By Riegan Thompson

With the start of the Premier League season set to get under way, BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism student Riegan Thompson has been taking a look at the race for the title, top four and the battle for survival…

The Premier League once again promises to be the most exciting league in the world, and with no stand out favourite this year it could go down to the wire.

Defending champions Chelsea undoubtedly benefited from having no European football last time around, but manager Antonio Conte hasn’t added many fresh faces to his title winning side over the summer, and questions will be asked of his squad as the gruelling schedule sets in.

Last season’s runners-up Tottenham Hotspur will play all their home games at Wembley next season while their new White Hart Lane home is being built, and having struggled there in the Champions League many Spurs fans are fearing the worst. But if Tottenham can get over the Wembley nerves then they will be a force to reckoned with once again.

The two Manchester clubs have added well to their teams and spent considerable money in doing so. United focused on the Europa League last season in order to get Champions League football this year, but Jose Mourinho will have his eyes set on the league title this time around. Pep Guardiola struggled in his first season in England but wasted no time in clearing out the deadwood at City over the summer and bringing in his own players to the tune of over £200m so far. A year later than many expected, Pep and Jose will be hoping to sustain a proper title challenge this season.

Everton have spent big this summer and although they won’t be challenging for the title, Champions League qualification is certainly a realistic aim. Arsenal’s failure to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 1996 led many to believe Arsene Wenger would be off. However, after committing his short-term future to the club he will hope his new multi-million-pound striker Alexandre Lacazette will fire them back into the competition.

At the other end of the table, Premier League newbies Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town, along with Newcastle United, will all be looking for the magical 40-point mark to ensure survival. That will also be the target for Swansea City who have been hotly tipped for relegation along with Burnley and Watford.

Southampton and West Bromwich Albion will both be hoping to challenge for Europa League places after good 2016/17 campaigns.

David Greenwood, who studies BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism student and is an avid Burnley fan, gave his thoughts on the upcoming Premier League season.

On where the title will be going come may, David said: In my opinion the Premier League will be heading back up to Manchester at the end of the season. My big money goes on Manchester City as they’ve spent enormous amounts and strengthened in areas that needed it the most. United will run them close, as will Chelsea, but Guardiola’s men look as though they could be a class apart.”

He also sounded out Liverpool as the surprise package, adding: Liverpool have gone about their business relatively quietly and added more pace to a frightening front line. They produced against the big sides last year but slipped up against the so-called lesser teams, but my only worry is the size of their squad with the added European fixtures.”