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2020/21 Premier League Prediction and Preview: Who Takes the Crown?

2020/21 Premier League

There’s really just no offseason in this sport, is there? Even without Euros this summer, project restart meant the season ended later, with a much busier schedule. Then with the Champions League and international “break” added in, top players will have to be exhausted. Thankfully, there’s no viewer fatigue. With new faces, transfer rumors and legendary managers, there’s so much to be excited for in the new season. Will Leeds’ long awaited return to the Premiership be fruitful? Can Mourinho be the one to finally bring a trophy to Tottenham? Will Liverpool be able to successfully defend their title? With all these questions and more, let’s preview and predict the 2020/21 Premier League season.

Relegation Battle

  1. Newcastle
  2. West Ham
  3. Aston Villa
  4. West Brom
  5. Fulham

A nice mixture of established Premier League and newly promoted sides will be fighting to remain in the Premier League. For West Brom and Fulham (as well as Leeds United, who’s in the next section) a lot is riding on staying in the Premier League. Besides the usual TV money, which was £82.5 million in 2019, they stand to make a significant sum from staying up. Promotion has net clubs £170 million year one, and added an additional £130 million if they stay up. While this number has decreased thanks to returned money to broadcast companies, it’s still a hefty sum.

Fulham look unlikely to get that additional money, as their new signings have mostly been bench players at other Premier League clubs. Sure, they signed a solid keeper in Alphonse Areola from PSG and Dutch right back Kenny Tete from Lyon, but that doesn’t seem to be enough.

Elsewhere, West Brom have had a lackluster transfer window, their only big signing being Grady Diangana from West Ham. While he was one of West Ham’s top young prospects, it’s doubful he will be enough to keep West Brom up.

Speaking of West Ham, they will be right on the edge of safety. They flirted with relegation last season and did very little to improve. It was hard to choose between them and Aston Villa as the last team going down, but while Aston Villa did improve, they were a far inferior team to West Ham. Despite only finishing one spot in the table and four points above Villa, West Ham’s goal differential was 13 better. While either team could go down, Villa seems like the most likely choice, especially if star Jack Grealish leaves.

2020/21 Premier League
Aston Villa have a star in Jack Grealish, but will he be enough to keep them up, if he even stays? (via Getty and bbc.com)

In the north, despite the Saudi government’s inability to take the club over, Newcastle should be safe for now. Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser from relegated Bournemouth should help the attack, and owner Mike Ashley seems to finally be making improvements. While the off-field lawsuit about the failed takeover may be a distraction, the on-field play should be good enough to remain in the Premiership.

The Inbetweeners

  1. Crystal Palace
  2. Brighton & Hove Albion

Brighton and Crystal Palace should be safe this season. They aren’t quite mid-table and may flirt with the drop zone at times, but they will likely remain in the top flight. New signings—Michy Batshuayi and Eberechi Eze for Palace and Adam Lallana for Brighton—should make immediate impacts. For Palace, the question is, as it always seems to be, whether or not Wilfried Zaha stays. Tottenham, Everton, Arsenal and others abroad have been linked to him, but it seems unlikely a deal happens. Supporters of both squads may have some relegation nerves, but ultimately won’t have to worry too much.

Mid-Table Obscurity

  1. Burnley
  2. Sheffield United
  3. Leeds United
  4. Southampton

Perhaps the most interesting club in the 2020/21 Premier League is Leeds United. Despite being one of the biggest clubs in English football, they haven’t been in the top flight since 2004. They had some close calls the last few years, but they finally gained promotion in dominant fashion in 2020, winning the Championship by ten points and showing they truly belong in the Premier League. They have a star in Kalvin Phillips, a new talent in Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia and a rabid fan base ready to relive the glory days. In time, hopefully they can get back to their peak, which saw them win the first division three times.

2020/21 Premier League
Bielsa and co. dominated the Championship last season, but can they return Leeds to glory? (via skysports.com)

As for Burnley, Sheffield and Southampton, there isn’t really a ton to say. They were solidly mid-table last season and not much has changed. It would be shocking if any of them were close to relegation, but they likely won’t be fighting for a spot in Europe either. They’re all a few moves away from being true contenders, but still solid teams.

