Barclays Premier League Preview: Swansea City
Manager: Francesco Guidolin
Stadium: Liberty Stadium (Capacity: 20,972)
Captain: Ashley Williams
Top Scorer: Andre Ayew (12)
Biggest Signing: Leroy Fer (£4.8 million)
Last Season: 12th
Swansea have become a shining beacon for Welsh sport over the past few seasons as a rugby heartland has seen their local football team become household names and dominate the back pages.
Swansea City despite not performing the tricks they should have last season managed to pull themselves well clear of the relegation fight that was captivating to the last.
The Welsh club do seem to often bring some attacking verve to their play and they certainly aren’t frightened of hitting teams on the break with the pace some of their midfielders possess to not use that talent would be absurd.
The Swans will have their work cut out this season though, Middlesborough, Hull and Burnley all have strong squads and with teams such as Sunderland strengthening over the summer it could be a tough season at the Liberty Stadium.
Recruitment is in one word, underwhelming. The capture of Fer is a coup for the club but other than that the other names don’t scream quality. No really high profile departures is big plus especially keeping skipper Williams despite interest from Premier League rivals, Everton.
Leroy Fer (Queens Park Rangers, £4.8 million)
Mike van der Hoorn (Ajax, Undisclosed)
Mark Birighitti (Unattached, Free)
Alberto Paloschi (Atalanta, Undisclosed)
Raheem Hanley (Northampton Town, Free)
Kyle Bartley (Leeds United, Loan)
The pursuit of Fernando Llorente is ongoing but other than that business looks to be done at the Liberty Stadium any other outgoings would be a shock with Everton cooling their interest in Ashley Williams.
My Swansea City XI (4-5-1): 1 L.Fabianski; 22 A.Rangel, 5 M.van der Hoorn, 6 A.Williams (Captain), 3 N.Taylor; 23 G.Sigurdsson, 7 L.Britton, 8 L.Fer, 24 J.Cork, 20 J.Montero; 10 A.Ayew
Barclays Premier League Preview: Tottenham Hotspur
Manager: Mauricio Pochettino
Stadium: White Hart Lane (Capacity: 36,284)
Captain: Hugo Lloris
Top Scorer: Harry Kane (25)
Biggest Signing: Vincent Janssen, Victor Wanyama (Undisclosed)
Last Season: 3rd
Prediction: Champions League
Tottenham would have been the story of the season if it weren’t for Leicester and their unbelievable title win.
Packed full of England stars Dier, Kane, Alli, Walker, Rose they should be match for any team even though many of those players were so under par at this summers Euros.
The squad believe they can do it, they know they have the quality and fanbase to win the league, Pochettino is a very capable manager and he has taken the league by storm first at Southampton and now Spurs.
If the big clubs falter again it could be another chance for Tottenham to shock the fans and pundits alike. The top four has to be the aim for this ambitious club and they should look to make this a regular occurrence.
Recruitment has been strong bringing in some talented players whilst not losing any players so far.
Victor Wanyama (Southampton, Undisclosed)
Vincent Janssen (AZ Alkmaar, Undisclosed)
There are rumours we could yet see both the departures of Fazio to Roma and Alex Pritchard is generating interest from Championship duo Brighton and Norwich. No big names have been linked with moves though.
My Tottenham Hotspur XI (4-2-3-1): 1 H.Lloris (Captain); 2 K.Walker, 4 T.Aldeweireld, 5 J.Vertonghen, 3 D.Rose; 15 E.Dier, NA V.Wanyama; 20 D.Alli, 23 C.Eriksen, 11 E.Lamela; 10 H.Kane
Barclays Premier League Preview: Watford
Manager: Walter Mazzarri
Stadium: Vicarage Road (Capacity: 21,500)
Captain: Troy Deeney
Top Scorer: Odion Ighalo (14)
Biggest Signing: Isaac Success Ajayi, Jerome Sinclair, Christian Kabsele (Undisclosed)
Last Season: 13th
Watford had a good season last time out and found themselves well above the drop zone and keeping themselves well away from danger.
The Hornets played well and and former manager, Flores gave Watford, led by Deeney and Ighalo up front a distinctive style, a style that saw the side score goals and made them difficult to beat.
Teams travelling to Vicarage Road will face a very tough task of breaking down a thoroughly prepared team with a huge amount of desire to prove they have what it takes to succeed in arguably Europe’s most competitive league.
The north London club will look to their new manager and hope for consolidation this season and while I expect Bournemouth a team that came up with Watford to struggle this squad seem a lot more likely to build on last seasons form.
Recruitment wise a few clever signings have been made, they mostly increase depth within the side, not really any stars involved but with 38 games in a Premier League season, depth is key.
Isaac Success Ajayi (Granada, Undisclosed)
Jerome Sinclair (Liverpool, Undisclosed)
Chrisitan Kabsele (Genk, Undisclosed)
Almen Abdi (Sheffield Wednesday, £4 million)
Gabriele Angella (Udinese, Undisclosed)
Josh Doherty (Leyton Orient, Free)
Joel Ekstrand (Released)
Lille forward Boufal remains a target but it is unlikely a move will be done this summer, transfer business looks like it is done for Watford.
My Watford XI (4-4-2): 1 H.Gomes; 2 A.Nyom, 6 C.Kabasele, 15 C.Cathcart NA J.Zuniga; 11 N.Amrabat, 8 V.Behrami, 4 M.Suarez; 21 I.Anya; 9 T.Deeney (Captain), 24 O.Ighalo