Even without injuries it will be a very difficult season. On paper I don’t consider the new players to be a significant improvement considering the players they did replace. Only Rondon probably does add something new to the squad.
Last season’s success very much did depend on an incredible run late into the season and some players playing out of their skin. A dip in form from the likes of Dubravka, Diame and Shelvey will lead to results probably looking like those in the first part of last season.
The prospect of losing Benitez at the end of the season will have a destabilising effect as well.