Premier League club-by-club preview

ArsenalARSENAL2010-11 season 

Premier League: 4th

FA Cup: Quarter-finals

Carling Cup: Runners-up

Champions League: Last 16

Players in: Gervinho (Lille) £10.7m*, Carl Jenkinson (Charlton) £1m*, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain £15m* (Southampton)

Players out: Gael Clichy (Man City) £7m*, Denilson (Sao Paulo) Loan, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas (Ipswich) £1.5m-£2m*, Mark Randall (Chesterfield) Free, Roarie Deacon (Sunderland) Free, Wellington (Levante) Loan, Kyle Bartley (Rangers) Loan

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • Arsenal start the season with three tricky opening games away to Newcastle on 13 August, at home against Liverpool on 20 August and away to Manchester United on 28 August.
  • Local derbies against Tottenham are on 2 October (away) and 25 February (home).

Full Arsenal fixture list

BBC London’s Andrew Rowley:

“The uncertainty over the futures of key players Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri has made for an unsettled summer for Arsenal and their supporters.

“Wenger has managed to sign highly-rated Ivorian striker Gervinho from French champions Lille, but potential moves for Everton defender Phil Jagielka and Valencia starlet Juan Mata have yet to bear fruit.

“The club have yet to sign an authoritative defender, such as Blackburn’s Chris Samba, and, after leaking so many goals from set-pieces, there remains a strong case for an organiser at the back.

“Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey and Alex Song represent an exciting, if inexperienced midfield while Robin Van Persie remains a class act up front.

“But the battle for a top-four place will be fiercer than ever, let alone a fight for the title.”

Aston VillaASTON VILLA2010-11 season

Premier League: 9th

FA Cup: Fifth-round

Carling Cup: Quarter-finals

Europa League: Play-offs

Players in: Shay Given (Manchester City) £3.5m*, Charles N’Zogbia (Aston Villa) £9.5m*

Players out: Ashley Young (Manchester United) £16m*, Stewart Downing (Liverpool) £20m*, Brad Friedel (Tottenham) Free

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • Villa play Arsenal (away), Chelsea (home), Liverpool (away) and Manchester United (away) on consecutive weekends between 24 March and 14 April.
  • With Birmingham relegated last season, matches against Wolves on 27 August (home) and 21 January (away) and West Brom on 22 October (home) and 28 April (away) provide the local opposition.

Full Aston Villa fixture list

BBC WM’s Mark Regan:

“I feel the Villa fans are a little disappointed with what has gone on over the summer months.

“I don’t think N’Zogbia makes up for the loss of Downing and Young. Two wide players down either flank are very, very important to how Villa set themselves up at the moment.

“They will be pinning a lot of hope on Marc Albrighton and it needs to come good for him if that system is going to work.

“The other possibility is that Alex McLeish is going to make things a bit more compact in midfield with five men and that won’t be that popular.

“McLeish needs a great start to get the fans onside. Villa lost a pre-season friendly to Derby and some at Pride Park were not shy in coming forward to let the manager know what they thought of that performance.

“If they have a slow start, I don’t think the fans will give him that much of a honeymoon period.”

Blackburn RoversBLACKBURN2010-11 season

Premier League: 15th

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Third round

Players in: David Goodwillie (Dundee United) £2.8m*, Myles Anderson (Aberdeen) Free, Radosav Petrovic (Partizan Belgrade)*

Players out: Phil Jones (Man Utd) £17m*, Frank Fielding (Derby) £400,000, Jake Kean (Rochdale) Loan, Michael Potts (York) Free, Zurab Khizanishvili (Kayserispor) Free, Keith Andrews (Ipswich) Loan

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • Blackburn face away trips to Liverpool and Manchester United on Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve respectively.
  • Their final two matches of the season are against Wigan (home), who also survived on the last day of last season, and Chelsea (away).

Full Blackburn fixture list

BBC Radio Lancashire’s Andy Bayes:

“Phil Jones is a massive loss and Manchester United have probably got themselves a bargain at just short of £20m.

“The imminent departure of Niko Kalinic to Dnipro is also disappointing. He is a player with undoubted potential, who didn’t manage to really fulfil it in two seasons.

