As we embark on another nine months of Premier League action, there is one question that is on everyone’s lips and that is whether Manchester City can become the first team to win three championships in a row since the 2008/09.
Unfortunately, the capture of Juventus’ Paulo Dybala is one that ultimately alluded them and had the 25-year-old left Turin behind, their odds to win a first-ever Premier League title would have shortened dramatically.
Not since City’s cross-town rivals Manchester United recorded a three-peat of their own, has there been such a level of dominance in the English top-flight and although Pep Guardiola would love nothing more than to conquer Europe next May, it will not be at the detriment of domestic glory.
While after getting the better of Liverpool in the curtain-raiser, which is otherwise known as the Community Shield, the blue half of Manchester are now in possession of what many are dubbing the ‘Grand Slam’.
They are the first club to hold all four major English trophies at any one time and now they will look to continue their vice-like grip on home silverware, by defending all three of the crowns they won last season.
Whether they can do that and embark on a Champions League campaign that finally sees them win Europe’s premier club competition remains to be seen but regardless of their continental aspirations, they go into a new Premier League season as undoubted favourites.
A look at recent Betfair English Premier League predictions has City topping the outright market by some distance, with last season’s Champions League finalists Liverpool and Tottenham placed as second and third favourites respectively.
While with Liverpool deciding not to make any major signings this summer, it might be an act that only strengthens the hand of the teams around them and therefore, they will have to be careful that a 2014/15 style plummet is not on the horizon.
That was the season they finished sixth, after the deflation of missing out on a title the year before and although Liverpool still look in a rather healthy shape going into this new campaign, one does wonder if they can maintain such a high level of performance.
If it is not to be Jurgen Klopp who is masterminding a potential tilt at the title, then there is no reason that Tottenham cannot instead and with Mauricio Pochettino concluding a rather impressive transfer window, there will be a reason for optimism in North London.
With the arrivals of Ryan Sessegnon and Giovani Lo Celso, it is fair to say that weaknesses have been eradicated in Tottenham’s squad and although a Premier League title might just be out of reach, they will look to be considered genuine contenders.
Had Pochettino been able to land another Argentine and an extremely talented one at that, then it would have been the statement of intent that Tottenham have been looking to make over the past few years.
Without Dybala though, it looks as if the status quo will not be disrupted and therefore it is shaping up to be a season where Pep Guardiola and Manchester City look set to assume their position on the throne of English football.