It may seem like it has only just finished, but this month the Premier League returns for the 2020/21 season.
For the past two years, only Manchester City and Liverpool have produced consistently enough to mount title pushes, and it’s hard to see this changing anytime soon. Although Liverpool won the title at a canter last season, Manchester City can be lax in defence, having lost six more games than Liverpool throughout the 2019/20 season. However, with how Manchester City performed after the league’s restart in June – having scored 34 goals in their final 9 league matches – and already making signings to bolster their leaky defence, come May, don’t be surprised if it’s a two-horse race.
Battle for Top Four
If we assume that Liverpool and Manchester City will be jostling it out for top-spot, that leaves two more Champions League qualification places and a whole host of teams who will be looking to grab them. For the first time in years, Manchester United are favourites to gain a top-four place. And, although their defence looks suspect, they showed some serious goalscoring power since the restart, last season. And so if they continue this form into next season, it will be hard for any team to outscore them.
Chelsea will also feel confident ahead of next season. Although they were hit and miss throughout 2019/20, the signings of Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner will fill fans with optimism that, along with Manchester United, they should have lots of attacking threat. Wolves are the next best if they can keep all of their top players. They’ve shown in their two-season return to the Premier League that they are a dangerous counter-attacking team, and can also keep it tight at the back. As for the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, neither have a realistic chance unless there are dramatic improvements in the defensive department.
Leeds United are finally back at the top table. Out of the Premier League since 2004, they’ve got a couple of things going for them that may encourage their fans to believe that they’ll have a successful return. They have Marcelo Bielsa at the helm. With his managerial CV boasting the Argentinian national team and Athletic Bilbao, among others, as well as recently receiving praise from Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino, he may show his ability to turn this sleeping giant into Premier League regulars.
Leed’s lack of Premier League experience could work to their advantage, but it could have the opposite effect on the other two promoted teams. Unlike Leeds, Fulham and West Brom have both enjoyed recent seasons in the Premier League, to the point where one could perhaps label them ‘yo-yo’ teams, in the sense that they go up and down divisions with relative ease. And although they both showed defensive grit in the Championship last term, they both know that the Premier League is a different prospect.
The Premier League returns this weekend!!!
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