Expectations are stratospheric at Stamford Bridge after a mixed season for Chelsea.
The Blues ended Roman Abramovic's 12 year crusade for the European Cup, and have followed the triumph by splashing the cash in the summer transfer market.
But with gaps still in the squad and doubts persisting over boss Roberto Di Matteo, the West Londoners could still be in for a challenging season.
The New Boys
There is no doubt that the captures of Eden Hazard and Oscar, in particular, mark a spectacular statement of intent from Abramovic.
The Russian will not back away from the team he has bankrolled to such success, and has already funded an estimated £63.5m of purchases this summer.
It's not just been big money, either- the names coming to London are among the biggest talents in world football.
Oscar looks an exciting addition, and Brazil boss Mano Menezes has gushed praise on the youngster.
"Put it this way," Menezes said recently. "He wears the No10 for Brazil and we don't give that shirt out to just anybody."
Hazard, meanwhile, chose the Blues over some of the biggest clubs on the planet.
So why the concern?
Although Chelsea have spent big, they have only reinforced their midfield, and more specifically the attacking zones.
Didier Drogba could never be truly replaced, but for Chelsea to start the season with only an unreliable Fernando Torres, a stuttering Daniel Sturridge and likely loanee Romelu Lukaku up front seems a gamble.
The Stamford Bridge outfit could do with bringing in some guaranteed goals, but they need to shore up at the back, as well.
Jose Bosingwa was never really loved by Blues fans beyond his first season, but he added flexibility to the defence by allowing Chelsea to move first choice right back Branislav Ivanovic inside when injuries struck.
With Bosingwa gone and doubts remaining over the fitness of rookie Sam Hutchinson, Ivanovic and quasi-retiree Paolo Ferreira will have to make sure they remain fit and in form to keep the Blues solid in defence.
What's more, Chelsea finished the season playing in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Drogba ahead of a trio of Mata, Ramires and a third, chiefly alternating between Salomon Kalou, Florent Malouda and Raul Meireles.
Presuming they stick to the same system in 2012/13, it will be difficult for Di Matteo to accommodate the talents at his disposal.
Although Kalou has departed, and Malouda could yet follow, the additions of Marko Marin, Hazard, Oscar, and the return of Yossi Benayoun leave the Blues over-stocked, especially if they intend to include last year's star performers- Juan Mata and Ramires.
If the latter pair take up two spots in Chelsea's attacking trio it would leaving only one role left for the Blues' new, and returning, recruits.
Benayoun seems an outsider, and Marin's strong left foot probably works against him in this context, making him a rotation choice with Mata, so which of Chelsea's most expensive signings gets the spot?
Oscar may be able to play in a deeper midfield pair, but where then goes Frank Lampard, who was resurgent late in the season playing a new role further back on the pitch?
There are plenty of questions there, and if Torres' form remains unreliable then Di Matteo could feasibly try a West London tiki-taka, and give up on strikers all together, though this could prove the final blow to the Spaniard's fragile renaissance in blue.
Certainly, pre-season hasn't answered any of these questions, with the Chelsea squad scattered between international competitions, and only gradually re-assembling over the summer.
The Blues form has been appropriately inconsistent then, but defence has become a concern for the Stamford Bridge outfit.
They've conceded 10 goals in their five pre-season games, and three in the last match alone, where Di Matteo fielded a first choice XI against Brighton & Hove Albion.
That game, one week before the Community Shield match against City, showed a Chelsea easily frustrated in attack and delicate in defence, a worrisome reminder of Di Matteo's predecessor in the hot-seat.
And it's that same seat which, fundamentally, could be the Blues fans' biggest concern.
Di Matteo has done enough already to earn himself a place in a Chelsea hall of fame, but his tactical acumen is yet to be tested over a full season.
The Italian undoubtedly proved better than many expected in his short tenure last season, but doubts persist over his ability to integrate the skills, and egos, of his new Chelsea squad into a troubling footballing force.
If Di Matteo can get it right, a Blues XI could challenge with City to take the Premier League crown, and could even, at the very limits of possibility, defend their European crown.
2012/13 could be Chelsea's greatest ever season, but with so much uncertainty, another 6th place finish is also feasible, too.