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Manchester City finished last season with a few new records. Points, goals, wins – think of a record and they seemed to break it!

As of yet Pep Guardiola has only added Riyad Mahrez to his squad and, whilst he may he another world-class signing, he is still only one player.

Now it could be argued that, with the margin of victory achieved last time out there was little, if any, need to strengthen the squad. Pep, however, has always held the belief, much like his hero Sir Alex Ferguson, that you strengthen from a position of strength.

He may also still buy a holding midfielder after the collaboration in gazumping by Chelsea and Napoli resulted in Jorginho joining Chelsea, against the player’s will, whichever way it is being reported.

Still, if he doesn’t make any further additions he still has a record lead over the others of 19 points so it is they who need to improve.

Manchester United, to date, have signed Fred who couldn’t get in the Brazilian World Cup team, Diego Dalot a 19 year-old full back who is injured and out until at least September and a 35 year-old goalkeeper who will be third choice.

José Mourinho has already intimated that, due to prior World cup commitments, his back four for the first game of the new season against Leicester City will be Valencia, Bailly, Smalling and Shaw. This means, without further additions, that De Gea will probably have to be the player of the season, yet again, if United are to get anywhere near the title.

Manchester United v Club America - International Champions Cup 2018

Chris Smalling – Is now not good enough for England so how the heck can he be good enough for United?

If Mourinho has no faith in his current defence, and his comments about transfers tend to suggest this, then he needs to buy a central defender and a full-back and stop denying all knowledge of what is going with United’s transfer business.

The fact that the donkey Chris Smalling is still there is bad enough without him being touted as a starter for the opening game! There was a time when he was good enough for England but not United. The reverse now seems to be the case and that is very worrying.

With this current squad, the best United can hope for is second place and, for that to happen, they have to hope Liverpool run out of steam at some stage.

On the subject of Liverpool, their missing piece was Alisson and now they have a top quality goalkeeper they will feel as though they can challenge City at the very top.

They have also strengthened in midfield with Naby Keita and Fabinho joining them and they have the luxury of Xherdan Shakiri to bring on for a bit of flair when they are winning matches.

The signing, last season, of Virgil Van Dijk was also key to any success they may have as he now has a very decent looking partnership with Dejan Lovren who, according to himself, is one of the best defenders in the world.

If they can’t overhaul City they will certainly push United hard for second place.

Arsenal and Chelsea both have new managers, (as does another London club, West Ham which could prove interesting), so it is difficult to assess their top four chances but it should be safe to say that neither will be challenging for the title.

They both need to walk before they can run and that means a decent walk in a cup competition and qualifying for the Champion’s League in 2019, anything else would be a bonus.

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A couple of West Ham’s new recruits which means top six is a good outside bet

They will also have to keep looking over their shoulder as Manuel Pellegrini, the new man at West Ham, has experience of winning the Premier League with Manchester City and is more than capable of getting his club into the top six. Remember what he did with Málaga whilst in Spain!

And finally…..

The enigma that is Tottenham Hotspur or, to be more accurate, the Daniel Levy that is Tottenham Hotspur is also difficult to call.

With the new stadium almost complete Spurs will be looking forward to having the place they call home actually being their home again.

The potential problem is; has Daniel Levy spent too much time concentrating on his off-field money making ventures and not dedicated enough time to his adopted son, Mauricio Pochettino? Spurs have bought nobody, sold nobody and, if that is the situation when the transfer window closes, they will finish nowhere.

At present they are the club most likely to miss out on a top four place and by some distance.

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