The Premier League starts August 14th with Chelsea as defending champions and two rule changes: 1) teams must declare their 25-man squad at the end of August and 2) 8 homegrown players must be on every squad. The first rule hurts teams that need big rosters (aka the rich teams) to compete in the zillions of competitions throughout the year, unless you get players under 21 who don't have to be registered to be called up. The major theme for this season is the lack of big signings this season, but August isn't over yet.
1 (1). Chelsea - Pretty much the same team as last year with no big signings. They replace the quicker Joe Cole with the more consistent Yossi Benayoun.
2 (2). Manchester United - Also the same team except one significant signing, Javier Hernandez from Chivas. He's the real deal and as a Club America fan, I'm glad he's gone.
3 (5). Manchester City - Two majors, Toure (Barca) and David Silva (Valencia), as well as Robinho returning from being a pussy. Has way too many players and it will be interesting to see who gets chucked at fire sale price.
4 (7). Liverpool - One player and one coach solves all their problems. New signing Joe Cole solves their creativity problem and new coach Roy Hodgson solves their insanity problem. If Liverpool becomes communist by being bought out by the Chinese government, expect a lot of Man City people to come over.
5 (3). Arsenal - With Fabragas staying, they'll have essential the same team except no crazy William Gallas. Unless they get one big signing, preferably at forward, they'll be top 4 but won't win anything.
6 (4). Tottenham - With a chance at Champions League glory, it's surprising that they essentially made no moves (just Sandro from Inter). Their squad is solid all around, but I feel there's one more signing for them before the window ends.
7 (6). Aston Villa - No signings with no plans for any and a chance they'll be losing Milner to Man City, Aston Villa is quite happy where they are at mid-high table.
8 (8). Everton - It's a shame they couldn't secure Landon Donovan from the MLS because, even though I think he sucks, he does make Everton better offensively.
9 (9). Birmingham City - New signings Ben Foster (Man U) and Zigic (Valencia) will keep them floating in the mid table safely.
10 (12). Fulham - Losing Chris Smalling (Man U) was huge, but getting Mark Hughes to take over for Roy Hodgson is pretty good. He's got a great defensive mindset that's needed for a mid table team.