Kevin Palmer answers 20 big questions ahead of Premier League season
Every club is covered as our man answers the big question for each Premier League club for the 2015/16 season.
Will Chelsea retain the title?
Manager Jose Mourinho needs add an extra sparkle to his squad with a couple of high caliber signings and one of those needs to be a striker, with Diego Costa’s injury woes continuing. If he gets the right players in, they will be champions again.
Will Manchester United’s new boys gel?
Morgan Schneiderlin is a classy operator who will shine at United, but there are doubts over the form and fitness of Bastian Schweinsteiger, who has struggled for the last couple of years physically. He needs to prove he can stand up to the pace of the Premier League.
Will Raheem Sterling fit in at City?
Sterling and his agent covered themselves in ignominy as they pulled every trick in the book to get out of Liverpool, but there is no doubt that this kid has talent. He will add much needed pace to the City attacking line.
Does Petr Cech make Arsenal genuine title contenders?
Arsenal should have been title contenders without Cech as manager Arsene Wenger has spent more than enough money in the last few years to shed this tag of nearly men. As the Gunners boss has said himself; no excuses this time, they need to be in the mix for the top prize.
Will Brendan Rodgers win that much needed first trophy at Liverpool?
Liverpool look to be the fifth or sixth best team in the Premier League and unless Rodgers can find a way of changing that script, he will be facing the axe come the end of this season. I don’t give him too much hope of succeeding.
Can Harry Kane repeat his 2015 heroics?
It became evident in the final third of last season that Kane’s form in Tottenham colours was not just a brief flirtation with brilliance. This young forward looks to be the real deal and he should score 20 goals again this season if he stays fit.
Can Southampton survive another summer of departures?
Saints have strengthened well once again. Jordy Clasie is a good addition from Feyenoord and will add invention to their midfield, but an extended run in the Europa League may undermine their domestic ambitions.
Will Swansea continue to impress?
They cannot do much better than their eighth place finish last season and those inflated expectations may be tough for boss Garry Monk to live up to. A top 12 finish should be considered success for the Swans.
Are Stoke on the brink of their best ever season?
They could well be the team that threatens the top six. Mark Hughes has rebuilt his managerial reputation at Stoke and he will look to cement that with a push for a place in the Europa League.
What can Alan Pardew do with a full season at Crystal Palace?
Pardew has his critics (and many of those are based in the Newcastle region), but it is hard to argue with his levels of success. Guiding Palace to 10th place last season was a minor miracle and signings like Yohan Cabaye and Connor Wickham suggests they could repeat that this time.
Can Everton bounce back from a disappointing 2014-15?
Not playing Europa League football will help their recovery time between games, but Tom Cleverley is hardly a marquee summer signing to set pulses racing. Getting Seamus Coleman back to his best will be key to their hopes.
Can Slaven Bilic cope with the pressure at West Ham this season?
Imagine if the Hammers move to the vast Olympic Stadium as a Championship club. Okay, it would be amusing, but it is not going to happen as they have a squad loaded with players who will keep them afloat.
Will West Brom tire of Tony Pulis this season?
Pulis is a little like Sam Allardyce in his longevity rate. Fans are willing to put up with the ‘direct’ style of play for a season or two and then they want more. His honeymoon period at West Brom still has a little way to run.
What turmoil lies ahead for Leicester this season?
Claudio Ranieri’s appointment as the club's new manager was as bizarre as it was unexpected and it may well come back to haunt them. The former Chelsea boss is being tipped to fail and he need to prove his doubters wrong by keeping the Foxes in the Premier League.
Is Steve McLaren the right man for Newcastle?
So long as Newcastle owner Mike Ashley is in place, no one is the right man for Newcastle. With the media being banned from speaking to McClaren for most of the pre-season programme, it is hard to know what will happen at Newcastle this season.
Will Sunderland be in relegation trouble again this season?
Yes. Dick Advocaat is an experienced tactician at the helm of their ship, but there is something about that club that means depression and disappointment is never far away. It may be their location in the wilds of the north of England that is the chief problem and that can’t be solved.
How will Aston Villa cope without Benteke and Delph?
Villa have signed a host of players this summer, but many of them come with massive points to prove at Premier League level. Benteke and Delph were always likely to leave this summer and another relegation battle looms large.
Will Bournemouth’s swagger continue in the Premier League?
Cherries boss Eddie Howe needs to adapt his free-flowing attacking style to ensure his side are not blown away in the Premier League. It would be great to see them succeed, but they are among the relegation favourites for a reason.
Will Norwich do better this time around?
Probably not. At the tender age of 34, Alex Neil is a novice manager at the top level and their players are not likely to strike fear into the hearts of Premier League opponents. Straight back to the Championship for the Canaries.
Have Watford a shot at staying up?
The appointment of Quique Flores as manager has given the Hornets half a chance. They have also brought in some experienced international players and they could surprise a few by staying afloat this season.