The English Premier League is back starting this weekend after barely three-month hiatus, which was action packed with the Euro 2020 as well as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
All 380 games will be broadcast live in Kenya on Multichoice’s DStv, with a significant number of matches also being shown live on GOtv.
The EPL kicks off today with Brentford hosting Arsenal in a 10pm East African time kick off.
Brentford are back in the big league after almost 70 years in the lower leagues.
Fans are also raring to go after a season-and-a-half of empty stadiums and fake applause noise for television watchers.
Manchester City is the defending EPL champion, having won last season with 86 points, a huge 12 points ahead of rivals Manchester United.
During the break, City added tricky midfielder Jack Grealish to what was already the best team in the league; if they add Harry Kane to their ranks then they should win the league comfortably.
If not, then I expect Chelsea to challenge them. Chelsea have broken the English transfer record this season, spending 115 million pounds to resign Romelu Lukaku from inter Milan, a striker who was pivotal to Inter winning the Serie A title last season.
With Lukaku leading the forward line, and a plethora of attackers such as Kai Harvetz, Christian Pulisic, and Timo Werner behind him, they should push hard but ultimately finish second or third, especially if City acquires Harry Kane.
Manchester United also look very good, with explosive English winger Jadon Sancho joining the ranks after a successful spell overseas with Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga.
Add centre back Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, and a stable coaching staff behind head coach and club legend Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer, United look the strongest since Sir Alex Ferguson left.
However, questions remain in midfield with Fred and Mctominay remaining a questionable paring, but United will also be pushing for the title and to close the gap to City after they finished second last season.
In London, Arsenal looks set to endure another frustrating season after they failed to significantly bolster their team in the transfer window.
Ben White is a good defender, but he is not a top five centre back in the league such as Van Dijk, Varane or Ruben Dias.
Their striker Aubameyang had a season to forget last year, and if he can regain his scoring touch, Arsenal could push for fifth this time round, at best.
With no European football to distract them from a Champions League push, this will be a make or break season for head coach Mikel Arteta.
Liverpool has gone for consistency and stability rather than flashy signings, with the main addition being Ibrahim Konate from RB Leipzig in the German Bundesliga.
With van Dijk back, and a more favourable schedule and less Covid interruptions, Liverpool will aim to be stronger than last season.
However, I feel United and Chelsea has closed the gap if not passed them, and those three clubs will vie for the four Champions’ League slots together with city.
Top seven clubs’ prediction
In the relegation spots, Burnley is flirting with danger, having failed to strengthen the team significantly and complacency setting in.
Equally, Newcastle is a big club but the unfortunate ownership situation will hinder them and a season battling relegation beckons.
I also expect Norwich, Brentford, Crystal Palace and Watford to be in the bottom six clubs come May, next year.
Relegation teams’ prediction
It promises to be a great season of football. Fans are back in the stadiums, hope springs eternal, especially in August in the EPL, and I am excited to see how it pans out. Are you?