Fight for Europe

  1. Tottenham Hotspur
  2. Everton
  3. Arsenal
  4. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  5. Leicester City

If last season was all or nothing for Tottenham, they got nothing. Another trophy-less year was disappointing, but if there’s one thing José Mourinho does well, it’s win trophies. They still have major holes to fill (injury prone Harry Kane’s back-up, for instance), but the signings they have made were very practical. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg should fill in the hole that’s been left since Mousa Dembélé left to China; Matt Doherty should finally fill in the hole Kyle Walker left when he moved to Manchester City. There are also, once again, Gareth Bale rumors, but even without him they have a strong attack. If Kane, Son, Bergwijn, Dele and Lo Celso stay healthy, don’t be surprised if they shake up the top four.

2020/21 Premier League
Mourinho has won everywhere hes been. Is he the one to end Tottenham’s trophy drought? (via fourfourtwo.com)

In Merseyside, Everton are up there with Leeds for most interesting club in the 2020/21 Premier League. They finished a disappointing twelfth last season, but their offseason indicated a strong desire for improvement. Their midfield has been completely refreshed, with Allan from Napoli, Abdoulaye Doucouré from Watford and 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodríguez joining the squad. While Rodríguez hasn’t lived up to his hype, he can still be an excellent player for the toffees. Allan and Doucouré should also immediately slot into the starting 11 and improve the squad.

In the red side of North London, Arsenal have had a disappointing window. Willian from Chelsea and Gabriel from Lille are solid, but not quite the game changers other sides have picked up. Elsewhere, Leicester and Wolves should stay close to a European spot, but ultimately have not had the improvement of other sides.

2020/21 Premier League Contenders

  1. Manchester City
  2. Chelsea
  3. Liverpool
  4. Manchester United

There’s really only four teams that can win the 2020/21 Premier League. They won’t necessarily be the top four (Mourinho’s Tottenham look like a strong contender to ruin that), but it would be shocking if anyone else won the title.

There’s no real reason why Liverpool shouldn’t repeat. Other than Chelsea, none of the top teams have vastly improved, but Liverpool just don’t seem like a team that will win two in a row. They haven’t really added anything, but why would they after last season’s dominance? They did struggle down the stretch after clinching the title last season, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they suffered from a championship hangover.

2020/21 Premier League
Liverpool dominated the Premier League last year, but can they repeat? (via liverpoolfc.com)

Manchester City, on the other hand, have actively gotten worse. They lost Leroy Sané and David Silva, looked awful in the Champions League restart and likely won’t sign Messi. That being said, they looked like the best team in the league so often last season. It seems likely that Pep Guardiola will find a way to motivate the squad to improve. Besides, from De Bruyne to Aguero to Jesus and beyond, they still have the most insane collection of talent in English football.

Chelsea overachieved last season. They weren’t expected to be anywhere close to a Champions League spot, yet they finished fourth by four points. Then they added Timo Werner at striker, Ben Chilwell at left back and Malang Sarr and Thiago Silva at center backs. Oh yeah, they also replaced Willian and Pedro with young stars Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech at attacking midfield. They look ready to make another run at the title, but they still don’t seem to have enough to overcome Man City.

Finally is Manchester United. They could finish anywhere from first to eighth. Ole Gunnar Solskjær may be at the wheel, but at times it looks like the wheels are falling off. Other times, they look unbeatable. Which Pogba will we get, world-class or pedestrian? Will Greenwood, Rashford and Martial reach their world-class potential? Will Harry Maguire be able to stay out of prison? All of this, and more, will determine the fate of England’s most famous club.

Final 2020/21 Premier League Prediction

  1. Manchester City
  2. Chelsea
  3. Liverpool
  4. Manchester United
  5. Tottenham Hotspur
  6. Everton
  7. Arsenal
  8. Wolverhampton Wanderers
  9. Leicester City
  10. Burnley
  11. Sheffield United
  12. Leeds United
  13. Southampton
  14. Crystal Palace
  15. Brighton & Hove Albion
  16. Newcastle
  17. West Ham
  18. Aston Villa
  19. West Brom
  20. Fulham

So there it is. Feel free to go straight to @OldTakesExposed. I’m sure I’ll deserve it.

 

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