<strong>Title race will be closer than ever</strong><br />Manchester United and Liverpool both have the motivating factor of 18 titles each, and both have strength in depth. Yes, United have sold a few players, but let&rsquo;s see how they react. Chelsea will be a big force this year and while I think it would be naive to write off Arsenal, they start slightly behind the other three.<br /><br /><strong>Chasing pack hot on their heels</strong><br />Everton punch above their weight and will continue to do so. Aston Villa manager Martin O&rsquo;Neill will have spent the entire summer chivvying away to himself that they slipped up at the end of last season. And then there&rsquo;s Man City!<br /><br /><strong>Man City have it all to prove</strong><br />City have bags of ability in their squad, but how quickly they can forge that team spirit that comes from shared experience, is sometimes the thing that matters when push comes to shove &ndash; that&rsquo;s unknown. Only matches will prove to us how much progress City have made.<br /><br /><strong>Don&rsquo;t write off the new boys</strong><br />When Wigan got promoted everyone said: &lsquo;No chance&rsquo;. When Reading got promoted &ndash; &lsquo;No chance&rsquo;. Hull, Stoke last season &ndash; &lsquo;No chance&rsquo;.&nbsp; The evidence of the Premier League is that it&rsquo;s somewhat disrespectful to write off the chances of those promoted clubs.<br /><br /><br />Ray Stubbs will host ESPN's live Barclays Premier League coverage this season, starting with Everton v Arsenal on Saturday 15 August from 5pm. For subscription information visit: