Premier League peril: The three teams with pre-season problems
Manchester United, Newcastle and Chelsea
The new Premier League season kicks off on Friday night, but there are three teams in particular who may wish they had more time.
Manchester United, Chelsea and Newcastle United have endured difficult summers. Ahead of the new campaign, the Coral News Team have broken down each club’s dilemmas…
The expectation: To build on last season’s second place finish, sign world class players and mount a serious Premier League challenge to Manchester City.
The reality: Have made only three signings, only two of whom strengthen the first XI. Manager Jose Mourinho has spent weeks berating his club’s lack of transfer activity in the press.
The outcome: United and Mourinho are desperate to sign a centre-half, but they can’t seem to get a deal over the line. Jose is already cutting a disgruntled figure, and dark times lurk at Old Trafford.
Odds: 7/1 to win the Premier League.
The expectation: To remove Antonio Conte swiftly and back his replacement with time and funds.
The reality: Couldn’t agree a severance package with Conte or a deal with Maurizio Sarri until well after pre-season had started. Sarri has been supported with the signing of Jorginho, but Chelsea stars Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois want out.
The outcome: Courtois has gone AWOL as he pushes for a move to Madrid. Sarri is heavily on the back foot, and this campaign is little more than preparation for a full go at things in 12 months time.
Odds: 14/1 to win the Premier League.
The expectation: To bolster key areas of the squad after securing Premier League safety last season.
The reality: Salomon Rondon has arrived at St James Park as the new number nine. But more will be needed in the next few days with Rafa Benitez looking to get his wish of some extra talent on board.
The outcome: Some minor improvements have arrived, but plenty of surgery is still required on the squad going into the final few days of the window. If they’re not forthcoming, it could be a difficult opening to the season for one of the Premier League’s biggest sides.
Odds: 4/1 to be relegated
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing