City hoping to strike it rich

Premier League kicks off today

City hoping to strike it rich

Didier Drogba (left) and John Terry will have to play pivotal roles in champions Chelsea’s title defence.

Coach Roberto Mancini is expected to have big-spending City challenging for a title they last won in 1968 when the Premier League kicks off on Saturday.

Chelsea, who won the FA Cup and League double when they scored 103 league goals, played some dazzling football under Carlo Ancelotti, and look well equipped to lead from the front again.

However, Chelsea have been unimpressive in their pre-season matches and Ancelotti needs to reinvigorate his men in time for Saturday's kickoff against promoted West Bromwich Albion.

United's bid for an unprecedented fourth successive title was thwarted by the London side but they served notice in last weekend's 3-1 Community Shield victory over Chelsea that they intend to quickly win it back.

Manager Alex Ferguson, now 68, says he has no plans to retire and has every faith in his squad, only dipping into the transfer market to acquire the exciting skills of 22-year-old Mexican striker Javier Hernandez.

Central to United's success again will be the form of Wayne Rooney, who looked forlorn in the World Cup for England, but if he shines up front, so will United.

Arsenal were last champions in 2004 and have not won a trophy since 2005, but they were given a massive boost when skipper Cesc Fabregas pledged his future to the club last week after being courted by Barcelona.

The arrival of Marouane Chamakh up front should bring in more goals with the defence being bolstered with the signing of Laurent Koscielny.

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