The Premier League season starts on Friday with Champions League winners Liverpool hosting Norwich.
Sportsmail columnist Peter Crouch runs the rule over each team ahead of the big kick-off.
Manchester City are favourites to retain their Premier League title in the 2019-20 season
Peter Crouch is a columnist for Sportsmail
CROUCHY’S VERDICT: 6th
I’m not sure what to expect this season — but you can never dismiss a side that scores goals. If there is a threat at the top of the pitch you have a chance, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette will always carry a threat. They have also signed the exciting Nicolas Pepe from Lille, too.
The situation with Laurent Koscielny over the summer was a shambles though and there is something about Arsenal that just doesn’t convince me. The football is glorious at times and you think they could win the World Cup, but on other occasions they seem to be a team that couldn’t even win a coin toss.
They look the most vulnerable team to drop out of the top six.
MANAGER: Unai Emery – were Arsenal really any better last season than under Arsene Wenger? Possibly, but now Emery’s been backed in the transfer market, he needs to finish in the top four.
KEY MAN: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – a world-class striker. Should flourish with Nicolas Pepe providing supply lines and vital to Arsenal’s hopes of qualifying for the Champions League.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT: 18th
How good is it to see them back? I have a rapport with the club, where I played for two years, and was over the moon they won promotion. They are going all out to stay up too, having spent £130million on new players this summer.
There are no guarantees with spending though. Fair play to the owners for backing their manager, Dean Smith, but we have seen big splurges go wrong before and Fulham went straight back down last season after investing £100m 12 months ago.
But Villa are a different club and Jack Grealish deserves to show what he can do in the Premier League. Anywhere above 18th will represent success.
MANAGER: Dean Smith – superb job to take Villa from 14th in October to promotion in May. Heavily backed in the transfer market and will need to get off to a good start after such big spending.
KEY MAN: Jack Grealish – Villa have spent heavily on new players this summer but Grealish remains their standout star. If he can reproduce his superb Championship form in the Premier League, Villa should survive back in the big time.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 16th
They confuse me more than any other Premier League club. Every year, there has been a point when it has appeared they would be relegated. But then they always stay up and always do it with a degree of comfort.
You cannot deny they are a success story — it is all the more remarkable given their average attendance of about 10,500. I like Callum Wilson and Josh King — strong, powerful strikers who will score goals.
Eddie Howe wants young players who work hard and do everything he tells them to and it works. Yet it nags away at me that, one day, they will drop down and return to the Championship. They will probably stay up again this season — but it will be close!
MANAGER: Eddie Howe – to take a club the size of Bournemouth up through the divisions and into the big time was impressive. To keep them there for five seasons is astonishing. Surely a bigger job beckons soon!
KEY MAN: Callum Wilson – seemingly over the injury problems that have plagued him since Bournemouth’s promotion in 2015. Big new contract and England recognition no more than he deserves. Now he just needs to stay fit.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 19th
There is no worse feeling in football than going through a season of struggle. I had it at Stoke two years ago and I fear Brighton’s squad will experience it this season, given how close they came to relegation in May.
I was shocked to see Chris Hughton sacked and replaced by Graham Potter. Chris is a very good manager and I think he deserved another season.
I can see a point, though, where things catch up with Brighton. The promoted teams are just as good as the Seagulls and will target them as a team they can take points from.
MANAGER: Graham Potter – unproven at the top level but impressive start to his career in Sweden and at Swansea. If he can keep Brighton up, it’s job done for Potter.
KEY MAN: Lewis Dunk – captain, leader, Brighton legend. Dunk’s form over the past two seasons earned him an England cap. If Brighton survive, a large part will be down to Dunk.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 11th
You can be sure of one thing in the early weeks — my last club are going to make a quick start and be as far from trouble as possible.
Sean Dyche was furious about the way they began 12 months ago and, knowing him as I do, he won’t let it happen again.
They have got a good squad and I would expect Nick Pope to be the new No 1 now Tom Heaton has gone to Aston Villa.
Jay Rodriguez is a good addition to a group that is honest and will cause problems for any away team at Turf Moor. A place in the top half awaits them once again.
MANAGER: Sean Dyche – has performed miracles at Turf Moor but fear is he’s taken them as far as he can. If this is his last season, Burnley could surprise a few people with a settled squad and no Europa League.