“As for incomings, the David Goodwillie transfer is another sign of Steve Kean wanting to introduce talented young players to his squad and pre-season has seen the emergence of Argentinian attacking midfielder Mauro Formica.

“Michel Salgado, Chris Samba, Ryan Nelsen and Gael Givet will provide a good backbone to the team with Paul Robinson behind them.

“Ultimately though it is going to be a big season for the owners and whether they are prepared to back the manager and, after surviving relegation on the final day last year, I think some fans would take 17th now.

“Others might feel that with the right level of investment a position around 10th to 12th could be obtainable.”

Bolton WanderersBOLTON WANDERERS2010-11 season

Premier League: 14th

FA Cup: Semi-finals

Carling Cup: Third round

Players in: Darren Pratley (free agent), Nigel Reo-Coker (free agent), Chris Eagles and Tyrone Mears (both Burnley), joint £3m*

Players out: Ali Al-Habsi (Wigan) £4m*, Matt Taylor (West Ham) £2.2m*, Danny Ward (Huddersfield) £1m*, Joey O’Brien (West Ham) Free

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

Full Bolton fixture list

BBC Radio Manchester’sJack Dearden:

“Bolton still lack firepower after losing Daniel Sturridge and Johan Elmander from the squad that finished last season.

“The majority of Owen Coyle’s strengthening has come in midfield, where Darren Pratley, Nigel Reo-Coker and Chris Eagles have all been recruited.

“Wanderers still have cash in the bank after selling Ali Al-Habsi, Matt Taylor and Danny Ward and the fans will want to see more spent.

“Bolton’s strength remains through the middle, especially while they keep hold of the defensive jewel in their crown, Gary Cahill.

“Stuart Holden is due to return to the midfield in October and Kevin Davies remains the focal point up front. Despite his advancing years, the club captain remains one of the Premier League’s most feared target men.

“A stronger squad should mean they can make a better challenge for a European place this time around – but a lot will depend on who they can recruit up front.”

ChelseaCHELSEA2010-11 season

Premier League: 2nd

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Third round

Champions League: Quarter-finals

Players in: Oriol Romeu (Barcelona) £4.35m, Thibaut Courtois (Genk) £7.9m*, Lucas Piazon (Sao Paulo) £10.7m**

**Sao Paulo confirmed a fee of 12m euros in March 2011. Piazon will join Chelsea in January 2012.

Players out: Yury Zhirkov (Anzhi Makhachkala) £13.2m*, Michael Mancienne (Hamburg) £3m, Jack Cork (Southampton) £750,000*, Thibaut Courtois (Atletico Madrid) Loan, Jeffrey Bruma (Hamburg) Loan, Fabio Borini (Parma) Free, Sam Walker (Northampton) Loan.

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • Matches against London rivals Arsenal (away) and QPR (home), on the 21 and 28 April, are followed by a trip to Liverpool on 5 May for the penultimate game of the season.
  • Chelsea play defending champions Manchester United away on 18 September and at home on 4 February.

Full Chelsea fixture list

BBC London’s Pete Stevens:

“A good, solid undefeated pre-season, but Andre Villas-Boas and Roberto Di Matteo made a slow start in the transfer market with only the young Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois arriving – but expect rapid movement in the transfer market over the next few weeks.

“The signing of Lukaku may well be followed by a couple of midfielders: one to act as cover for the injured Michael Essien and another, cue Tottenham’s Luka Modric, as a playmaker to give more variety in their play.

“The strength of the Chelsea team is definitely experience. Five of the current squad were regulars in the side that won the Premier League back in 2005-06 and a fit first XI can hold its own with anyone domestically and in Europe.

“However weaknesses occur when you have to replace those players from within the squad.

“I predict a very tight three-horse race with the two Manchester sides for the Premier League title, with the Blues ending up in third place, but a better-than-expected run to the Champions League semi-finals, and an FA Cup triumph.”

