Just 41 days since the extended 2019-20 Premier League season finished, it's time for the crystal ball again.
A new campaign kicks off in earnest next weekend – behind closed doors for starters, although we hope fans will return before too long – and English football's landscape has changed dramatically.
Only four of the top flight's 20 clubs have changed their manager over the last 12 months, a welcome shift towards stability.
With a month to go before the transfer window closes, my predictions for each club below are subject to amendment because we won't know the final make-up of squads until next month.
But it's never too early to put your head on the block, so here goes… but please don't take my forecasts personally. It's only my opinion.
Champions – LIVERPOOL
Jurgen Klopp is not the sort of manager to let the grass grow under his feet. They have stockpiled 196 points over the last two seasons and that defensive unit, with Virgil van Dijk at its heart, will be the foundation for more success. They have only lost four games out of the last 77 in the Premier League – that's some going.
Last season: 1st
Title odds: 2-1
Runners-up – MANCHESTER UNITED
I can't wait to see United's midfield three of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and new signing Donny van de Beek supplying the ammunition for Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial. Add a world-class centre-back and a top-class goalscorer and they will be the real deal.
Last season: 3rd
3rd – CHELSEA
Owner Roman Abramovich means business – he's given manager Frank Lampard £230 million to spend this summer and Chelsea have brought in serious quality. Hakim Ziyech, Timo Werner, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr will build on Lampard's excellent first season in charge – but he needs a world-class goalkeeper.
Last season: 4th
4th – MANCHESTER CITY
If Lionel Messi wasn't staying at Barcelona, all bets would be off. City's suspect back line has been shored up by £41m Nathan Ake and the 18-point gap to champions Liverpool last season looks a bridge too far.
Last season: 2nd
Odds: 8-11 fav
5th – ARSENAL
Mikel Arteta has done unbelievably well to win the FA Cup and toughen up the Gunners' soft centre since he took over from Unai Emery. Arsenal have already beaten Liverpool, City and Chelsea on his watch, and if they get off to a good start, they could finish in the top four… although I think it's too soon to talk about a title challenge.
Last season: 8th
6th – WOLVES
They looked tired after an exhausting campaign in Europe spanning 383 days last season, and losing Matt Doherty to Tottenham is a blow because he was such an important component in Nuno Espirito Santo's side. But Wolves are compact, good to watch and, with a couple of additions to freshen up the squad, their prospects look bright again.
Last season: 7th
7th – TOTTENHAM
If they are as entertaining as the All Or Nothing documentary, Spurs will be worth watching. But the meter is ticking over to 13 years without a trophy and they should prioritise the cups. Jose Mourinho did well to finish second with Manchester United in 2017 and it would be even more remarkable if he did it again with Spurs this season.
Last seasaon: 6th
8th – EVERTON
Like Tottenham, their barren run without a trophy – now 25 years – is unacceptable for a big club. Carlo Ancelotti is a proven winner who didn't come to Merseyside to tread water, and he has lined up an exciting, new-look midfield. But in the Premier League jungle, I can't see them breaking into the top four yet.
Last season: 12th
9th – SOUTHAMPTON
Can Danny Ings replicate his remarkable form of last season, when his 22 Premier League goals took him within a whisker of the Golden Boot? It will be very hard to do it again, but Saints' revival after that humiliating 9-0 annihilation by Leicester was tremendous. I fancy them to finish in the top half.
Last season: 11th
10th – LEICESTER
There was an air of disappointment when Brendan Rodgers' side missed out on the Champions League, but let's get real: A top-half finish, European football and maybe a cup run would still be a great achievement. Ricardo Pereira is on the way back from injury and James Maddison has signed a new contract. Keep the faith.
Last season: 5th
11th – SHEFFIELD UNITED
Beware the so-called second season syndrome, and goalkeeper Dean Henderson going back to Manchester United is a blow, but Aaron Ramsdale's return from Bournemouth as his replacement looks sound business. If the Blades prosper again, it would be remarkable – and I fancy them to stay up comfortably.
Last season: 9th
12th – BURNLEY
Business as usual at Turf Moor. Manager Sean Dyche will be handed one of the lowest budgets in the division, and he will turn a handful of beans into a feast. The way he gets the best out of his players every year is extraordinary. Dwight McNeil is an exciting talent and striker Chris Wood is under-rated.
Last season: 10th
13th – WEST HAM
They woke up, in the nick of time, last season and Michail Antonio's goals fired the Hammers to safety, but they should be operating much higher up the table. Tomas Soucek looks a good signing – goalscoring midfielders are always worth their weight in gold – and David Moyes deserves more credit for leading them to safety in July.
Last season: 16th
14th – LEEDS
Marcelo Bielsa coaching in the Premier League will be one of the most fascinating sub-plots of the season and, as an attacking force, record signing Rodrigo will give Leeds a focal point. I hope they do well, and they could finish anywhere between the top six and the bottom three, but I suspect it will be somewhere in the middle.
Last season: 1st (Championship)
15th – BRIGHTON
After fighting hard to keep centre half Ben White, I hope he is given the chance to show why manager Graham Potter rates him so highly. Brighton's biggest problem will be at the other end of the pitch, where there will be a lot of responsibility on Neal Maupay to score the goals to keep Albion out of harm's way.
Last season: 15th
16th – CRYSTAL PALACE
Only Norwich scored fewer goals than Palace last season, and the Eagles finished with just one point from their last eight games, so the alarm bells are ringing. New signing Eberechi Eze looks an exciting addition, but if Wilf Zaha's wish is granted and he is sold, Roy Hodgson will need all his experience to keep them up.
Last season: 14th
17th – NEWCASTLE
After the takeover that never happened, the Geordie faithful's expectations have been lowered again. Steve Bruce did a fantastic job to keep Newcastle out of trouble last season, and I love watching Allan Saint-Maximin's flair, but they need a couple of quality additions before the window shuts – otherwise they could be in trouble.
Last season: 13th
18th – ASTON VILLA
It's pretty straightforward. If Jack Grealish stays, Villa will stay up, but if he leaves, they will go down, simple as that – and now he's been called up by England, he'll be even more prominent in the shop window. Looking back, taking eight points from their last four games was a miraculous escape.
Last season: 17th
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19th – FULHAM
Scott Parker won't make the same mistakes Fulham made two years ago, when they threw £120 million at new players and the jigsaw pieces simply didn't fit. I would love to give them half a chance of survival, and many neutrals will be willing them to do it, but I don't see enough firepower to support Aleksandar Mitrovic.
Last season: 3rd (Championship)
20th – WEST BROM
It's good to see Slaven Bilic back in the top flight, and the Baggies will undoubtedly play attractive football. But they simply don't have enough quality at both ends of the pitch or enough squad depth. Hopefully they will prove me wrong, but there is no shame being a 'yo-yo' club rebounding between the top two divisions.
Last season: 2nd (Championship)
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