The Premier League season gets underway early this year on the weekend of August 6th. With the preseason beginning next month and multiple major transfers underway, the preparations for the season are already starting.
After the early moves of the summer, here is a way-too-early look at the Premier League power rankings with the season nearing.
Premier League Power Rankings
The Clear Favorites
1: Manchester City
Manchester City and Liverpool have been the best two teams in the Premier League for the last several seasons. Both teams have done nothing but get better this offseason, with Manchester City signing Erling Haaland and Liverpool signing Darwin Nunez.
Both teams will likely compete with each other for the league title. However, they will have significant changes to deal with, as Sadio Mane departs Liverpool for Bayern Munich and Raheem Sterling leaving Manchester City for Chelsea seems increasingly likely.
Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham will all battle for a top-four spot in the Premier League, though all sit a step behind Manchester City and Liverpool. As of late, Chelsea has been the closest to taking the next step into title contention, but last season didn’t feature the title challenge that Thomas Tuchel expected.
As a result, Chelsea is making significant changes this offseason. Romelu Lukaku seems likely to return to Italy after one season in London, while the club is exploring a potential move for Raheem Sterling, among other possible moves.
Arsenal is trying to strengthen its squad ahead of its return to European football, signing Bukayo Saka to an extension. Meanwhile, Tottenham’s big move was signing Yves Bissouma along with some free transfers.
With two months of the summer transfer window left, any of these teams could get involved with the title race with a strong end to the window. Things could get even more interesting if Manchester City or Liverpool have a bad start to the season.
Premier League Power Rankings-The Upper Half of the Table
6: West Ham
7: Manchester United
8: Leicester City
9: Newcastle United
10: Wolverhampton Wanderers
West Ham has already made a huge signing this transfer window, bringing in Nayef Aguerd from Stade Rennais. The defender will help West Ham strengthen its defense and will help the team prepare for the Europa Conference League.
Meanwhile, Manchester United is entering a pivotal summer, but the transfer window hasn’t gone the way the team expected. Frenkie de Jong has been the primary target for the club, but negotiations with FC Barcelona have been slow, thus holding up negotiations for their other transfer targets.
Leicester City had a disappointing start to last season but recovered to finish eighth. Like Newcastle and Wolverhampton, the Foxes will have an opportunity to move up the table, especially with Manchester United’s difficulties.
Wolverhampton still faces a tough summer and will have to replace several players. Ruben Vinagre has already left the club, and Ruben Neves looks to be the next player to exit.
Safe From Relegation
11: Brighton & Hove Albion
12: Aston Villa
13: Crystal Palace
14: Leeds United
Last season, Brighton was one of the most surprising teams in the league. The departure of Yves Bissouma will be a challenge for the club, but Graham Potter’s team has been one of the most stable in the league recently.
Aston Villa has been very active in its first season under Steven Gerrard. After avoiding relegation, the team signed Diego Carlos, permanently signed Philippe Coutinho after he began a loan last year, added Boubacar Kamara on a free transfer, and also permanently signed Robin Olsen. As a result, Gerrard should have a significantly stronger team in his first full season in charge.
Similar to Aston Villa, Leeds United had an aggressive start to the summer after narrowly avoiding relegation last season. Jesse Marsch has brought in fellow American Brenden Aaronson, who he coached at RB Salzburg, to strengthen the attack. He also signed fellow RB Salzburg alumni Rasmus Kristensen and Marc Roca from Bayern Munich.
Marsch’s aggressive style of play, which emphasizes pressing, should be a natural continuation from Marcelo Bielsa as he begins his first full season in the Premier League.
The rest of the summer will be key for Crystal Palace and Southampton. Crystal Palace was excellent in its first full season under Patrick Vieira, but the Eagles will have to replace Conor Gallagher, who returned to Chelsea after his loan expired. Meanwhile, Southampton has already made a few signings this summer but will need to continue to improve after avoiding relegation by just five points last year.
The Possible Relegation Battle
20: Nottingham Forest
In its first season in the Premier League since 1946-47, Brentford impressed. The team has brought a unique approach to the transfer market and finished 11 points clear of relegation last season. However, a quiet summer with no signings has placed the Bees in relegation territory.
Everton spent much of last season in a surprising relegation battle, hiring Frank Lampard in the middle of the season to stay in the Premier League. While the hire was ultimately successful, Everton hasn’t made any signings in Lampard’s first summer in charge and could still find itself in a relegation battle next year.
Following their promotions, Fulham, Bournemouth, and Nottingham Forest face the difficult challenge of maintaining their Premier League status. Fulham won the Championship last season with 90 points but has seen Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Fabio Carvalho depart the club. Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest have yet to make any significant summer moves but hope to strengthen their squads to avoid relegation.
There are still a few months left in the summer window, but only a few weeks remaining to sign players in time for them to participate in most preseason preparations. The next few weeks will be critical for all 20 clubs in the league, but especially those who haven’t been able to sign their primary targets.