EvertonEVERTON:2010-11 season

Premier League: 7th

FA Cup: Fifth round

Carling Cup: Third round

Players in: Eric Dier (Sporting Lisbon) Loan

Players out: James Vaughan (Norwich) £2m*

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • A run of Manchester City (away), Liverpool (home), Chelsea (away), Fulham (away) and Manchester United (home) between 24 September and 29 October offers little respite if the club gets off to another slow start.
  • Everton have won only four of their last 15 opening-day Premier League matches. They play Tottenham away on 13 August.

Full Everton fixture list

BBC Merseyside’s Mike Hughes:

“The lack of any new signings as yet has left some Everton fans in a state of mid-summer anxiety. However, there’s real quality amongst the Goodison ranks.

“Marouane Fellaini, Mikel Arteta, Jack Rodwell and Louis Saha all missed large chunks of last season and having all four fit and firing for much of this campaign would constitute a real bonus.

“When reality bites it’s often difficult for fans to take, and Everton supporters realise that new acquisitions depend on other players are sold.

“To that end Phil Jagielka and Jack Rodwell have both been linked with summer moves that may yet materialise before the end of August.

“David Moyes’ current squad isn’t short on talent, it may lack depth, but expect the Blues to be in and around the top six come the business end of the season.

“A challenge for a place in Europe and a good run in one of the cups is within their reach.”

FulhamFULHAM:2010-11 season

Premier League: 8th

FA Cup: Fifth round

Carling Cup: Third round

Players in: John Arne Riise (Roma), Pajtim Kasami (Palermo), Marcel Gecov (Slovan Liberec), Dan Burn (Darlington), Csaba Somogyi (free agent)

Players out: Jonathan Greening (Nottingham Forest), David Stockdale (Ipswich) Loan, Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace), £600,000*

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • The festive period contains several big matches with Manchester United (home) on 21 December followed by a trip to West London rivals Chelsea on Boxing Day and a home match against Arsenal on 2 January.
  • Martin Jol will be keen to prove a point to former employers Tottenham. Spurs visit Craven Cottage on 6 November, with the return on the final day of the season.

Full Fulham fixture list

BBC London’sAnkur Desai:

“The core of the team is still the same as in the Roy Hodgson and Mark Hughes eras.

“The defence is sound and organised under Brede Hangeland and bolstered by the arrival of John Arne Riise, who will also add something in attack with his marauding runs down the left flank.

“One to watch will be Swiss Under-21 international Pajtim Kasami who signed from Palermo and impressed this summer in the European Championship.

“If he can settle to life in the fast-paced Premier League, he may be able to share some of the playmaking responsibility with the ageing Danny Murphy.

“Up front, the Whites will hope to have Bobby Zamora fit and healthy as his partnership last season with Moussa Dembele showed signs of promise.

“A top-10 finish would be a good achievement, as there are bigger clubs with bigger budgets who have been splashing the cash and reinforcing their squads.”

LiverpoolLIVERPOOL:2010-11 season

Premier League: 6th

FA Cup: Third round

Carling Cup: Third round

Europa League: Last 16

Players in: Stewart Downing (Aston Villa) £20m*, Jordan Henderson (Sunderland) £16m*, Charlie Adam (Blackpool) £8.5m*, Doni (Roma) Free, Jose Enrique (Newcastle) Undisclosed

Players out: Paul Konchesky (Leicester) £1.5m*, Milan Jovanovic (Anderlecht), Gerardo Bruna (Blackpool), Martin Hansen (Bradford) Loan, Stephen Darby (Rochdale) Loan, Tom Ince (Blackpool)

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • A four-match spell – Tottenham (home) on 4 February, Manchester United (away) on 11 February, Everton (home) on 25 February and Arsenal (home) on 3 March – could make or break the season.
  • Liverpool play fellow big-spenders Chelsea (a) and Manchester City (h) on 20 November and 27 November.

Full Liverpool fixture list

BBC Merseyside’s Mike Hughes:

Hopes are high that this really could be a big season for Liverpool. The first-team squad is stronger than it has been in many a long day.

“The signings of Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing have added real depth and width. Andy Carroll will benefit hugely from their arrival at Anfield.

“Luis Suarez has shown already the incredible talent he possesses and if Steven Gerrard can get back to full fitness soon that too will be a massive plus.

