Five premier questions

With the Premier League season kicking off on Friday, we look at five questions ahead of the new campaign.

Will Conte avoid second-season slump?

Just three months after lifting the Premier League trophy, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte has described the new season as the most “difficult” test of his career.

In the past two seasons, Chelsea and Leicester City have sacked their managers less than a year after winning the title.

Conte has spent more than £100-million on Alvaro Morata, Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger to avoid becoming the third axed champion.

Will Mourinho deliver?

José Mourinho’s first season at Manchester United was a qualified success, with a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Premier League offset by Europa League and League Cup silverware.

Not content with that, Mourinho has spent more than £140-million on Romelu Lukaku, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof in a bid to win United’s first league title since 2013

Can Wenger salve old wounds?

Despite ending last season on a high thanks to their FA Cup triumph against Chelsea, divisions still run deep at Arsenal over Arsène Wenger’s lack of success in the Premier League and Europe over the past 13 years.

Out of the Champions League for the first time in 20 years, Arsenal must make a fast start and avoid their usual winter swoon to keep the natives from becoming even more restless.

Has Guardiola learnt English lessons?

Unable to replicate his dominance with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, Pep Guardiola admitted his trophyless first season with Manchester City had been a learning experience.

Spending more than £200-million on six new players, including Tottenham Hotspur’s Kyle Walker and Monaco duo Benjamin Mendy and Bernardo Silva, puts Guardiola in a position to mount a stronger challenge this time.

Can Spurs make final step?

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino has assembled a side capable of holding their own against anyone, but for two years in a row they have fallen short in the title race.

Having finished seven points behind Chelsea, Spurs have yet to make a single signing, and Walker’s sale to City and a season playing their home games at Wembley adds to Pochettino’s problems. — AFP

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