The start of the Premier League is fast approaching, and while some of the teams are gearing up for a challenge for the title, there is an upcoming wave of sides that may have an eye on upsetting the balance of the top six.
Sides such as Wolves, Leicester City and Everton are among those that could potentially fight for a place at breaking into the top six, but what chance do the leading contenders have of seriously mounting a challenge to break the status quo?
The Midlands side have only been back in the Premier League for one season, but they were unlike any other promoted side in their return to the top-flight. It’s difficult to compare Wolves to past Championship winners due to the investment that the squad has enjoyed over the past two seasons. Players such as Raul Jimenez, Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves could easily walk into most sides already in the top six, while Nuno Espirito Santo is a proven Champions League manager and will likely move onto bigger things when the time is right.
However, could they mount a serious challenge on the top six this season? The simple answer would revolve around how they adapt to playing in the Europa League as well as maintaining their form in the Premier League. They would have been closer to the top six last season if they hadn’t have lost games that they really shouldn’t have done. They lost home and away against Huddersfield Town and also lost at Molineux to Newcastle United. If they can eradicate that form and maintain their form against the top teams, then there is no reason why they can’t mount a serious threat.
For those that like to try a bet, then Leicester City could easily be the most profitable option. The Foxes under the stewardship of Brendan Rodgers could have an excellent chance of a top-six finish. They managed to capture the signature of Youri Tielemans following an excellent loan spell at the King Power, and they have added Ayoze Perez to their forward options.
The biggest question mark that remains over Leicester is their ability to cope with the loss of Harry Maguire. The England defender was undoubtedly their star defender and whether they are able to bring in a new player to fill his void will ultimately determine how competitive they are. James Tarkowski has been the option muted, and he would be an excellent signing. Jonny Evans is already a star defender, but Wes Morgan is no longer the player he was during the famous title-winning season.
Marco Silva enjoyed a decent first season in charge of Everton, and unlike last summer they haven’t had to make widespread changes. The full-time arrival of Andre Gomes is a brilliant bit of business, while the signing of Moise Kean from Juventus could be the signing of the season if he realises his potential.
Kean was expected to remain at Juventus after bursting onto the season as the latter end of the 2018-19 campaign, and it was somewhat of a shock that the Old Lady were willing to part ways with the 19-year-old. Silva is still trying to bring in a new defender after failing to be convinced by Yerry Mina, but should Everton find the right formula then there is no reason why they can’t battle for a top-six finish. They have the quality in the personal; it is just the question of whether the balance is right and whether they can work well as a team.