“Pre-season has hardly gone to plan with defeats by Hull and Galatasaray, but using form in friendlies as a guide to future outcomes is fools’ gold.

“Liverpool are realistic challengers for honours next season. Top-four finish becomes minimum requirement again.”

Manchester CityMANCHESTER CITY:2010-11 season

Premier League: 3rd

FA Cup: Winners

Carling Cup: Third round

Europa League: Last 16

Players in: Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid) £38m*, Gael Clichy (Arsenal) £7m*, Stefan Savic (Partizan Belgrade) £6m*, Costel Pantilimon (Poli Timisoara)

Players out: Shay Given (Aston Villa) £3.5m*, Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Jo (Internacional), Michael Johnson (Leicester) Loan, Kieran Trippier (Burnley) Loan, Ben Mee (Burnley) Loan, Donal McDermott (Bournemouth) Loan, Andrew Tutte (Rochdale) Loan, Scott Kay (Macclesfield) Loan,

Summer so far:

  • Mario Balotelli was substituted immediately after unsuccessfully attempting an extravagant back-heeled finish in a pre-season friendly.

Key fixtures:

  • City’s bid for qualification for the Champions League in the last two seasons has come down to matches against Tottenham. It is unlikely to again as the two teams meet on 28 August and 21 January.
  • Local rivals and defending champions Manchester United visit Eastlands on the third-last Premier League match of the season on 28 April.

Full Manchester City fixture list

BBC Manchester’s Ian Cheeseman:

“After 35 years of hurt, there’s a trophy to display, and that success relieves some of the pressure at City, both on the manager and the players but on the club overall, including the fans.

“The signing of Sergio Aguero is immense, psychologically as much as anything. Stefan Savic and Gael Clichy seem good additions but it has been a quiet summer, transfer wise, by City’s recent standards.

“Wesley Sneijder and Samir Nasri appear to be on City’s wanted list and if they come in, City would be serious contenders in the Premier League and the Champions League. Even without them, they’ll be in the mix.

“My only concern with the current squad would be an injury to David Silva. There’s not another like him at City.

“This is the season Roberto Mancini will need to prove he is the man for the club’s long-term future by winning another trophy and doing it less pragmatically.

“Overall plenty of reasons for City fans to be full of optimism – The Blue Moon is rising.”

Manchester UnitedMANCHESTER UNITED:2010-11 season

Premier League: 1st

FA Cup: Semi-final

Carling Cup: Quarter-finals

Champions League: Runners-up

Players in: Ashley Young (Aston Villa) £16m*, Phil Jones (Blackburn Rovers) £16.5m*, David de Gea (Atletico Madrid) £17.8m*

Players out: John O’Shea (Sunderland) £5m*, Wes Brown (Sunderland) £1m*, Bebe (Besiktas) Loan, Ritchie de Laet (Norwich) Loan, Corry Evans (Hull) Loan, Robert Brady (Hull) Loan, Ryan Tunnicliffe (Peterborough) Loan, Scott Wootton (Peterborough) Loan, Nicky Ajose (Peterborough)

Summer so far:

  • United beat local rivals Manchester City 3-2 in the Community Shield.

Key fixtures:

  • Three big home matches for the champions to begin their campaign with Tottenham (22 August), Arsenal (28 August) and Chelsea (18 September) the first visitors.
  • Matches against Chelsea (away, 4 February), Liverpool (home, 11 February), Tottenham (away, 3 March) in the space of a month could prove telling.

Full Manchester United fixture list

BBC Manchester’sSteve Wyeth:

“The attitude at Old Trafford will, once again, be that United can win the lot this season.

“Much will depend on how the new blood settles in, and whether Sir Alex Ferguson can secure a marquee signing to fill the void left by Paul Scholes.

“There’s general satisfaction that David de Gea was the right choice to succeed Edwin van der Sar whilst Phil Jones and Ashley Young look good acquisitions.

“If a deal can be reached for Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder then it would start to look like a very productive summer.

“Ferguson’s leadership is key to United’s success and his ability to install a winning mentality in his players remains evident.

“A few youngsters had their first taste of success but will know from the senior players that the United mentality is to move on and repeat the feat.

