PREMIER LEAGUE POWER RANKINGS: Manchester United Is Still The Team To Beat

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In two weeks, the silly season of summer transfers will finally give way to a new Barclays Premier League season.Some teams sat tight (Chelsea), some teams retooled (Liverpool), and some dumped its best players (Aston Villa). On August 13, we’ll see which moves pay off, and which ones fall flat.

In our first power rankings of the year, we used last season’s results and this summer’s transfers to pin down the pecking order of the league’s top-10 teams going into 2011-2012.

#10 Aston Villa

Finish last year: 9th

Key additions: Charles N'Zogbia, Shay Given

Key subtractions: Ashley Young, Nigel Reo-Coker, Stewart Downing, Brad Friedal

Villa went from a legit threat to earn a European place two years ago to a mid-table finish last year. They sold their two best players from a season ago, but a full season of Darren Bent and breakout star Marc Albrighton should keep them in the top-half of the league.

#9 Fulham

Finish last year: 8th

Key additions: John Arne Riise

Key subtractions: None

Fulham remain firmly in the middle of the table. They add John Arne Riise to the defence, but they should end up in their customary 8th-12th place position by the year's end.

#8 Bolton

Finish last year: 14th

Key additions: Nigel Reo-Coker, David Ngog (rumoured)

Key subtractions: None

American standout Stuart Holden comes back from a leg injury, but Chung-Yong Lee is now out for nine months with a broken leg of his own. Bolton's attacking style gave the big boys fits last year.

#7 Everton

#6 Tottenham

Finish last year: 5th

Key additions: Brad Friedal

Key subtractions: Luka Modric (rumoured)

Tottenham's European adventure ended in shambles last year. By making it to the Champion's League quarterfinal, the team's league play suffered. They desperately need a top-four finish this year to keep star players like Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart from leaving White Hart Lane.

#5 Arsenal

Finish last year: 4th

Key additions: Gervinho

Key subtractions: Gael Clichy, Cesc Fabregas (rumoured), Samir Nasri (rumoured)

Without any significant moves to steady their shaky defence, Arsenal sit a tier below United and Co. They are still bursting with young talent, but they'll have to find some week-to-week consistency to compete for the title.

#4 Liverpool

Finish last year: 6th

Key additions: Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing, Doni, Jordan Henderson

Key subtractions: Paul Konchesky, David Ngog (rumoured)

Liverpool were on-par with United after manager Kenny Dalglish took over the squad in the middle of last season. After bolstering the midfield with a host a new signings, they'll look to make a run at their first top-four since 2008-09.

#3 Chelsea

Finish last year: 2nd

Key additions: Andre Villas-Boras (manager)

Key subtractions: None

A full season of winter signees David Luiz and Fernando Torres should do Chelsea good. If new boss Andre Villas-Boras can figure out how Torres and Didier Drogba can coexist, the Blues can win their second Premier League title in three years.

#2 Manchester City

Finish last year: 3rd

Key additions: Sergio Aguero, Stefan Savic, Gael Clichy

Key subtractions: Shay Given, Jerome Boateng, Carlos Tevez (rumoured)

With just a handful of new faces in the squad, City finally has the opportunity to build on the team chemistry it developed toward the end of last season. They should challenge for a title whether Carlos Tevez comes back or not.

#1 Manchester United

Finish last year: 1st

Key additions: David De Gea, Ashley Young, Phil Jones

Key subtractions: None

The offseason has given us no reason to unseat last year's champions. Sir Alex Ferguson's squad is poised to make another run at a trophy with a wealth of talent on the wings and the potent Rooney/Berbatov/Chicarito strikeforce.

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