Chelsea and Manchester United will both be playing under new managers in the Premier League season in their attempt to regain their past glory.
Antonio Conte will arrive at Stamford Bridge once he has completed his duties with Italy at Euro 2016, which could be as late as early July should the Azzurri reach the latter stages of the competition.
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s former manager Jose Mourinho is all but confirmed as Louis van Gaal’s replacement at Old Trafford, despite their FA Cup win under the Dutchman.
Both men have their unique style of management, and both have enjoyed great success thus far in their careers. However, will be enough to reverse the fortunes of the two giants of English football?
The oddsmakers at http://extra.bet365.com/news/en/football/premier-league have United at 5/1 at the time of writing to secure their first title in four seasons, while the Blues have odds of 6/1 to reclaim the crown.
The Portuguese has won the Premier League three times during his tenure with the Blues, two of which came in his first two seasons with the club.
His achievement was no mean feat as Arsenal were at the height of their power, while United were rebuilding under Sir Alex Ferguson with the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.
Mourinho’s Chelsea were clinical in the final third as he utilised the strengths of Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba and Arjen Robben to great effect, while they were also resilient at the back due to the presence of John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho and Claude Makelele.
He was unable to win the Champions League, while the Blues’ dominance of the English top flight was broken by a resurgent United side led by Ronaldo and Rooney, prompting his exit due to a breakdown in his relationship with Roman Abramovich.
The Portuguese clinched his second Champions League crown with Inter along with two Serie A titles, while he added another domestic triumph to his collection at Real Madrid.
Mourinho returned to Chelsea in 2013 and attempted to use the same model as his previous stint at the club using the forward talent of Eden Hazard and Diego Costa to be clinical enough, while providing a strong defensive shield with Gary Cahill, Nemanja Matic and Terry at the back.
The formula worked to guide the Blues to their fourth Premier League crown in the 2014-15 season, finishing comfortably ahead of the chasing pack.
However, it all fell apart in the last campaign as a row with club doctor Eva Carneiro and a number of poor results ended his second tenure at the Bridge.
Conte now steps into the dugout with a talented team at his disposal and displayed in wins over Arsenal last term and their 15-match unbeaten run once Mourinho had departed.
Juventus were stoic outfit under the Italian’s tenure as they conceded fewer than 25 league goals in all three of his years at the club, which allowed them to clinch three Serie A crowns.
The achievement was made more remarkable considering in their first two successes their top goalscorer notched only 10 league strikes until the arrival of Carlos Tevez in the 2013-14 campaign.
Chelsea’s current squad struggled at the back last term, conceding 53 goals in their 38 matches and keeping only nine clean sheets.
Terry’s new deal will have delighted Conte as he may not have to delve into the transfer market, although Kurt Zouma’s injury could nudge him into action.
Conte’s style of play will not cause huge alterations in the make-up of the Chelsea squad, while there are few issues regarding the futures of key players as Eden Hazard appears to be back on board for another campaign at the least.
Whereas at United there is plenty of work for Mourinho to get into, while his preference for experience may cause for change in the Red Devils’ youthful squad.
The Portuguese has shown in the past that he can turn situations around with relative ease, but this may be his biggest challenge yet to alter the style and rebuild the club in his image as he becomes the fourth manager in five seasons at Old Trafford.
As a result, Conte just have the edge in the first season of the new battle, although we could be poised for the two titans to be on a collision course at the top of the Premier League for the years to come.