English Premier League back on the agenda

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Updated: August 18, 2012

After two stunning Olympic weeks when cycling, rowing, athletics, swimming and boxing have captured the public’s imagination, the Premiership steps out of the shadow of the Olympic stadium to take center stage.

For once in August the big money transfers and speculations have been removed from the back pages and been replaced by the gold medal exploits of Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, Michael Phelps, David Rudisha and the others.

All the talk begins offf the field now. Which Manchester team will lift the title? The red side of the City is bound to be in a confident move following the signing of Robin Van Persie, while City fans will expect more from a team that spent most of last season getting to know each other under a cloud of distractions, most notably the Tevez saga. The Argentine has returned preseason looking fit and ready, an ominous sign for those that had signed him off to Italy.

Chelsea showed last week despite their Community Shield loss that they will be a force this season and that there is life after Drogba. Fernando Torres with still plenty to prove to the Stamford Bridge faithful will lead the line this season and will need to produce the sort of form from his Liverpool days if they are going to challenge for the title.

London rivals Arsenal look set to struggle following the departure of their talisman Robin Van Persie. The talk is that there could be an exodus of other top players from the Emirates which Arsenal fans will be hoping isnt true. The one thing Wenger continues to do for the club is good business, and in the face of the deep recession Arsenal football club look in a healthy position from a long term view perspective.Fans however demand success and Champions League football is the money earner and failure to finish in one of those positions will be deemed a failure. Despite the departure of RVP, Arsenal, who finished third last season, have had a busy summer with French forward Oliver Giroud from Montpellier, German striker Lukas Podolski from Cologne and Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla from Malaga all moving to north London, 33 quality players that must settle into life in the Premiership quickly.

Spurs still hold onto Modric and with Boas Villas at the helm a new era begins at White Heart Lane. Without question a top four finish is realistic especially if they can hang onto their play maker until the January transfer window at least.

Down the bottom, Reading, Southampton and West Ham all newly promoted look set to start the season as favourites for automatic relegation.

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Liverpool could spring a few surprises, especially under the guidance of new coach Brendan Rogers. Rogers while at Swansea provided fans with a very exciting and open style of play that led to some very positive results and could revive the Kop to their glory days, albeit not overnight.