It’s safe to say that the summer transfer window hasn’t truly sparked into life yet, particularly for the big six Premier League sides.
Fortunately for us fans and those sides still looking to make a number of major signings, there’s still someway to go before the season gets underway on the 9 August.
With potential transfers, injuries and all other factors considered, here’s how the Premier League’s elite sides could lineup for their first outing of the 2019/20 campaign.
Ederson, Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Harry Maguire, Benjamin Mendy, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero.
Given their dominance last season – accumulating a total of 98 points – it’s unlikely that City’s squad will look vastly different at the beginning of next season.
They’ve been heavily linked with a couple of big money signings. Leicester City’s powerful centre back Harry Maguire is a key target to become a consistent partner for Aymeric Laporte following Vincent Kompany’s exit, while Atletico Madrid’s Rodri is likely to replace the ageing Fernandinho.
A couple of months off and some pre-season fitness work should allow Benjamin Mendy the time to return to full fitness following an injury stricken beginning to life at the Etihad in time for their first match.
Further up the pitch, Bernardo Silva, Sterling and Aguero have established themselves as the preferred front three, meaning the likes of Leroy Sane will have to settle for a spot on the bench or even depart the club before the window closes.
Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino.
The first noticeable aspect of this lineup will likely be the exclusion of any potential transfers. Liverpool largely impressed last season, finishing a point behind City and winning the Champions League, thus limiting the number of deals they’ve been linked with.
The greatest difference can be seen in the heart of the defence. Joel Matip has performed well alongside Van Dijk but it’s likely that Gomez will establish himself as the Dutchman’s first choice partner after returning from a long-term injury.
Given Milner’s workman-like attitude and the possibility that squad fitness won’t be at it’s peak, he may well feature in centre midfield for the opening match, likely seeing Fabinho drop to the bench.
Kepa Arrizabalaga, Cesar Azpilicueta, Antonio Rudiger, David Luiz, Emerson Palmieri, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Christian Pulisic, Willian, Tammy Abraham.
Chelsea too can’t expect too much change given their ban from buying players, with the greatest change being Eden Hazard’s absence following his move to Real Madrid.
Christian Pulisic will almost certainly replace him in the starting lineup and he could be joined by youngster Tammy Abraham following Maurizio Sarri’s departure to Juventus, whilst Willian is also bound to start given Callum Hudson-Odoi’s serious injury.
Potential managerial target Frank Lampard would likely offer more opportunities to Chelsea’s other upcoming stars like Mason Mount – who he coached at Derby – but given the fact that nothing is set in stone, we can assume Chelsea will have a similar team to which ended last season; at least for their opening match.
Hugo Lloris, Kieran Trippier, Jan Vertonghen, Davinson Sanchez, Danny Rose, Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli, Giovani Lo Celso, Heung-min Son, Lucas Moura, Harry Kane.
Mauricio Pochettino regularly alters his formation, but it’s looking increasingly likely that he will choose four at the back next season, with Alderweireld ageing and constantly being linked with moves away, whilst Kieran Trippier is also rumoured to be leaving.
Nonetheless, most of their potential purchases can be seen in midfield. With Victor Wanyama increasingly growing out of favour and Christian Eriksen likely to join Hazard at Madrid, it’s no surprise that Spurs are chasing Giovani Lo Celso.
A new-look midfield could play behind an established attack as Son and Lucas Moura both proved their worth at times last season.
Bernd Leno, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis, Eder Balanta, Nacho Monreal, Kieran Tierney, Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
It’s looking like it’s going to be a difficult transfer window for Unai Emery, who is only reportedly being give around £45m to spend on any potential deals.
The defence could look somewhat different. Shkodran Mustafi has suffered his fair share of criticism so it would be a surprise if he were to start the first game next season, with the club being linked with a number of alternatives like Eder Balanta, who could be available for as little as £4m.
Arsenal have already had a bid rejected for Celtic’s Kieran Tierney but it also seems like he would also be available for a relatively low fee, and would be a perfect replacement for Nacho Monreal.
And while the Gunners have been linked with a series of attackers, including Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, almost all of which are far too expensive making it difficult to see how any deal could be completed. This may mean others like Mesut Ozil feature more regularly in a narrower formation which utilises wing backs.
David De Gea, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Victor Lindelof, Ruben Dias, Luke Shaw, Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Bruno Fernandes, Daniel James, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford.
In truth, it’s difficult to predict how Manchester United might lineup for their opening game, because they seem to be linked with every player under the sun.
A deal for Aaron Wan-Bissaka does seem to be nearing completion though, while it’s largely accepted that the heart of defence also needs improving.
Links to Benfica’s 22-year-old Ruben Dias have arisen with a deal potentially happening before his current club are able to increase his release clause.
Paul Pogba’s likely return to Juventus could leave space for a new creative midfielder like Bruno Fernandes to play behind a pacey front three which will likely include Welshman Daniel James.
Marcus Rashford looks set truly establish himself as the first choice central striker as Romelu Lukaku’s potential move to Inter edges ever nearer.