastiest vintages in English history, their eighth Premier League title. A stratospheric duel with the Reds, snatched with forceps by the players of Pep Guardiola, not far from reaching perfection. Already consolidated in their national supremacy by this valiant success, the Cityzens land for a new year even a little more reinforced.
The rough Kalvin Phillips and the very promising Julian Alvarez arrived to compensate for the departures of Fernandinho, Gabriel Jesus or Raheem Sterling, as did the Scandinavian terror of the surfaces, Erling Haaland. City will this time revolve around a real number 9, a cold finisher fed by exceptional passers (De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Foden), just to push Guardiola to reinvent himself. Isn’t it in these circumstances that the Catalan conductor becomes the most brilliant?
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Liverpool, the eternal rival who keeps his teeth long
Our opinion: ★★★★
92 points, and only two defeats: how not to finish champion with such a record? The fault of the imperturbable Cityzens, who throughout the season have left only crumbs on their passage to Liverpool. PL’s longest-serving manager (appointed in 2015, a year before Guardiola), Jürgen Klopp knows better than anyone how difficult it is to head past City in the last few meters of a marathon that has yet to be elbowed. elbow.
Aware of the task ahead, far from being resigned – and even more motivated by the biggest club rivalry in recent years – the German general has surrounded himself with a regenerated group over the past six months. . Exit the Mané-Firmino-Salah trident, make way for the Luis Diaz-Nunez-Salah trio. An attack that is already salivating within a team that has not weakened in any position, the departure of the Senegalese striker having been intelligently compensated. Liverpool remain one of the most serious rivals for the Cityzens. And it is not his 3-1 victory against the Mancunians in the Community Shield that is likely to calm his appetite.
Chelsea, an American era launched at a thousand an hour
Our opinion: ★★★★
It is probably on the side of the Blues that you have to look to see one of the most ambitious transfer windows of this summer. Reinforced with tens of millions of euros by the new American owner Todd Boehly, the Chelsea team already looks great. Mixing big experienced reinforcements (Kalidou Koulibaly, Raheem Sterling) and promising recruits (Marc Cucurella, Carney Chukwuemeka, Gabriel Slonina, return from loan of Conor Gallagher).
The undesirable Romelu Lukaku was evacuated by Thomas Tuchel, who was also able to quickly fill the void at the end of the contract (Christensen and Rüdiger) and has a coherent and ambitious group. Third behind the two untouchables, the Londoners seem even better equipped than last year to play spoilsport on the English scene. And hope to afford a title that has eluded them since 2017. If with all that, after a mixed last season, N’Golo Kanté ended up finding his legs… Chelsea could hurt a lot.
Arsenal, a promising new cycle at last?
Our opinion: ★★
Unplayable at the start of the century, the Gunners are now more used to hoping to scratch a European ticket rather than playing the leading roles in England. Despite 13 defeats last season and a dearly obtained place in the Europa League group stage, the London board chose to maintain its confidence in Mikel Arteta. The Spanish coach, a former member of the house, knew the importance of restoring the reputation of the Academy and the Baby Gunners (Saka, Smith-Rowe, Martinelli, etc.).
With whom the transplant seems to have taken very well during this off-season around the club’s main recruit, Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian planted 7 times in 5 warm-up matches, and single-handedly embodies the wind of hope that has blown over Arsenal. Arteta said he was counting on his recruits, including Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko – not to mention a few smart shots to follow like Marquinhos and Fabio Vieira – so that his team finally played “a cut above” in PL. Better than fifth place last season. Can the Gunners start dreaming even higher?
Tottenham, a challenger to watch
Our opinion: ★★
The transfer window achieved by the Spurs this summer is to be highlighted. Fourth in the English Championship last season, Tottenham and its president Daniel Levy spared no effort to provide Antonio Conte with an even stronger team. Several quality recruits have signed, like Yves Bissouma, Richarlison, Clément Lenglet or Ivan Perisic. Where the team from the northern suburbs of London has so far only been stripped of Steven Bergwijn and Joe Rodon.
With this ambitious and above all well-conducted recruitment, the Italian coach was able to quickly integrate his new men. To take nothing away, Hugo Lloris, Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son (co-top scorer of the last exercise with 23 achievements) also remained. Proof if it were needed of the appetite of Londoners determined to play itchy hair for the other members of the Big Six.
Manchester United, an eventful off-season to digest
Our opinion: ★
What a stir there was this summer in Manchester. Especially in the radius of departures, where Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Jesse Lingard or even Juan Mata seemed to signify the end of a certain era, not the most glorious. Erik ten Hag came up with his ideas (Lisandro Martinez, Tyrell Malacia, Christian Eriksen) to stick to his typically Batavian game ambition. The first city will try to restore a little more solidity to a Mancunian defense which was sorely lacking last season, precipitating the logic of sixth place for the Red Devils.
But the sites still seem numerous by the end of the transfer window for United. Be it in the middle where the Dutch coach is limited in weight solutions. Or in front, where the future of Cristiano Ronaldo is at the heart of all concerns. The Portuguese, 37, is not really excited about the idea of starting a season without the Champions League. The evolution of his personal situation will inevitably pull, up or down, the ambition of Manchester United this year.