Guardiola will have an extra Haaland. Open fight with Tottenham and Chelsea
Presentations from possible year zero, after five years dominated by the imperfect duopoly Manchester City-Liverpool (4-1 the championships for Guardiola), hover over the Premier League. Not because the usual two pulled the handbrake, but because of the impressive amount of unknowns, the singularity of the break for the World Cup and the almost immediate restart in Santo Stefano. The football product, at national tournament level, richer, more organized and regulated (666 pages that include almost everything) rediscovers the charm of the unexpected: such a season, starting tonight with the London derby Crystal Palace – Arsenal, did not reveal itself from the years of Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester miracle (2016) and Antonio Conte’s Chelsea climb (2017).
From another market with overheads over one billion euros (1,250), within which even a newly promoted player like Nottingham Forest can invest 95 million in cards and pay Lingard 180 thousand pounds a week, no granite certainties arise even for the six sisters (Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United) who should share the positions that matter. Will Guardiola and Klopp’s nearly perfect cars so far travel at full throttle with more traditional forwards in the engine?
Haaland, unreal terminal with an average of 0.77 goals (209) per game (271), and Darwin Nunez, paid 85 million pounds and otherwise called not to make Mané regret, will end up raising or hindering the offensive scores of City and Liverpool? Will Cristiano Ronaldo remain unhappy at United or will he escape to a Champions League beach? Will Ten Hag be able, with or without CR7, to make the Red Devils chew an Ajax-like organized football? Can Gabriel Jesus, sacrificed by City, make Arteta’s Arsenal soar? And what will Chelsea do, struggling with the reconstruction dictated by Tuchel and started with Koulibaly behind and Sterling in front, immediately after Abramovich? Can Tottenham, led by the last coach finished in the roll of honor before the Guardiola-Klopp tyranny, aspire to a missing title since 1961?
Many questions, many subordinated to the looting that the teams will suffer for the World Cup in between: the City could find themselves in the trouble of 16 called up and Liverpool of at least a dozen. Not exactly details in a calendar that, to leave the tradition of Boxing Day intact, foresees the restart (the first among the European championships) only eight days after the world final. In short, net of the furrow traced by the duopoly prevailing in the last five years, the competition can see margins for insertion. From behind, focusing on the long wave of the successful run-up to fourth place last season, the signings of Perisic, Bissouma and Richarlison, the growth of the former Juventus players Bentancur and Kulusevski and the offensive certainties Kane and Son, the Tottenham of the Conte couple kicks strongly -Paratic. Among the “Italians”, however, Gianluca Scamacca also wants to be noticed, who emigrated at 23 from Sassuolo to West Ham for 42 million: the bookmakers rate him as top scorer 40/1. –