KEY MAN: Tom Heaton – appears to have won the battle for the gloves at Burnley after Tom Heaton was sold to Aston Villa. If progress continues, could even challenge Jordan Pickford as England No 1.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 4th
I wrote in February that if Maurizio Sarri was going to leave, there was only one man to replace him. So I’m delighted Frank Lampard, who I know so well, was that man. He deserves this chance. He is a good appointment — the right appointment.
Frank will change the atmosphere, which had turned sour last season. They have had to contend with a transfer ban but Christian Pulisic, a player I admire, was signed before and he will add to the quality. I’m not going to say he can replace Eden Hazard, because nobody can.
We will all miss the magical little Belgian but Chelsea have plenty of quality remaining. They will be in the top-four reckoning.
Frank Lampard could lead Chelsea back into the top four of the Premier League this season
MANAGER: Frank Lampard – back at the Bridge and looks a perfect fit. Transfer ban means club’s young stars might finally get a chance. Fans will show patience but it’s what Roman Abramovich wants that matters.
KEY MAN: Ross Barkley – impressed in pre-season and appears to have been given more freedom by Lampard. Difficult start to life at Chelsea, but this could be a big season for Barkley.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 15th
Roy Hodgson raised concerns during the summer about the lack of new signings at Selhurst Park and that does not bode well. It is in keeping with last season, which did not end in a particularly positive manner.
They have lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United and that is a huge blow. The money they received for a local boy was fantastic but that quality is not easily replaced.
So much depends on Wilfried Zaha. If he thrives, they will be fine and should stay around mid-table. If he’s absent for any length of time, they will struggle.
MANAGER: Roy Hodgson – the Premier League’s oldest ever manager, 71, has had to use all his experience in a difficult summer that has seen him lose a key player and fight off interest in star man Zaha.
KEY MAN: Andros Townsend – greater responsibility and maturity has seen Townsend flourish at Palace. Pacy, direct and an eye for goal —Townsend could earn an England recall if he builds on last season’s performances.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 9th
Goals have been a problem during pre-season but you can’t say they haven’t looked to address the problem — Moise Kean, a £25m signing from Juventus, is the kind of player who will excite fans. I also like the signing of Fabian Delph.
I know how impatient Evertonians are for success — and how demanding they are of their players and manager.
Marco Silva looks like he could be class if his methods pay off and Everton are not far away from pushing for the top six.
When it clicks, they are a strong team. They will get some good results and should really be going all out to win one of the cups.
MANAGER: Marco Silva – poor start at Goodison but tweaked tactics and Everton finished strongly. Has spent big again but has bought well and could threaten top six.
KEY MAN: Fabian Delph – underrated midfielder and one of the bargains of the summer. After four years at Man City, his winning mentality could be just what Everton need.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 8th
Losing Harry Maguire is big but it’s not a sale that will ruin their season. I like Leicester, I like Brendan Rodgers and I think the chemistry is there for them to have a really good go this season.
They have excellent players from back to front. Jamie Vardy will continue to be their spearhead; Demarai Gray is blossoming, Ben Chilwell and James Maddison will get better and better. Crucially they have also bought well. Ayoze Perez will enhance an already potent attack and last season’s loanee Youri Tielemans has been added on a permanent basis.
Rodgers always makes a big impact in his first year at a new club and I’m expecting Leicester to be the same. They will battle for the top six.
MANAGER: Brendan Rodgers – immediate impact last season raised expectations Leicester can challenge for a top-six place this time.
Even if they don’t, it will be good to watch.
KEY MAN: Jamie Vardy – still the main man for Leicester. Hasn’t lost any of his electric pace and is always a threat. With Tielemans and Maddison feeding him, expect Vardy to be in the Golden Boot race.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 2nd
There has been a lot of talk around the city this summer about the fact Jurgen Klopp hasn’t made any major signings but I don’t mind that one bit. He doesn’t need to spend £30m on someone if they don’t fit the bill — so why waste money?
There is a good arrogance about the European champions. Klopp knows he has got a quality team, his players know they will progress again and the competition on the training ground will guarantee improvement. It’s the perfect atmosphere to improve in.
How they stayed with Manchester City last season was remarkable. I hope the shootout for the title is another fantastic battle between two teams I love to watch. If City falter, Klopp’s team will take advantage. They are both so much better than the rest.
Virgil van Dijk will be key to anything Liverpool go on and achieve during the coming season
MANAGER: Jurgen Klopp – spent big but won big last season. Klopp has transformed Liverpool and got them playing brilliant football, but that agonising wait for the title goes on.
