The Nations League is hardly an inspiring way to remind English football fans there is life beyond the domestic season. England's dreary 1-0 defeat to Hungary was confirmation that this will be a long summer of waiting, impatiently, for the Premier League to come back.
The transfer window has only just opened and we have very little idea of what the division will look by the first week of August, when the 2022/23 season makes an early start ahead of the World Cup this winter.
But that won't stop us making some early predictions; from filling time by excitedly anticipating what awaits us. Here's a very, very early look at the key markets from the Betfair Exchange...
The Title - City to face new challenge?
Man City - 1.645/8
Liverpool - 4.1
Spurs - 17.016/1
Chelsea - 21.020/1
Man Utd - 42.041/1
Arsenal - 80.079/1
It isn't just the signing of Erling Haaland that makes Manchester City 1.645/8 favourites to pick up a fifth league title in six years, although capturing the world's best striker to plug the one and only gap in the team certainly helps.
Liverpool 4.1 amassed 92 points and it felt about as good as it could have been, yet even that wasn't enough. Jurgen Klopp's side will pick themselves up easily enough but with Sadio Mane seemingly on his way out and Mohamed Salah letting his contract run down, the sense of an ending makes it difficult to imagine the club will equal 92 - and that probably won't be enough anyway.
In all likelihood City will run away with it but there is the possibility Haaland's relative difficulty involving himself in the build-up play will alter Guardiola's tactical patterns enough to see City endure a few more difficult matches, and if that happens then maybe there is an opening for some outsiders.
If Chelsea 21.020/1 can offload Romelu Lukaku and find a replacement, then there is no reason why Thomas Tuchel can't deliver the 22/23 season we thought he'd give us in 21/22. With the club sale now done and funds available to spend, Chelsea could cause an upset.
A lot of ifs there, however, so we move on to the outsiders Tottenham Hotspur 17.016/1. Antonio Conte is a world-class manager whose capture of Ivan Perisic suggests he has won the battle with Daniel Levy and will look to deliver immediately. If Man City stumble enough to put the league title in the 80-something bracket, then Spurs are worth a small wager.
Top Four - Man Utd & Arsenal to lose out
Top Four odds
Man City - 1.031/33
Liverpool - 1.132/15
Chelsea - 1.748/11
Spurs - 2.01/1
Man Utd - [2. 4]
Arsenal - 3.185/40
Newcastle - 9.417/2
Surely, then, all of the four clubs with hopes of a title challenge will complete the Premier League's top four and claim the Champions League places - as they did last season. The odds reflect as much, with Man City 1.031/33, Liverpool 1.132/15, Chelsea 1.748/11, and Spurs 2.01/1 all odds-on.
It's easy to see why Arsenal fans were so crushed by missing out on fourth. It does seem that with Conte just getting started, Mikel Arteta's project is now condemned to hovering outside the elite. Arsenal 3.185/40 don't even have the funds to compete with their rivals.
Manchester United 2.47/5 perhaps face a more optimistic future with Erik ten Hag in charge, although there is just as much chance of the toxic culture eating him alive as there is of wild success with a new long-term project. Even if things go well this year, surely United won't turn things around dramatically enough to make fourth.
The Drop - Saints & Leeds to get dragged down
Bournemouth - 1.748/11
Nottm Forest - 1.865/6
Fulham - 2.285/4
Leeds - 3.55/2
Brentford - 3.7]
Southampton - 4.57/2
Everton - 6.05/1
Wolves - 6.05/1
Crystal Palace - 6.411/2
There isn't much value in backing any of the newly promoted clubs to go straight back down. Fulham 2.285/4 seem likely to do so, given Marco Silva's record in the Premier League and his commitment to ultra-attacking football with Fulham. That won't work at this level, while Bournemouth 1.748/11 are unlikely to find the right balance under Scott Parker, either.
Nottingham Forest 1.865/6 could be the surprise package, repeating the sort of early-season form we have seen in the past from Brentford and Sheffield United. If that was to happen, then we should look at Southampton 4.57/2 and Leeds United 3.55/2 as the teams for Forest to target.
Saints have performed worse season on season under Ralph Hasenhuttl, recording 52, 43, and 40 points in his three full years in charge. That partly reflects his tactical ideas going stale - which isn't surprising given how consistently he deploys his 4-4-2 formation - but he is constantly let down by the club selling off their best players.
With James Ward-Prowse likely to leave this summer, it feels like the bottom is about to fall out. As for Leeds, Jesse Marsch just about got over the line but this is a Championship-level squad that hugely overperformed under Marcelo Bielsa. There is little reason to believe an untested manager like Marsch can deliver similarly while normalising the team, especially with Rafinha on his way out.
Ultimately Leeds are weaker than Southampton and should get relegated.
Top Six - Newcastle and Villa to come up short
The 'Big Six' finished in the top six places in 2021/22 in the end, which was a disappointing confirmation of their financial strength even when under-performing. Next season, Newcastle United 3.55/2 and Aston Villa 5.59/2 are the best placed to challenge - but neither will have enough.
There is simply too much ground for Newcastle to make up, and even if they attract a lot of talented players it will take time for the team to gel, giving an advantage to Arsenal and Manchester United. As for Villa, the loss of Michael Beale - the brains of the operation - to QPR is a massive setback and probably undermines their excellent work in the transfer market.