“The continuing emergence of Manchester City as a genuine rival for silverware rather than a neighbourhood nuisance gives United an added incentive.

“Challenging Barcelona on the European stage is an even greater challenge, and will perhaps become an obsession for Ferguson in the season he turns 70.”

Newcastle UnitedNEWCASTLE UNITED:2010-11 season

Premier League: 12th

FA Cup: Third round

Carling Cup: Fourth round

Players in: Yohan Cabaye (Lille) £4.3m*, Sylvain Marveaux (Rennes) Free, Demba Ba (West Ham) Free, Mehdi Abeid (Lens) Free, Gabriel Obertan (Manchester United) undisclosed

Players out: Kevin Nolan (West Ham) £4m, Wayne Routledge (Swansea), Kazenga LuaLua (Brighton) Loan, Daniel Leadbitter (Torquay), Michael Richardson (Leyton Orient) Loan, Ben Tozer (Northampton) Free, Patrick McLaughlin (York) Free, Jose Enrique (Liverpool) Undisclosed

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • Newcastle welcome Arsenal back to St James’ Park on the first day of the season, 13 August. The Magpies fought back from 4-0 down to earn a point in the fixture last season.
  • The matches against north-east rivals Sunderland are on 20 August (away) and 3 March (home)

Full Newcastle United fixture list

BBC Newcastle’s Mick Lowes:

“The departures, or possible departures, of Andy Carroll, Kevin Nolan, Jose Enrique and Joey Barton, all within 15 months, represents a huge amount of talent ripped from the squad.

“It leaves them threadbare in terms of real, proven quality and established Premier League footballers.

“I’m quite encouraged by the signings that they have made and when you throw into the mix Dan Gosling and Hatem Ben Arfa, you have effectively got five or six new players.

“But if they don’t get off to a good start, those amongst them who are unused to the Premier League and its hullabaloo could get swallowed up very quickly.

“Talk of relegation is off the mark for me, I don’t see that. But this season is on a knife edge for me. It could go one way or the other.

“These new players could hit it off and they could be a bit of a surprise package. However if not enough players gel, they may find themselves struggling for a lot of the season.

“There is no doubt that there could be choppy waters. You have got a manager who the fans really haven’t 100% accepted just yet, and when the pressure comes, it comes big here at Newcastle.”

Norwich CityNORWICH CITY:2010-11 season

Championship: 2nd

FA Cup: Third round

Carling Cup: Second round

Players in: James Vaughan (Everton) £2m*, Steve Morison (Millwall) £2.8m*, Bradley Johnson (Leeds) Free, Anthony Pilkington (Huddersfield) £2m*, Ritchie de Laet (Manchester United) Loan, Elliott Bennett (Brighton) £2m*, Kyle Naughton (Tottenham) Loan

Players out: Jed Steer (Yeovil) Loan, Luke Daley (Plymouth) Free, Owain Tudur Jones (Inverness Caledonian Thistle)

Summer so far:

  • Delia Smith, joint majority shareholder, is to retire as head of the club’s catering business.

Key fixtures:

  • A testing run-in for the Canaries with matches against Tottenham (away, 9 April), Manchester City (home, 14 April), Liverpool (home, 28 April) and Arsenal (away, 5 May) in their last six matches.
  • A run of five games that includes matches against Wolves (away, 20 December), Fulham (home, 31 December), QPR (away, 2 January) and West Brom (away, 14 January) could be chance to make ground

Full Norwich City fixture list

BBC Norfolk’s Chris Goreham:

“Team spirit has been a big part of the club’s remarkable recent rise. Paul Lambert sets great stall in the type of personality he brings to the club and he seems confident he’s recruited without diluting that.

“Despite the rumour mill linking Miroslav Klose, Michael Owen and David Bentley, there’s been a definite policy to go for younger players who will be hungry to prove they can cut it at Premier League level.

“In their last Premier League campaign, the Canaries failed to win a single away match, but Lambert instilled a very positive approach on the road last season and it seemed to catch a number of teams by surprise.

“The main aim for this season has to be survival. If Norwich City are still a Premier League club this time next year then it will have been another very successful season.”

