Ranking every Premier League team
Chelsea tops forecast ranking of all 20 Prem clubs for the 2014-15 campaign
Prem previews: Breakout players | Best XI | Betting guide
The eve of the English Premier League season provides a sense of hope for fans of all 20 domestic clubs, and no matter how each team looks on paper, there is optimism that it can exceed expectations.
Added to that optimism are the specific motivations within each club, as some are looking to re-establish their place within European competition (Tottenham, Manchester United), while others are hoping to avoid a late race to escape relegation at the end of the season (Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion).
Here is my ranking of where all 20 teams will finish, based on a combination of last season's performance, and offseason additions and losses.
1. Chelsea (2013-14 finish: 3rd place)
Chelsea is not necessarily the most dynamic team in the Premier League, but there are very few holes in manager Jose Mourinho's team, particularly across the back line. The additions of defender Filipe Luis and goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois from Atletico Madrid improve a team that conceded a league-low 25 goals last season, and the additions of Spanish imports Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa bring more depth to a Chelsea attack that needed to rely on Fernando Torres as a primary attacking option at certain points last season. The Blues are the team to beat this season.
To read Adrian Melville's full ranking of how each team in the Premier League will finish this season, sign up for Insider today.
Soccer on ESPN Insider
Adrian Melville weighs in on the best position fits for five key U.S. players whose roles are in flux, including Michael Bradley and DeAndre Yedlin.