I thought I'd get the ball rolling on discussion the upcoming season, separate from transfer speculation.
In the PL, I think City and Liverpool could be our major challengers. I have a feeling that Chelsea might not do so well - the new manager is talented, but I think he's made a mistake and moved into one of the hardest jobs in football too soon. I see he's already talking about winning the CL, per Abramovich's instructions, but I suspect that Chelsea really don't have that much money to spend. They are talking about a season-long loan of Parker to replace Essien, and are playing hardball over Modric rather than simply splashing the cash as they have done in the past. Abramovich expects his new kid (the manager) to make it work with Torres and the players he already has, but I think that team is running out of steam, we knocked the last life out of them at Old Trafford. I expect them to start strong, but go off the rails when they hit their first bump.
Arsenal: I don't want to get into transfers too much, but hard to say what will happen without knowing the fates of Fabregas and Nasri. Will probably be solid top four but not a decent title challenge.
City: colossus with feet of clay. So many internal problems, but at the end of the day they'll have 15-16 excellent players to field every weekend, so they'll be persistent and relentless without probably ever dazzling. I think our greatest challengers.
Liverpool: could make a surprisingly strong challenge. They've got better morale now Torres, Benitez, Hodgson are gone, and have bought good if not stunning players. If Suarez and Carroll click, they've got a solid and pretty deep set of midfield players behind them. Old Dalglish has shown himself to be surprisingly canny with tactics too.
Spurs: fighting for fourth.
The Champions, United: stronger everywhere except central midfield and probably goal (though De Gea will hopefully start strong and keep going). Fit and settled Rooney, Hernandez doesn't look like slowing down after playing well for Mexico in an admittedly rubbish tournament, and I think Young will be very successful. It's debatable whether Young improves our starting 11 in the biggest games, but the lad certainly has pace, passing and an eye for goal, and will be a real asset over the course of a 38-game season. I expect us to get someone in central midfield by the start of the season. Our opening games are too tough for Fergie to go in without Scholes, Gibson, or presumably initially Fletcher: between them those three started over 40 PL matches in central midfield last season.
We should be favourites to win it.
Champions League: hard to see past Barca or Real. City, being tough to break down, could well go far. We should do well, as we've become accustomed to in recent years. How far we go depends on that elusive and possibly non-existant central midfield signing.