Premier League guide
With managerial changes galore and a host of new signings from abroad, it's all set for one of the most intriguing Premier League seasons ever. Sky Sports takes you through it all with our club-by-club guide to the new campaign featuring stats, quotes and predictions.
Last Updated: 16/08/13 9:48am
As the countdown continues to another exciting Premier League season, Sky Sports brings you the club-by-club guide to all the top-flight teams. Click on 'Read the full preview' for each club and you can check out more information including Opta statistics, key players identified, significant ins-and-outs as well as quotes from managers and players.
Having once again showed their resilience to secure a top-four finish last season, there were expectations that the Gunners would spend big this summer. But with attempts to sign Luis Suarez apparently scuppered, it looks as though it will be a familiar squad once again tasked with fending off the threat of rivals Tottenham.
Paul Lambert's young side narrowly avoided relegation in 2012/13 but with a season of experience under their belts and the acquisition of some exciting talent from abroad there is optimism again at Villa Park. With the threat of Christian Benteke leaving also dissipating with the signing of a new contract, Villa will be hoping for a successful campaign.
The Bluebirds make their Premier League debut - and their first top-flight appearance for more than 50 years - this season and nobody can accuse them of not giving it a go. Fans may be annoyed by owner Vincent Tan's shocking decision to change the club's kit colour but with their transfer record being broken three times in one summer the momentum looks to be in their favour.
Although Chelsea have not splashed the cash in quite the fashion of previous summers, the signing of Jose Mourinho as manager could be the most significant one in the entire league. The Special One is back. His presence alone has seen Chelsea established as favourites for the title and with good reason - Mourinho has never lost a Premier League game at Stamford Bridge.
Having won promotion in the play-offs, Crystal Palace arguably have the most ground to make up if they are to enjoy a successful return to the Premier League. Ian Holloway has been working tirelessly to bolster his squad and fill the void left by Wilfried Zaha - but whether record signing Dwight Gayle can make the step up remains to be seen.
For the first time in more than a decade, there is a new manager at Goodison Park and all eyes will be on Roberto Martinez. The Spaniard lifted the FA Cup with Wigan in May but also oversaw the Latics' relegation. With a change in style expected at Everton, it will be fascinating to see how players adjust to the new regime.
Fulham's team of entertainers could provide some fireworks with Adel Taarabt joining Bryan Ruiz and Dimitar Berbatov at the Cottage. Martin Jol has done a good job of covering key player exits with imaginative loan signings and freebies - can a Premier League stay that began in 2001 continue under new owner Shahid Khan?
The Tigers won promotion on the final day of the season in dramatic circumstances but that's when the real hard work began for manager Steve Bruce. The experienced boss has drafted in a number of familiar names in the hope of doing enough to guarantee survival. If Hull stick with their 3-5-2 formation they could prove a tricky team to face in 2013/14.
While the Luis Suarez has dominated the headlines surrounding the Anfield club this summer, Brendan Rodgers has quietly added to his improving squad. The presence of January arrivals Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge for a full campaign is another source of optimism for supporters. The top four will be the aim for the Reds.
Roberto Mancini delivered the Premier League title in 2012 but finishing a place lower the following season saw the Italian lose his job. Manuel Pellegrini looks to be a more popular figure with the club's players and is promising to deliver more attacking football at City. With a host of expensive additions, the club's owners will be expecting results too.
Sir Alex Ferguson finally ended his reign at Old Trafford and did so in style by delivering the Premier League title once again. The pressure is now on David Moyes to maintain those sky-high standards but the changes on the field have not been quite so dramatic. As a result, United are third-favourites to win the league and the failure to land Cesc Fabregas means question marks remain over the midfield.
The appointment of Joe Kinnear as director of football at St James' Park raised a few eyebrows but that aside it has been a fairly stable summer for the Magpies. Alan Pardew knows that the team under-achieved last season every bit as much as they over-achieved in the previous campaign and the Newcastle boss will be looking for a big improvement this time out.
A flurry of transfer activity has added to the air of anticipation at Carrow Road ahead of the new season. While fan-favourite Grant Holt has moved on, Chris Hughton has moved to cover the loss by signing strike duo Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfswinkel. The Canaries will be hoping such additions can see them kick-on to the next level this season.
Mauricio Pochettino quickly won over the Southampton fans with his high-tempo pressing game and with a full pre-season to work with the squad, there is cause for optimism at St Mary's. The Argentine has also spent big in the summer, having broken the club's transfer record to bring in Victor Wanyama, so establishing the Saints in mid-table is likely to be the target.
Stoke chairman Peter Coates took the brave decision at the start of the summer to replace long-serving Tony Pulis with Mark Hughes, who returns to management on the back of a 12-game winless start to last season with QPR which culminated in his sacking. Hughes' priority over the summer has been to introduce a new style of play but can he maintain results too?
Paolo Di Canio has conducted a startling overhaul of the Sunderland squad this summer and most Black Cats would agree it was necessary after a hugely disappointing season that saw the club flirt dangerously with relegation. A host of signings from around the globe have come in but whether Di Canio can fashion them into a cohesive team will be the big question.
Swansea enjoyed a tremendous season last time out as they won the Capital One Cup and played some delightful football in the process. There could be more excitement ahead for Swans fans as they have already embarked on a European campaign. Michael Laudrup knows that could distract from league matters but has added to the squad and the feel-good factor remains at the Liberty Stadium.
Whether or not Gareth Bale's future lies at White Hart Lane remains to be seen and Tottenham's Champions League ambitions would seem to hinge on him staying at the club. Even so, Franco Baldini has arrived as technical director and Spurs have shown they are ready to spend with the exciting signings of Paulinho, Roberto Soldado and Nacer Chadli. A fascinating season awaits.
The Baggies may have faded badly in the latter stages of last season but given Steve Clarke's side had amassed 33 points before the turn of the year it is understandable. Building on that eighth-place finish will be tricky without top scorer Romelu Lukaku but Albion have added Matej Vydra and Nicolas Anelka so don't rule a repeat out just yet.
After surviving comfortably on their return to the Premier League, the Hammers look to have bought shrewdly with the experienced additions of Razvan Rat and Stewart Downing. The latter will be expected to fire in the crosses for Andy Carroll, who has completed a permanent move, and if the big man can stay fit then manager Sam Allardyce will be confident of a top-half finish.