Who Will Reign Supreme in the Battle of London?

Written by Chris Baxter
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While reigning champions Manchester City and last season’s second-placed finishers Liverpool are bet exchange odds-on favourites to compete for the English Premier League title again this year - fans are also anticipating a hotly contested battle to take place amongst the major London clubs who will be vying for the highly sought-after Champions League spots.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham have always had a competitive rivalry – however - this upcoming season is shaping up to be incredibly important given where each club is positioned with their respective squads. A strong 2022-23 campaign could catapult one of these three outfits to prolonged success – and with the level of dominance that has been on display from City and the Reds over the past five years, a London-based champion is overdue.

In what proved to be somewhat of a mixed season for the aforementioned London clubs, let’s analyse where they performed well, along with where their play was lacking in 2021-22. Additionally, let’s dissect their moves in the transfer window and how that will help their chances come the opener in August.

Chelsea

Given the turmoil and outside noise Chelsea had to contend with last season, their third-placed finish should be considered a relative success. Whether it be the sanctions imposed on their owner Roman Abramovich, or the contractual headaches they dealt with courtesy of star striker Romelu Lukaku, The Blues could have been forgiven if they capitulated and slid out of the top four. With some more stability predicted and a couple of key signings this offseason, it won’t be a surprise to anyone if Chelsea secures a Champions League slot yet again this year.

The most notable signing for the club this summer was the acquisition of Raheem Sterling. Chelsea will be hoping the former Manchester City forward will provide their squad with some much-needed firepower – and if you couple his signing with the team’s addition of former Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, they could definitely make some waves this season.

Arsenal

Despite appearing to have the fourth and final Champions League spot sown up with just a few games remaining last season, the Gunners’ run home was a very disappointing one. Their 3-0 loss to the Spurs and their away defeat to Newcastle United in consecutive weeks sealed their fate and ensured they wouldn’t be playing Champions League football in 2022-23. Much like Chelsea, their season at times was clouded in controversy.

When Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta spoke out publicly about the club’s decision to let go of gifted striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, it was met with mixed reactions. While Arteta referenced Aubameyang’s undeniable talent, he noted that the Frenchman’s poor application at training was rubbing teammates the wrong way.

Although Arsenal went on a decent run immediately post Aubameyang’s departure, the clear lack of a world class striker plagued the side at the business end of the season – calling into question as to whether it was the correct decision. However, as the club looks to move forward, fans will be pleased with some of the club’s offseason purchases.

Despite missing out on acquiring Ajax’s Lisandro Martínez, they have managed to secure a star signing in Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus – adding further depth on the offensive side of the ball. If Jesus’ preseason form is anything to go by, Arsenal could be in with a real shot to finish higher up the table this season.

Tottenham Hotspurs

With the shrewd signing of manager Antonio Conte, Tottenham’s blistering finish to the 2021-22 season has them prepared for another stellar campaign this time around. With the criminally underrated and most recent Golden Boot winner Son Heung-min primed for another big year, many believe Spurs are looking the most likely to experience success out of the London Premier League clubs. Combine that with the tidy additions to the squad of Fraser Forster, Ivan Perišić, Yves Bissouma and Richarlison – and you can see why there is a sense of optimism growing at the north London club.

However, with a manager that is notorious for abandoning ship when unhappy, Conte’s unpredictability always poses a threat of potentially throwing a wrench into Tottenham’s plans at securing back-to-back top four finishes. 

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Read 159 times Last modified on Monday, 01 August 2022 19:23
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Chris Baxter

Chris Baxter

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