The new Premier League is season is so close you can almost smell it! The close season has seen Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City spending massively, whilst champions Chelsea, FA Cup double winners Arsenal and perennial also rans Tottenham spent relatively little.
The stark contrast in approaches to the new campaign means it is incredibly difficult to judge what will happen. The good news is you guys get to sit back for nine months and enjoy it all unfold whilst us analytical mugs are stuck making sense of it all.
Check out how I believe the Premier League will unfold below:
As explained in greater detail in another article, it is not that Mauricio Pochettino has spent badly, indeed, on paper they now have a stand up defence. However, they have completely neglected every other position whilst their nearest challengers went for broke.
As a result they only have one reliable striker in Harry Kane as Emmanuel Adebayor looks set to leave and Roberto Soldado continues to flop. And given Kane's age (22), such responsibility, especially given he only has one full Premier League season under his belt, is foolhardy. With many potential targets now elsewhere or ridiculously priced, it looks unlikely they will find someone to provide competition.
With the midfield still looking devoid of creativity and there being a dearth of defensive midfielders, it is hard to see Tottenham fighting for a top four position. In fact it is more likely they will be fending off an Andre Ayew inspired Swansea City for the last European places.
Last season: 64 points
Points prediction this season: 60-65
Most put last season's dip down towards a Luis Suarez shaped hole. While that definitely played a part, Liverpool's approach play was unaltered without the Uruguayan, as proved by impressive victories over Tottenham and Manchester City, as well as dominant performances against Arsenal and Chelsea.
Rather the absence of a striker (a good one) did them in. Christian Benteke is supposed to fill that void but whether or not he suits Rodgers' system is another question altogether. More moments like the one below, however and the Reds have the third best striker after Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa.
That is as far as the praises go however. Since selling Javier Mascherano the Liverpool defence has lacked protection and been a complete mess. The 2009/10 season, the last season the Argentine was in a red shirt, was the last time they conceded under 40 goals.
Under Rodgers this total has been getting progressively worse yet he continues to persist without a quality defensive midfielder. Furthermore, the centre of defence looks as vulnerable as ever without any new additions. Even more worrying is the Northern Irishman's insistence on playing Dejan Lovren who was a unmitigated disaster last season and has looked shaky in pre-season.
Likewise creativity in the middle of the park remains a major problem. Much will be made of Steven Gerrard's absence but it is another legend that the Reds will miss: Xabi Alonso.
Perhaps because of a lesser reputation the pundits do not harp on about the Spaniard the way they do Gerrard or Suarez but since his departure for La Liga, Liverpool have ceased to be the consistent club they once were. Even their unexpected challenge in 2014 wreaked of instability.
A hallmark of a lack of a deep-lying playmaker is aimless passing and a lack of urgency until it reaches the final third by which point the opposition defence has re-grouped. This has been a feature of Liverpool's play since 2009 and James Milner will not change that.
Emre Can could be the man to change all this but to expect him to do it consistently at this stage of his fledgling career is ambitious, if not foolish. With so many intangibles fifth is the safest prediction for now, though they are my dark horses for a surprise.
Last season: 62
Predicted points this season: 70-75
Sterling is a top player already and looks set to become world class sooner rather than later. However, Manuel Pellegrini will have to hope he develops his shooting boots this season otherwise he will be primed for the sack. In selling Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko they have lost 15-20 individually from the two. A switch in formation from 4-4-2 to 4-3-3 puts a strain on Sterling and David Silva to bag the goals Dzeko and Negredo would have gotten.
Fabian Delph, whilst a player they needed in terms of his energy, is not of the required quality yet because of their desperation to sign a homegrown player, he has become a first-team regular. No doubt he will help Yaya Toure being overran in the middle but together with Fernandinho and Fernando they will over burden the Ivorian with creating chances.
And with an aging defence unchanged from last season there is a feeling City are a house built on sand. Others might point towards the Citizens recent Premier League triumphs but they occurred in weaker seasons than this one is shaping up to be and let us not forget they struggled to win the league on both occasions. Chelsea have upper the bar and Man City, unfortunately have appeared to have dropped it.
Last season: 79
This season: 75-80
As it currently stands they have the best midfield in terms of balance. Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger and Ander Herrera offer defensive protection, energy, creativity and goals. Forget the Premier League, that midfield will give Europe's best a worry - it has been a while since an English club could say that!
Elsewhere they are a bit short. The frontline of Depay, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata compares favourably against all but Barcelona's, Real Madrid's, Bayern Munich's and on paper for the meantime, Atletico Madrid. One injury however, and they are scrambling around for cover.
The defence does not even have that luxury as they are all average or simply unproven. A few more signings will perhaps improve the evaluation of United but for now it appears they will run Arsenal and Chelsea close but no cigar.
Last season: 70
Predicted points this season: 75-80
As always, central to the North London club's hopes will be their strong collection of playmakers. Santi Cazorla has had a new lease of life after being re-positioned into a more deeper role and is now arguably their best player.
Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all had poor campaigns last time out for varying reasons but have had positive pre-seasons and will be rearing to go.
The former Chelsea and Rennes man can single-handedly save matches but Arsenal will hope he is not overburdened and this is where Coquelin comes in. It will be the Frenchman's job to shield a back four that aside from Laurent Koscienly, lacks a player that can be ranked among the elite.
Arsenal nearly always beat the so-called lesser teams, but with their new found ability to soak up pressure and sit deep against the big boys, they are Chelsea's main contenders. A lack of a top goalscorer might dash their hopes though. Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are fine players but do not compare to any of their rivals main strikers. Since Robin van Persie has left the club they have turned into draw specialists, unable to blow away their opponents.
Last season: 75
Predicted points this season: 80-85
Despite what the others have done to close the gap as things stand Chelsea are still the team to chase. They are the only club balanced in both attacking, defending and squad depth.
There is no discernible weakness in the team and in Thibaut Courtois, John Terry, Branislav Ivanovic, Cesar Azpilicueta, Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas and Eden Hazard, they have the best players in the division in the respective positions.
A minor worry is the striking situation. Diego Costa's hamstrings were problematic last season, forcing him to miss 12 matches. He was an absentee against Arsenal in the Community Shield and remains a doubt for the season opener against Swansea. On paper Radamel Falcao is a fine deputy but he has not looked the same after his ACL injury in January 2014. Meanwhile, Loic Remy, for all his abilities is not good enough to hold down the lone striker role for long periods.
That said, Chelsea nearly won the league in 2014 with a past it Samuel Eto'o and Fernando Torres; since then the club has come on leaps and bounds.
Last season: 87
Predicted points this season: 85-90
Are you an irate Tottenham or Manchester City fan? Or a happy Chelsea fan? Whoever you support drop your opinions in the comment box below.