KEY MAN: Virgil van Dijk – imperious. The world’s best defender has made his then record £75m fee look like a bargain after just 18 months at Anfield. The master and commander of it all and Klopp’s most important signing so far.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 1st
I’m not exactly putting my neck on the line but I am confident they will win the title again. The only thing that I can see tripping them up is a run in the Champions League — the competition that Pep Guardiola wants to win more than anything.
The players will feel the same but I still cannot understand why the fans put the Premier League above Europe. I know enough City supporters to know how much pride they have in being England’s best team and they tell me that’s what they want again.
Barring any false steps, they will be too strong for the rest. Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero go from strength to strength; Rodri impressed me in the Community Shield and looks the perfect successor to Fernandinho.
City set standards that are almost impossible to match. The team to beat.
MANAGER: Pep Guardiola – the best in the business. Yes, he’s spent a fortune and yes, City already had a brilliant squad, but he’s moulded them into a unstoppable winning machine playing football from the gods.
KEY MAN: Kevin De Bruyne – the best player in the Premier League. De Bruyne missed 19 league matches through injury last season — and City still won the title. If he can rediscover his 2017-18 form, they’ll take some stopping.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 5th
For all the money they have spent this summer, they remain a considerable distance from being title challengers. You cannot forget the way their results tailed off last season and they still have something to prove.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a good signing, while my admiration for Harry Maguire could not be higher. I’m surprised they haven’t added a proper flying attacker though and I can’t believe they didn’t try to exploit Gareth Bale’s situation at Real Madrid.
A good year for them would be pinching the final Champions League spot. They have a lot of talent and I would say they are better than Arsenal — the challenge for them is to be better than Chelsea too if they are to reach the top four.
MANAGER: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – can the United legend topple Guardiola and Klopp? The jury is very much out on that one. Needs a good start after such a poor end to last season.
KEY MAN: Harry Maguire – once again United have paid over the odds but the England man will improve their leaky defence and provide some much-needed leadership.
The signing of Harry Maguire could prove crucial for Manchester United and their defence
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 14th
I can imagine many people have them down as prime contenders for relegation. It’s never easy for teams coming up from the Championship but, before you write them off, let me tell you what I know about them.
I sat on the bench at Carrow Road last season when I was at Stoke and watched Norwich play like a Premier League team. They are fast, they pass the ball with confidence and they are dangerous. I couldn’t believe how good they were — they ended up as deserved champions.
Daniel Farke is a good manager and they are coming to catch teams out and it wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if they stay up. Brighton and Newcastle will be in their sights.
MANAGER: Daniel Farke – German defied expectations to take Norwich to the Championship title last term. If he can lead Norwich to survival, Farke will be a man in demand.
KEY MAN: Teemu Pukki – 29 goals in 43 games en route to the Championship title last season suggests the Finland striker can make the step up. Norwich will need him to if they are going to avoid a season of struggle.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 17th
The defining moment of their summer came in the last week of June. Parting company with Rafa Benitez could be the difference in deciding whether they stay up. That is no criticism of Steve Bruce but I have worked with Rafa and I know what he can do for a team.
St James’ Park is such a great place to play football but they are facing the very real prospect of fans becoming disenchanted very quickly if early results do not go their way.
Joelinton, the Brazilian they signed from Hoffenheim, is exciting locals but will he light up the Premier League?
I have my doubts about everything. With Rafa, they were guaranteed to stay in mid-table. Bruce has the job he has always dreamed about — I hope for his sake that it doesn’t turn toxic.
MANAGER: Steve Bruce – needs a good start to placate fans unhappy at his appointment. With Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool to play in first five games, that could prove tricky. A tough season ahead.
KEY MAN: Joelinton – Newcastle smashed their transfer record to sign the big Brazilian and will hope they have found their latest iconic No 9. Looks well-suited to the Premier League.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 20th
It’s good for the Premier League that a team from Yorkshire remains in the division. The atmosphere at Bramall Lane will be rocking in the first few weeks. Nobody expected them to be where they are, but will they play as they did in the Championship or adapt their style?
I saw plenty of their games last season and they employed unconventional tactics, such as central defenders making overlapping runs to get crosses in. It was adventurous and it paid off.
If they are so cavalier against the best teams, though, they will be in trouble. You cannot leave gaps in the Premier League. I wish Chris Wilder and his team all the best but I do worry for them.
MANAGER: Chris Wilder – another who beat the odds to win promotion. It will be fascinating to see how this talented English boss gets on in the Premier League. Has made some interesting signings but faces an uphill struggle.