Queens Park RangersQPR:2010-11 season

Championship: 1st

FA Cup: Third round

Carling Cup: First round

Players in: DJ Campbell (Blackpool) £1.2m*, Kieron Dyer (free agent), Danny Gabbidon (free agent), Jay Bothroyd (free agent), Bruno Perone (free agent)

Players out: Mikele Leigertwood (Reading), Peter Ramage (Crystal Palace) Loan, Lee Brown (Bristol Rovers), Angelo Balanta (MK Dons) Loan, Joe Oastler (Torquay), Max Ehmer (Yeovil) Loan

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • Local derbies against West London rivals Chelsea resume for the first time since 1996 with the Blues visiting Loftus Road on 23 October. The return fixture is on 28 April.
  • Home matches against Liverpool and Arsenal on 17 and 31 March are followed by a trip to Manchester United on 7 April.

Full QPR fixture list

BBC London’sNick Godwin:

“QPR fans are delighted that Adel Taraabt looks set to stay. He held defences spellbound in the Championship last season and many are looking forward to what he can achieve at a higher level.

“Neil Warnock has added Keiron Dyer and Danny Gabbidon. Both useful players on their day, but their fitness will be key.

“Jay Bothroyd and DJ Campbell should provide quality and goals and Campbell will be desperate to prove that last season’s efforts with Blackpool were not a one-off.

“Warnock too will be itching for another crack after Sheffield United, Carlos Tevez and all that.

“But as long as takeover negotiations continue, uncertainty will pervade Loftus Road. Their resolution, more than anything else, may well decide whether this is the start of another long residency at football’s top table, or just a fleeting visit.”

Stoke CitySTOKE CITY:2010-11 season

Premier League: 13th

FA Cup: Runners-up

Carling Cup: Fourth round

Players in: Jonathan Woodgate (free agent)

Players out: Abdoulaye Faye (West Ham) Free, Matthew Lund (Oldham) Loan, Carl Dickinson (Watford), Andrew Davies (Crystal Palace) Loan

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • The Potters face a difficult run of Chelsea away on 10 March, Tottenham away on 17 March and Manchester City home on 24 March.
  • Arsenal visit the Britannia Stadium on 28 April in a traditionally raucous fixture.

Full Stoke City fixture list

BBC Stoke’s Nigel Johnson:

“Tony Pulis has a number of irons in the fire, but things aren’t coming to fruition yet and he will not break the financial situation to bring in new players.

“If things are going to burst into life they normally do so around the 31 August.

“He has got a strong first XI but, because of injuries to Ricardo Fuller and Mamady Sidibe, he really needs to bring in another striker. He says he wants to bring in four or five new faces, but it may boil down to two or three if he is lucky.

“The club has come on tremendously over the last four of five years and fans’ expectations have been raised.

“But Pulis will be a happy man if they remain out of the bottom three. That, as ever, is target number one.”

SunderlandSUNDERLAND:2010-11 season

Premier League: 10th

FA Cup: Third round

Carling Cup: Third round

Players in: Ahmed Elmohamady (ENPPI) £2m*, Conor Wickham (Ipswich) £8.1m, rising to £12.5m*, Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham) Free, Kieran Westwood (Coventry) Free, Ji Dong-won (Chunnam Dragons) £2.1m*, Craig Gardner (Birmingham) £4.5, rising to £6m*, David Vaughan (free agent), Wes Brown (Manchester United) £5m*, John O’Shea (Manchester United) £1m*, Roarie Deacon (Arsenal) Free, James McClean (Derry City) £350,000

Players out: Jordan Henderson (Liverpool) £16m*, Cristian Riveros (Kayserispor) Loan, Steed Malbranque (St Etienne) Jean Yves Mvoto (Oldham), Nathan Luscombe (Hartlepool), Robbie Weir (Tranmere), Michael Kay (Tranmere), Liam Noble (Carlisle) Loan

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • A tough start for the Black Cats who travel away to Liverpool on the opening day of the season before visits from north-east rivals Newcastle and Chelsea on 20 August and 10 September.
  • Defending champions Manchester United visit on 13 May – the final day of the season.

Full Sunderland fixture list

BBC Newcastle’s Nick Barnes:

“The players Steve Bruce has brought in with the money from Jordan Henderson are mostly solid Premier League players with plenty of experience.

