The Barclays Premier League is about to start this weekend, with six matches kicking off on Saturday night until the big one on Tuesday morning (all in Manila time). With all the drama from the last season as compelling as the telenovela dramas people watch on the tellys, it has heightened anticipation amongst fans worldwide.
The buzz has been, not surprisingly, Robin van Persie's transfer from Arsenal to Manchester United. The Dutch international was sensational last season for the Gunners. Adding him to an already formidable attack unit of Rooney, Chicharito and Welbeck (and Berbatov, since he is still actually on the team) would make them clear favorites to win the title, right? I mean, adding he and Japanese sensation Shinji Kagawa put them over the top? Quite possibly.
However, the champion still resides in Manchester, but it's in a different color scheme. Manchester City, oddly enough, was relatively quiet in the offseason (as of the moment), save for Jack Rodwell. But what may tip things back to their favor could be their enigmatic duo up front being engaged. Mario Balotelli had a sensational Euro 2012 for the Azzuri, while Carlos Tevez looks to put the woes of last year behind him. Otherwise, the same old reliables of Roberto Mancini are still there.
The other contenders decided on shuffling the decks to see if it would net them a means to dislodge those two Manchesters. Arsenal moved on in the RvP drama, entrusting their team's leadership to Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta, while Arsene added Lukasz Podolski, Oliver Giroud and Santi Cazorla. Chelsea removed what it perceived to be gray hairs and opted with a youth injection with Oscar, Marko Marin and Eden Hazard. Tottenham hitched its hopes on new manager Andre Villa-Boas and prays things go his way this time instead of last year. Liverpool bid goodbye to King Kenny, and put their faith on Brendan Rodgers.
Who can spring surprises from out of nowhere? David Moyes has been the rock of Everton, and even with the limitations, manage to squeeze things out more. Newcastle shocked the world last season with their run alongside the familiar names. Can the Dembas (Ba and Cisse) replicate their impressive performances? Queens Park Rangers barely escaped the drop, and as a result decided to open their checkbooks and bolstered their lineup all across.
It will be difficult to replicate last year's feat of freshly promoted teams escaping relegation, but West Ham, Southampton and Reading will give it a try, while other teams who barely escaped relegation like Wigan and Aston Villa hope to ensure they don't have to relive that moment again.
So sit back, relax and enjoy the Premiership ahead. Last season was a barnburner, so let's hope this season is even better.