Mathieu Debuchy is a straight swap for Bacary Sagna, but Alexis Sánchez gives another dimension to the attack – he should play on the right until Theo Walcott returns, then switch to centre-forward.
Villa fans aren’t particularly excited about the signings of Kieran Richardson, Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole, but realistically they’re upgrades on what they had in those positions last season.
Sean Dyche may field an almost identical side, although with Sam Vokes out injured for the first half of the campaign, and Lukas Jutkiewicz signed as a replacement, Burnley actually have a weaker XI.
Chelsea no longer have obvious weaknesses. They’re stronger in goal, Filipe Luís’ arrival means that both full-back positions have been improved, while Cesc Fábregas and Diego Costa are also upgrades.
Tony Pulis found a winning formula after taking charge in November, strengthening the side with some astute January purchases. There have been few inspiring additions, ultimately costing the club Pulis’s services.
Why change a winning formula? Two of Roberto Martínez’s buys were simply permanent signings of Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku, and while Muhamed Besic looks good, he won’t be guaranteed a start.
Steve Bruce generally used a 3-5-2 last season, but the signings of Tom Ince and Robert Snodgrass suggest he’ll use wide midfielders – in a 4-4-2 system, Hull have more individual quality.
None of Nigel Pearson’s signings would look out of place in the Championship, and despite several minor upgrades, Leicester will have to depend upon collective harmony rather than individual quality.
Brendan Rodgers has bolstered his squad with the proceeds of Luis Suárez’s sale, which means more scope for rotation and some tactical alternatives, but they will be weaker without the 31-goal Uruguayan.
Eliaquim Mangala apart Manuel Pellegrini has improved his squad rather than his starting XI – the arrivals of Bacary Sagna, Frank Lampard and Fernando will be useful, but he has already found a winning formula.
Louis van Gaal’s preference for a 3-4-1-2 system means Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie can all play in their favoured positions, and Manchester United already look more exciting.
Newcastle will play in the same format, but it feels like they’ve downgraded at right-back, haven’t properly replaced Yohan Cabaye and Loïc Rémy, and other mid-table sides look in better shape.
Queens Park Rangers
Rio Ferdinand, Steven Caulker and Mauricio Isla are all good buys, and if QPR can retain two talented players returning from loan, Adel Taarabt and Loïc Rémy, this appears a good side.
Southampton’s side has been decimated, and Ronald Koeman may need to make more signings before the transfer window shuts, but even a current XI looks capable of staying in the Premier League.
Bojan Krkic and Mame Biram Diouf provide Mark Hughes with more attacking options, and he could drop a midfielder to accommodate a quartet of attackers, which should bring more goals.
Gustavo Poyet has tried to replace some of the weaker members of last season’s side, but the standard hasn’t sufficiently increased. Jack Rodwell is forever injured, while neither full-back is top-quality.
Swansea have largely kept defence and midfield intact while signing talented attacking players in Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jefferson Montero and Bafétimbi Gomis, so while Michu has left, Swansea have strengthened.
This was a squad built for André Villas-Boas, and with Mauricio Pochettino preaching a similar brand of high-tempo, heavy-pressing football, he could get the best out of a relatively unchanged side.
West Bromwich Albion
A plethora of signings means West Brom have a large squad, but the likes of Christian Gamboa and Brown Ideye are gambles, and may struggle in the Premier League.
West Ham United
Both full-backs have been replaced, but neither addition is spectacular. Up front, however, Enner Valencia is an upgrade on Andy Carroll, and Mauro Zárate is a decent second striker.