“My only worry is goalscoring. During pre-season we struggled against higher-quality opposition and the jury is still out on where Conor Wickham and Ji Dong-won will slot in.

“But there is the substance of a solid defence, if John O’Shea, Wes Brown, Michael Turner and Titus Bramble can somehow stay injury free. And the improving Stephane Sessegnon could the lynchpin for the side this season.

“There may be some expectations that the club can push on towards the top seven, beyond which money, or the lack of it, makes it really hard to progress. ”

Swansea CitySWANSEA:2010-11 season

Championship: 3rd

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Fourth round

Players in: Danny Graham (Watford) £3.5m, Michel Vorm (FC Utrecht) £1.5m, Jose Moreira (Benfica) £750,000, Wayne Routledge (Newcastle), Leroy Lita (Middlesbrough) £1.75m, Steven Caulker (Tottenham) Loan

Players out: Dorus de Vries (Wolves) Free, Darren Pratley (Bolton) Free

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • A run of four matches – against QPR away (9 April), Blackburn at home (14 April), Bolton home (21 April) and Wolves at home (28 April) – may prove decisive in the run-in.
  • The final two matches of the season are against Manchester United away on 5 May and Liverpool at home on 13 May.

Full Swansea fixture list

BBC Sport Wales’ Dewi Hughes:

“Brendan Rodgers has aimed to add depth and Premier League class to a squad that won so many plaudits for its slick passing football in the Championship.

“Watford striker Danny Graham is the marquee signing, but the transfer fee of £3.5m – a club record – speaks volumes of financial constraints facing Rodgers.

“A significant bonus, though, is the return to fitness of Ferrie Bodde. The midfielder, once rated a £5m player, missed last season’s campaign with a knee injury.

“Pace on the flanks, provided by Scott Sinclair and Wayne Routledge, will be Swansea’s most potent threat, but their faith in their intricate passing style will be severely tested if early results are poor.”

Tottenham HotspurTOTTENHAM:2010-11 season

Premier League: 5th

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Third round

Champions League: Quarter-finals

Players in: Brad Friedel (Aston Villa) Free, Soleymane Coulibaly (Siena), Cristian Ceballos (Barcelona) Free

Players out: Jamie O’Hara (Wolves) £5m, Bongani Khumalo (Reading) Loan, Nathan Byrne (Bournemouth) Loan, Ryan Mason (Doncaster) Loan, Kyle Naughton (Norwich) Loan, Stephen Caulker (Swansea) Loan.

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • Tottenham face Manchester United (away, 22 August), Manchester City (home, 28 August) and Liverpool (home, 18 September) in their first five games.
  • Spurs play local rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane on 2 October and at the Emirates on 25 February

Full Tottenham fixture list

BBC London’sNick Godwin:

“There hasn’t been much transfer activity over the summer… yet.

“The Luka Modric saga drags on and Spurs’ business between now and the end of the window may depend on whether he or chairman Daniel Levy gets his way.

“As last season, Spurs have a spectacular array of attacking options, however there is a feeling at White Hart Lane that the side needs another goalscorer.

“The player to keep a close eye on is Sandro. His improvement in the second half of last season was profound. He could be the anchor of the Tottenham midfield for years to come.

“Spurs are not in a position to match the sort of spending the two Manchester clubs and Liverpool have gone in for this summer and much will depend on whether Modric stays or goes.

“He could be the difference between a team that worries the top four all season and one that struggles to retain fifth spot.”

West Bromwich AlbionWEST BROM:2010-11 season

Premier League: 11th

FA Cup: Third round

Carling Cup: Quarter-finals

Players in: Zoltan Gera (free agent), Ben Foster (Birmingham) Loan, Billy Jones (free agent), Gareth McAuley (Ipswich) Free, Marton Fulop (Ipswich) Free.

Players out: Boaz Myhill (Birmingham) Loan, Scott Carson (Bursaspor) £2m*, Borja Valero (Villarreal), Chris Wood (Birmingham) Loan

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • West Brom begin the season with matches against last season’s top two clubs, playing Manchester United at home on 14 August and Chelsea away on 20 August.
  • A run of matches against QPR (away, 3 December), Wigan (home, 10 December) and Blackburn (away 17 December) could prove fruitful.

