Liverpool's Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk controls the ball during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on August 12, 2018. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo credit should read OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Another summer is in it's final weeks and teams are starting to get frantic with their pre-season preparations on top of trying to broker deals for new stars.

There have been some mammoth stories in the past week, the biggest of which being the departure of Lionel Messi from boyhood club Barcelona as he looks set to link up with ex-teammate Neymar Jr. at Paris St-Germain.

However there have also been plenty of other moves completed, and they are all set to shape the makeup of both domestic and continental competitions.

With this, let's preview each of Europe's major competitions for season 2021/22.

Premier League

Predicted champions: Manchester City

Predicted top four: Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United

This season there is no excuse for Man City not to go back-to-back with the squad they possess - especially after the £100 million signing of England star Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

If they manage to poach Harry Kane from Spurs as well, then they should also have no excuses to win the Champions League, with anything below that surely considered a failure in Pep Guardiola's eyes.

Behind them is Liverpool who despite their incredible starting 11 still lack the out-of-this- world depth that City have, and therefore should be runners up if all things go as predicted.

Their horror middle section of the season last year was surely a blip and the return to fitness of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip and others should mean that the Reds stroll to second.

Chelsea finished off last season on a high, winning the Champions League in one of the most under the radar wins yet.

The arrival of Thomas Tuchel has and will do wonders for them and the impending arrival (or re-arrival) of Inter striker Romelu Lukaku will make them a very wholistic outfit.

Manchester United shouldn't have a problem in securing continental football this season, however they should be aiming for higher in terms of progression in the Champions League.

The arrival of superstar Jadon Sancho will only elevate Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, however it'll be their philosophy and style of play that will dictate their success this year and whether it will have developed sufficiently over the summer.

La Liga

Predicted champion: Real Madrid

Predicted top four: Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla

It seems as if the trophy could be staying in the capital this year, with this one going to Los Blancos.

Real are tipped to sign Kylian Mbappe from Paris, whether that is this season or next remains to be seen, but aside from this they still have an exceptional squad.

COVID and it's financial effects seems to have hit harder in Spain than elsewhere, with both of the big boys in the country not having spent a whole heap so far this transfer window.

They probably won't win the Champions League this year considering the strength of teams from other parts of the continent but they should make a good foray into the knockouts based on pedigree.

Last year's champions Atletico might not be too far behind them and very well could retain the league should things go as they did in 20/21.

Their attack of Luis Suarez, Joao Felix, Thomas Lemar and Angel Correa is a potent one and could very well guide Diego Simeone's side to a second straight title should things go swimmingly.

Barcelona are on the verge of meltdown as their dire financial circumstances forced them to wave goodbye to club legend and their greatest ever asset Lionel Messi earlier this week.

Adding to this brand new arrival Sergio Aguero is set to be sidelined for the best part of three months after tearing a tendon in his right calf.

However the side still are superior to the vast majority of oppositions they encounter, and they should comfortably make the top four.

Sevilla should also be in the mix for continental qualification this season after making it quite easily last season, clearing fifth place by 15 points.

Centre-half Jules Kounde looks set to join Chelsea, leaving a big hole in their backline, but their depth should save them from dropping outside Champions League football.


Predicted champion: Bayern Munich

Predicted top four: Bayern Munich, Dortmund, Leipzig, Leverkusen

It should be another title win for Bayern considering the immense depth they possess relative to other German sides.

Their main priority lies in the Champions League and will be hoping main man Robert Lewandowski can guide them to a second title in three seasons.

Meanwhile Dortmund should not have many problems coming in at runners up, like they have for so many reasons before this, with the sale of Jadon Sancho set to bolster their ability to go and replace the England international.

Superstar Erling Haaland will be set for another huge haul of goals and may be searching for a move to a bigger club at the conclusion of the coming season.

RB Leipzig once again lost one of their stars with Ibrahima Konate departing for Liverpool in the summer however the side should still have the quality to make continental qualification.

It's a big season for Portuguese striker Andre Silva who will be wanting to repeat his big haul of goals last year for Frankfurt of 28 goals in 32 appearances.

Finally, Leverkusen will be looking to round out the last of the qualification spots, with Euros star Patrik Schick eager to crack on in his club career and score a pretty sum of goals.

Serie A

Predicted champion: Juventus

Predicted top four: Juventus, Inter, AC Milan, Roma

After the catastrophe that was last year, the Old Lady shouldn't have a problem winning Serie A with Massimiliano Allegri back at the helm.

With Cristiano Ronaldo edging closer and closer to 40 years of age, he shows no sign of slowing up and is favourite for the Golden Boot.

Inter will be significantly impacted by the loss of star man Romelu Lukaku to Chelsea, however still can press on and pinch a top four spot regardless of the ex-United man's departure - especially with the arrival of Edin Dzeko from Roma.

Crosstown rivals AC Milan have bolstered their ranks in the permanent deal of Chelsea's Fiyako Tomori and Olivier Giroud.

However, replacement keeper Mike Maignan will have to do well to fill the boots of Gianluigi Donnarumma following his switch to PSG in the summer.

Rounding out the Italian UCL qualification places should be Roma, now under the guidance of Jose Mourinho.

The purchase of Tammy Abraham from Chelsea is set to be a shrewd one with the young striker in need of playing time outside of the spotlight that is the Premier League.

However the outgoing of star man Edin Dzeko leaves a big void for Abraham to fill given the Bosnia-Herzegovinian's record in the capital.

Ligue 1

Predicted champion: Paris St-Germain

Predicted top four: PSG, Lyon, Monaco, Marseilles

It should be a breeze for PSG this year considering the top drawer talent they've bought in.

Sergio Ramos, Wijnaldum, Donnarumma, Hakimi and soon Messi. The sheer spending power that Paris possesses means they should not by any means fail to win this league.

If they do not win the UCL this year then it feels like they never will, with the pure strength of PSG's attack set to be too much for pretty much any defence.

In second Lyon will have to deal with star man Memphis Depay's move to Barcelona, however the retention of Houssem Aouar in midfield will be key to their fortunes as a team.

They should be able to keep off Monaco, who will also secure UCL football with their quality of team they possess.

Myron Boadu should be a good replacement for Stefan Jovetic who left for the German capital whilst Alexander Nubel on loan from Bayern will provide some competition for Benjamin Lecomte in goal.

Rounding out the top four should be Olympique Marseilles who will qualify for the Europa League should these predictions come to fruition.

The arrival of Matteo Guendouzi on loan from Arsenal as well as Gerson from Brazil should spice things up for Jorge Sampaoli's side as they look to improve on their fifth placed finish in 2021/22.