KEY MAN: Oliver Norwood – started all four of Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 games and makes the Blades tick in midfield. Good passing range and vision. How he copes with step up is key to survival.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 13th
The start my old team made last season left me worried about their survival prospects, but Ralph Hasenhuttl had a tremendous impact when he replaced Mark Hughes.
They are a traditional Premier League club and I hope that will remain the case for a long time.
Hasenhuttl looks like he’s got something about him and with a summer to really impose his methods, you would expect progression.
Danny Ings will be key, provided they can keep him fit, while the signing of Che Adams from Birmingham is exciting. They should stay away from trouble.
MANAGER: Ralph Hasenhuttl – on the evidence of last season when he transformed Southampton, plenty to suggest Hasenhuttl could enjoy a long Premier League career. Tactically astute and innovative, the Austrian will be one to watch this season.
KEY MAN: Nathan Redmond – a little bit of everything. Fast, tricky, creative and can score goals. When Redmond plays well, Southampton play well.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 3rd
The closest challengers to Manchester City and Liverpool. Forget about some of the erratic results they had last season when they struggled with fatigue and injuries — Tottenham are a brilliant side and will comfortably finish third again.
They have spent a lot of money and the arrivial of Tanguy Ndombele is exciting — he will add drive to the midfield. Everyone knows about Harry Kane, who will be desperate to win the Golden Boot again, but I want to stress the importance of Son Heung-min.
He is a top player, one of the best forwards in Europe and I think he will be even better again this season. Dele Alli will also be fired up. I love watching Tottenham play and think they will go from strength to strength.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane will be desperate to win the golden boot this season
MANAGER: Mauricio Pochettino – could this be his last season at Spurs? Has performed miracles so far against richer rivals but Argentine needs some silverware to show for all his fine work.
KEY MAN: Harry Kane – so much more to his game than goals but few better strikers around. If he stays fit, expect Spurs to secure a fifth consecutive top four finish — and Kane to win the Golden Boot.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 10th
I thought they were a difficult team to build an affinity with, as the owners constantly chopped and changed their manager and players came and went. I was amazed they had stayed in the Premier League and expected them to be relegated. They confused me for so long!
It’s only fair, then, that I praise what they have done. Watford have defied convention but now they look an established top-half team and Javi Gracia has given them great stability. He has done an excellent job and many rival chairmen will watch his progress keenly.
Losing the FA Cup final the way they did was horrible, but there won’t be lasting damage. Craig Dawson from West Brom is a good signing. They will continue to be physically strong.
MANAGER: Javi Gracia – surprised everyone last season, even Watford fans. The FA Cup run impacted on league form but Watford might just have found a manager they want to keep for more than five minutes.
KEY MAN: Gerard Deulofeu – inspirational performance in FA Cup semi-final showed just how influential the ex-Barca man can be. If he can find more consistency, Watford could improve on last season’s efforts.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 12th
The biggest decision they made this summer was the correct one — Marko Arnautovic had to be sold. Marko is a great forward but he made no secret of his desire to play in China. Sometimes you have to let players go for the good of the collective.
They need not worry, either. Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko should be back in business this season and the £45m signing of Sebastien Haller is exciting. There will be times when West Ham are thrilling and there will be times when they are inconsistent.
It would be brilliant to see them win a trophy. They are in the same bracket as Everton — it has been too long since they had something to celebrate.
MANAGER: Manuel Pellegrini – has been backed in the transfer market again and will be confident of improving on last season’s mid-table finish playing trademark attacking style.
STAR MAN: Declan Rice – breakthrough season last year ended with a deserved England call-up. Will provide solid base to give West Ham’s array of attackers freedom.
CROUCHY’S VERDICT – 7th
I sang their praises in this supplement 12 months ago. Stoke had played against them in a pre-season friendly and they looked so good against us that I knew they would do well. They were better than good — they were superb and deservedly qualified for Europe.
They may have lost the element of surprise but knowing what a team does and stopping them are two different things entirely.
Wolves are so good I can see them influencing the title race. They’re not going to challenge for the title but they are one of the few teams capable of getting results against Liverpool and Manchester City. Wolves have got good players and a top manager — I think they will get closer to the top six than anyone else.
MANAGER: Nuno Espirito Santo – sensational first season in the top flight, playing an exciting brand of football. Bigger clubs will have taken notice of his talents.
KEY MAN: Ruben Neves – so much more to his game than spectacular goals. The Portuguese midfielder can do a bit of everything and impressed in his Premier League debut season.