Full West Brom fixture list

BBC WM’s Mark Regan:

“Baggies fans are happy with the replacement of Scott Carson with Ben Foster simply because they feel they have got a better goalkeeper

“They would also like to see a striker come in because all the goals Peter Odemwingie scored last season were vital and it looks like he is going to have to do that again on his own.

“There has also been talk of Owen Hargreaves, but that will all depend on money

“Albion aren’t traditionally one of the biggest payers and I don’t think chairman Jeremy Peace will stretch to a two-year deal. If that comes off I think it will be a very big coup.

“Aside from that Roy Hodgson has been very canny in his dealings. I think the return of Zoltan Gera is a popular move and he already has a decent squad and did a good job to keep them in the division fairly comfortably last season.”

Wigan AthleticWIGAN:2010-11 season

Premier League: 16th

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Quarter-finals

Players in: Dave Jones (free agent), Ali Al-Habsi (Bolton) £4m*

Players out: Charles N’Zogbia (Aston Villa) £9.5m*, Antonio Amaya (Real Betis) £250,000, Mauro Boselli (Estudiantes) Loan

Summer so far:

Key fixtures:

  • Wigan open their season with matches against the three promoted teams: Norwich (home, 13 August), Swansea (away 20 August) and QPR (home, 27 August)
  • Chelsea (away, 7 April), Manchester United (home, 9 April) and Arsenal (away, 14 April) form a tricky run of games towards the closing stages of the season.

Full Wigan fixture list

BBC Radio Manchester’s Paul Rowley:

“Wigan are confident yet realistic after another last-ditch survival and a key test will be the opening three games against the trio of promoted clubs.

“It is worth remembering though that they lost 4-0 at home to play-off winners Blackpool on last season’s opening day, but the Latics stayed up while their opponents went down.

“A permanent deal for goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi from Bolton Wanderers was the primary objective in the summer.

“Midfielder David Jones has also arrived from Wolves, but the best signing of the close season was to retain the services of manager Roberto Martinez

“Charles N’Zogbia did depart for Villa but his exit should mean more starts for the promising Victor Moses.

“A top-10 finish is the ideal, more realistically, survival is the objective. Either is a long way from when I first saw them as a schoolboy in 1968 and they finished eighth in the Cheshire League.”

Wolverhampton WanderersWOLVES:2010-11 season

Premier League: 17th

FA Cup: Fourth round

Carling Cup: Fourth round

Players in: Jamie O’Hara (Wolves) £5m, Dorus de Vries (Swansea) Free, Roger Johnson (Birmingham) £7m*

Players out: Greg Halford (Portsmouth), Scott Malone (Bournemouth) Loan, Carl Ikeme (Middlesbrough) Loan, Danny Batth (Sheffield Wednesday) Loan, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Sheffield United) Loan

Summer so far:

  • Michael Kightly has signed a one-year extension to his contract at Molineux.
  • Wolves released American goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann after two seasons at the club while Dave Jones, another free agent, joined Wigan.
  • New goalkeeper Dorus de Vries has targeted Welsh international Wayne Hennessey’s starting spot.

Key fixtures:

  • Wolves travel to Arsenal on Boxing Day before heading to the capital again to take on Chelsea on 2 January in a tough festive programme.
  • Wolves and Wigan, who both survived on the final day of last season, meet at the DW Stadium on the last day of this season.

Full Wolves fixture list

BBC WM’s Mark Regan:

“I don’t know if their summer business will be good enough to avoid the last-day worries that they had to endure last season.

“Michael Kightly, who was ruled out for the vast majority of last season, is coming back into the fray. Hopes are high for him but he needs to stay injury free.

“While the arrival of Johnson will shore up the back four and O’Hara will do more of a job more consistently in midfield so I think it is slow and steady progress from Wolves.

“They may not be that far from the bottom of the table though, because the Premier League is that much stronger with the money that Liverpool and Sunderland have been throwing around.

“Mid-table is the best that they can hope for.”

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