With Manchester City closing in on the Premier League, we’re looking at their chances of an unprecedented fourth straight title next season, and who their challengers will be.
Premier League 2023/24 odds
bet365's Steve Freeth said: "Manchester City's opening price for next season is a similar price to the start of this season and even when Arsenal kicked clear, the biggest we ever went about Pep Guardiola’s serial title winners was 7/4 - you have to respect a side with so much course and distance form.
"Arsenal don’t have any such recent form in the book and it’s inevitable that they’ll be questioned about their end of season form with the finishing line in sight, but we won’t be complaining because a Gunners title win would’ve cost us several million having been 66/1 in pre-season.
"They’ll start the 2023/24 campaign a lot shorter, but so will the likes of Manchester United and Newcastle, plus we have the added ingredient of Mauricio Pochettino returning to these shores and a new manager at Tottenham.
"My appetite is whetted already!"
City will of course go off as favourites for the title next season, and it’s perhaps no surprise to see them odds-on.
There’s something of a perfect storm for Pep Guardiola at the moment; not only has he assembled arguably the strongest squad ever seen on these shores, there aren’t any obvious challengers to their crown.
Liverpool made a habit of pushing City close in recent years before their drop-off this season and will hope to sufficiently strengthen to challenge again.
Arsenal were favourites for this season for a spell before their collapse, with Manchester United threatening to join the race around the turn of the year.
But the cream eventually rose to the top, and at the moment it feels like only City can stop themselves from a fourth straight title.
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Manchester City closing in on treble
It’s been a bitterly disappointing end to the season for Arsenal. To be eight points ahead of City albeit having played a game more, and to not only fail to see it out, but fall short in such a manner; dropping four points in successive games despite holding 2-0 leads in both, before being held by bottom side and now-relegated Southampton feels like a huge opportunity missed.
But over the summer, Arsenal fans can reflect on what has no doubt been a successful season. If at the start of the season you could’ve offered the Gunners the chance to go into the final day still in the hunt for a top-four spot they’d have been happy; it’s a testament to the job done by Mikel Arteta that merely reaching the Champions League group stage for the first time since the 2015/16 season feels like a failure.
The question now of course is whether they can prove it wasn’t a one-off.
Arsenal have Champions League money to bolster their squad, which they’ll hope to do in the shape of Declan Rice. They also have the youngest squad in the league, all a year older and a year wiser, and will hope to challenge for the title again.
The rebuild job at Anfield looked like it might be beyond even Jurgen Klopp a few months ago. While there are plenty of attacking options, even they have been depleted at various points in the season with Diogo Jota and Luis Diaz combining for just 20 league starts.
Liverpool have again been hit by injuries in defence and midfield, and with an ageing midfield, there’s lots of work to do in the summer.
But credit to Klopp, he’s made Liverpool a formidable outfit again with the introduction of Trent Alexander-Arnold to a more central role, and the Reds have now won six straight games to reignite their faint top-four hopes.
The Europa League would be an unwelcome distraction, but if this late-season run is anything to go by, Liverpool could challenge for the title once again with a few additions in key areas.
It’s been such a topsy-turvy season for Manchester United, it’s hard to properly assess their chances of challenging for the title next season.
After the disastrous start to the season, Erik ten Hag managed to somehow steer his side to the fringes of a title race, with the hectic schedule combined with injuries and suspensions not only scuppering those hopes, but even jeopardising their top-four ambitions.
The positives are that United’s squad looks in as good a shape as it has for some time, with many holes plugged. The negatives are that their two marquee midfielders that helped them charge up the table in Casemiro and Christian Eriksen haven’t been as imperious as they were around the halfway point of the season, and that a new striker and goalkeeper are sorely needed, with Ten Hag continuing to pledge allegiance to the faltering David de Gea.
But with a gentler fixture list and another year under Ten Hag, with the right signings, United could push for the title next time around.
Chelsea represent perhaps the most fascinating team heading into the new season. Todd Boehly has spent incredible sums of money since arriving in West London; so much so there are suggestions they’ll have to navigate the Premier League’s financial rules by offloading players in the summer.
On top of that, they’ve hired one of the best managers in world football after the failed experiment with Graham Potter and the interim Frank Lampard performing even worse.
Pochettino had instant impacts at both Southampton and Tottenham, and Chelsea fans can surely anticipate a much better campaign than 2022/23, especially with the Blues not featuring in Europe for only the season time since 1998/99.
Despite the squad needing trimming, there are clearly talented players at Stamford Bridge who Pochettino should be able to get the best out of, and if the Argentine can knock the squad into shape, Chelsea can look forward to challenging for the top four at the very least.
Arguably the season’s biggest over-achievers, Newcastle will play Champions League football for the first time since 2003/04.
Success – however you measure it – feels a guarantee on Tyneside following the Saudi takeover, but a top-four finish has arrived sooner than planned, and Newcastle can build from there.
While the Magpies have spent plenty of money to get there, they haven’t drafted in a flurry of mega-stars, and a return to the Champions League seems unlikely to force a change in approach, meaning Eddie Howe can continue to assemble his squad smartly and hope for another push for the top four.
And make no mistake, this season hasn’t been a fluke. While there aren’t really any marquee names at St James’ Park – Howe has ensured his team are greater than the sum of their parts – they’ve very much earned their place in the top four.
Antonio Conte teams have often experienced a drop-off following the Italian’s departure, such are the demands he puts on the club to tailor a squad to his needs.
While Inter finished second after he left, they’ve been miles off the pace in Serie A this season, despite reaching a Champions League final. Chelsea have been nowhere near a title in the five seasons post-Conte, and Tottenham appear to be in free-fall.
What happens next season is anyone’s guess with the club still without a manager; star man Harry Kane may be on the move and there will likely need to be other incomings and outgoings to get the side functioning on the pitch again.
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