More often than not, the Premier League follows a familiar pattern when it comes to the winners, the European qualifiers and the relegated sides.
Last season threatened to be different, with Liverpool trying their best to provide a new name on the Premier League trophy, Everton getting close to landing a top-four spot and Sunderland almost ending their top-flight association.
In the end though, the league reverted to type, but in the hope of something different, here’s some left-field story lines we’d like to see play out this season:
When the league gets a little-guy to root for, the league roots for them. Blackpool in 2010/11 and Burnley themselves four years ago are just two examples of sides playing the season-long underdog. Neither survived, so let’s hope the Clarets do better this time around.
The midlands club have been a Premier League mainstay since the competition’s inception in 1992, but have flirted with throwing that tag away in three consecutive seasons.
A signing to capture the imagination hasn’t really come along this summer and with largely the same youthful squad that’s recently struggled at his disposal, Paul Lambert could well face the drop this term.
The battle of north London’s two top-flight clubs to finish in the top four seems to have dominated both Tottenham and Arsenal’s thinking in the last few seasons, with the Gunners always coming out on top.
This term though, wouldn’t it be refreshing to see the Lilywhites lifting their fictional Champions League qualification trophy rather than Arsene Wenger’s side?
Such is the desperation among the promoted trio to stay cosy with the Premier League heavyweights, that invariably the man who leads them there is cold-heartedly cast aside in order to try and achieve it.
If just one of Harry Redknapp, Sean Dyche or Nigel Pearson can see out the campaign though it’d be a welcome change.
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