2023-2024 English Premier League
The most popular football league in the world, the English Premier League (EPL) is soon to begin for another exciting season (2023-2024). Every year the off-season is known as the time clubs look to bolster their squads for the upcoming season. New signings and the excitement around deadline day are a key part of the pre-season. With the 2022/2023 season but a distant memory, fresh success is all that matters for teams and fans alike.
Much like last season, the question to ask is whether anyone can break Manchester City’s grip on the league in the 2023-2024 English Premier League? Having won 5 of the previous 6 editions, the Citizens are arguably in their golden era. With Pep Guardiola’s genius guiding them, who knows how long this reign can go on for?
Liverpool and most recently a resurgent Arsenal have been the closest challengers for the league title. Whether these 2 teams, or the other ‘big’ clubs can dethrone Man City remains to be seen. Going for 4 in a row, City again begin as outright favourites. Neutrals hope for a change in the guard, however, to achieve this will take an almighty effort. Time will tell. For a recap of last season look at our English Premier League 2022/2023 article.
The 2022/ 2023 season
The 22/23 season was a 2-horse race between the defending champions Man City and a resurgent Arsenal. Sitting on top of the table for the majority of the season, Arsenal ultimately were not able to hold off City in the end. By claiming the title, City increased their overall tally of league titles to 7. While still some way off the record of 13 winning seasons, currently held by Man United, the Citizens are comfortably sitting in second place above Chelsea who have won the title 5 times. The scramble for the balance of the top 4 spots seemed a competition of its own.
With qualification to next season’s UEFA Champions League at stake. It came down to the wire with Man United and Newcastle making the cut above Liverpool and Brighton. At the bottom half of the table, the fight for survival was as hot as ever. The big surprise was seeing 2015/2016 Premier League champions Leicester City relegated. Leeds United and Southampton join them in the Championship next season. Conversely Burnley, Sheffield United and Luton Town all find themselves in the Premier League for the forthcoming season.
So what will the 2023-2024 English Premier League bring to light?
The big six and new challengers
The ‘big 6’ clubs remain the teams everyone in the EPL look to beat. By holding 29 titles (out of 31 seasons) amongst them, these clubs have earned their right to be the benchmark for English football. All but Tottenham United have managed to win at least 1 league title since the 1992 inaugural season. Unfortunately, the clubs who have also managed to win the league outside of the big 6, Blackburn United and Leicester City, both find themselves competing in the Championship next season.
‘Smaller’ clubs have always aspired to the success enjoyed by the big 6. However not until recent times have they managed to make an impression. Clubs who fancy their chances following a successful 22/23 season are Newcastle United, Brighton, and Aston Villa. All 3 of these sides finished in the top 8 for the season. Ultimately placing higher than the more fanciful Chelsea, Tottenham, and in Newcastle’s case Liverpool. The competition is hotting up across a greater number of teams. One feels that the upcoming 2023-2024 English Premier League season is going to be a hotly contested affair.
The Red Devils had a mixed season in 22/23. With the Ronaldo dilemma now well and truly in the past, Erik Ten Hag’s charges can focus on replicating the success that has brought them 13 titles in the past. Arguably, the team had a better second half of last season and satisfied with the achieved 4th place finish. Qualifying for Champions League football was the aim once challenging for the title became unachievable. The fact that they managed to achieve this goal stands this powerhouse club in good stead for the new season.
Manchester City remain the team to beat. The resilience they showed by claiming a 3rd title in a row last season was something to behold. A lesser team would have succumbed to the pressure exerted by Arsenal, but not this group of players. Under Pep Guardiola, the Citizens are a team blessed with depth in quality and a winning mentality. Securing the ‘treble’ last season (The Premier League, the FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League) was iconic in that the only English team to have achieved this previously was Manchester United. There is no reason that this City team cannot make it 4 league titles in a row.
Chelsea had a nightmare of a 22/23 season finishing in 12th position. Incumbent coach Thomas Tuchel was sacked shortly after the league began. His replacement Graham Potter never even saw the end of the season, as he was also asked to leave prematurely. Frank Lampard stepped in as interim coach to see the season through. With only 1 win from 11 games under him, the club has rightly chosen not to extend Lampard’s tenure. Mauricio Pochettino is the chosen manager for the club going forward. The Chelsea management and fans alike hope the Argentinian can replicate some of the success he enjoyed at Tottenham and PSG respectively.
Last season Liverpool largely had a campaign to forget. Regularly found fighting for the title in recent seasons. The Reds were unable to find the consistent form required to challenge for the top spot. Ultimately finishing in 5th position, Jurgen Klopp’s charges narrowly missed out on UEFA Champions League qualification. Aside from Man City, Liverpool have arguably been the other form team over the past 5 years. Can they return to this, or have they started to slip? This season will be telling.
‘Close but no cigar’, that is how many an Arsenal fan will refer to the 2022/2023 season. Leading the title race for most of the season only to slip up near the death was a tough pill to swallow for manager Mikel Arteta. Had he been offered 2nd spot at the beginning of the season, no doubt he would have taken it. However, Arteta will know that this was a missed opportunity in an era of dominance by Man City. It does seem that the Spaniard is still building a squad that he envisions can win the title. Can they achieve it this season? Anything worse than 2nd place will however feel like a failure to fans who are still waiting for the team’s first title since the 03/04 season.
The Tottenham faithful must ask themselves when they can expect a first major trophy for their beloved club? Other than a 2nd place in the 2016/17 season, and a runner’s up medal in the 2019 UEFA Champions League, the club from London have a sparce trophy cabinet. The 3-time golden boot winner, Harry Kane may be be leaving the club for Bayern Munich. Should he make this transition, one feels that the club will be in an even tricker position when looking to challenge for the title.
Who will take the honours?
The 2023-2024 English Premier League season is stacking up to be another exciting edition. Can anyone break the Man City stranglehold? Will the new crop of challengers replicate their form of last season, or will the pressure get to them? Can the newly promoted teams avoid the dreaded first season relegation battle?
Have a look at our EPL Fixtures 2023/24 article for all the specific dates to keep in mind. We have reviewed some of the best soccer betting sites in South Africa for your perusal. Betway, Supabets, Hollywoodbets and 10bet are some of the best online bookies to consider.