Predicting the 2020/21 Premier League table…

After approximately 50 days of waiting, we’re less than 24 hours away from the 2020/21 Premier League season kicking off. Every year, I try my best at predicting how the table will end in May and this year is no different.

The following is my prediction for the Premier League table:

20th – Fulham.

They Cottagers performed well in the Championship last season and surprised many by beating Brentford in the Play Offs Final. But I’m not sure if they’ve got the necessary quality needed to survive in the league this time around. A few years ago, their significant investments harmed their chances but they’ve been smarter in the transfer market this time around. I really like some of the additions they’ve made and Scott Parker is a promising manager too. But I don’t think Fulham has enough to survive this season.

19th – West Ham.

A lot of people will probably be surprised at me for this pick but I’m just not convinced about West Ham. The Hammers were awful last season and failed to meet everyone’s expectations after a solid transfer window, they were quite lucky to escape relegation too. Looking at their team, it’s clear that they lack a serious goal threat and they still have some issues defensively. Tomas Soucek is a fantastic addition to the team but unless they make big changes, I think West Ham will be relegated.

18th – West Brom.

West Brom are one of the few teams that I kept changing my mind on but for now I think they’ll be relegated. I’m not a big fan of Slaven Bilic as a manager and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets sacked at some point during the season. I like a few of their players, especially Matheus Pereira, but I think bringing in another player or two will be the difference maker. They’ve been linked with Conor Gallagher recently which would be excellent move for all parties and a new striker could be beneficial.

17th – Aston Villa.

In my opinion, Aston Villa are a very difficult team to judge. They’ve done a great job at keeping the likes of Jack Grealish and Tyrone Mings and bringing in the likes of Ollie Watkins and potentially Emi Martinez will be great business. If players like Grealish continue to perform then Villa should have a safe season but that could all change if performance levels drop. Overall, I think they’ve got enough in them to stay in the Premier League.

16th – Crystal Palace.

This season should be pretty standard season for the Eagles. Considering the concerns surrounding their ageing squad, they’ve done brilliant to bring in the likes of Eberechi Eze, Michy Batshuayi and Nathan Ferguson. If Wilfred Zaha returns to his best form, Palace should be prepared for a very good season. Eze will live up to the expectations too following his transfer from QPR.

15th – Newcastle.

Similarly to Crystal Palace, Newcastle have also done a brilliant job in the transfer market so far by bringing in the likes of Callum Wilson and Jamal Lewis. If the Magpies want to finish higher then a new defender will be crucial. They were close to signing Rob Holding a few weeks back which would be a good move but if that fails they should look elsewhere. I’m interested to see if Steve Bruce can get the best out of Allan Saint-Maximin, Wilson and Ryan Fraser in attack.

14th – Leeds United.

After 16 long years, Leeds United are back in the Premier League and I’m expecting them to have a very good first season. Under Marcelo Bielsa’s management, they should be able to adapt to the league well and keep their defensive record up from the Championship. I’m very excited to see Rodrigo in action and the team should win some big games. At the end of the season, I predict Bielsa will leave.

13th – Brighton.

Graham Potter’s second year in charge of the Seagulls should be a lot better than his first. He’s slowly starting to build a good squad and previous recruits like Neal Maupay and Leandro Trossard should perform even better during their second seasons. Keeping Lewis Dunk at the club will prove to be crucial for their long-term aspirations too.

12th – Sheffield United.

Last season, I predicted Sheffield United to be relegated and I’m more than happy that I was proven wrong. They’ve adapted superbly to Premier League football and I have to give a lot of credit to Chris Wilder for his excellent management. While I imagine they’ll struggle a bit more in the league this time around, it should still be a comfortable season for them overall.

11th – Burnley.

Every year, I predict that Burnley will struggle and every year they prove me wrong. I don’t think they’ve got the quality to progress further than last season but they’re too good to finish any lower than this. Average season for an average team.

10th – Southampton.

I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted Southampton’s remarkable turn around following their 9-0 defeat to Leicester. The work and effort put in from the players and Ralph Hasenhuttl has been phenomenal and their form should carry over into the new season. Hasenhuttl is an exceptional manager who deserves backing and I’m a big fan of some of the Saints’ players like James Ward-Prowse and Nathan Redmond.

9th – Everton.

The Toffees seem to be stuck in a loop that they’re struggling to get out of. Regardless of the manager they have or the signings they bring in, they’re always in a position where they’re not good enough for the top six but better in comparison to a majority of their counterparts. Despite bringing in the likes of James Rodriguez and Allan as well as this this upcoming season being Carlo Ancelotti’s first full campaign, a top half finish seems the most realistic for this Everton side.

8th – Tottenham.

To put it simply, Tottenham have a great squad but it’s managed poorly. From an unbiased perspective, I was never a big fan of Jose Mourinho’s initial appointment last season and I just don’t see Spurs progressing far under the manager. He might be able to help the north London side finally win a trophy like the FA Cup but apart from that I can’t see this season being a successful one for Tottenham.

7th – Leicester City.

The Foxes have more than enough quality to finish in the top seven but I don’t think they’ll perform as well as they did last season. They’ve struggled for form a lot this year and the addition of Europa League football will give them an additional challenge to overcome. With that being said, this season should be a decent one for them.

6th – Manchester United.

While Manchester United ended last season on a high by finishing in 3rd, it’s worth remembering that they were simply the best team out of an awful bunch. While all of their rivals have strengthened to varying levels of success, the same can’t be said about the Red Devils. Donny van de Beek is a great signing but it’s simply not enough, especially if United want to finish in the top four and progress far in the Champions League. For what it’s worth, I think Mason Greenwood will continue to flourish and could even end the season by winning the Young Player of the Season award.

5th – Wolves.

Without Europa League football to worry about, Wolves have a fantastic opportunity to break into the top six this season. They’ve strengthened a variety of areas in the squad with additions like Marcal and Fabio Silva but the lack of a replacement for Matt Doherty could be a concern. If Wolves are able to improve on their consistency in games, they’ll easily thrive in the league.

4th – Arsenal.

Since his appointment back in December, the Gunners have improved significantly under new manager Mikel Arteta. The changes in defence should help win more games and the arrivals of William Saliba and Gabriel will help the team in the short and long-term. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will continue to thrive for the club but signing a new midfielder, or two, will be crucial for the club to keep up with their Champions League aspirations.

3rd – Chelsea.

I’ll admit, I’m still not convinced by Frank Lampard but he’s got far too much quality around him to fail, this season. Considering the number of players they’ve brought in, the Blues will mostly likely have a slow start to the season as everyone adapts to their new environment and teammates. Once everyone settles in, Chelsea will be a very difficult team to beat. A top three finish should be the minimum expectation this season.

2nd – Manchester City.

This season will most likely be another substandard one for the Citizens. Regardless of the signings they make or the players they have, Manchester City just can’t seem to reach that “top level” for whatever reason and I expect that to continue. They’ll put up more of a fight for the Premier League title but will lose pace just like they did last season. This will be a surprising prediction but I think Pep Guardiola will be gone by the end of the season.

1st – Liverpool.

Regardless of how you feel towards them, Liverpool are quite simply the best in England at the moment. You don’t earn 196/228 points through pure luck. They deservedly won the Champions League a year ago and dazzled everyone with their performances this year as they finally won the Premier League. A lack of recruitment remains a major issue for the team but as they’re able to avoid any major injuries, Liverpool will be perfectly fine. This season will be Liverpool’s final year of dominance and I expect them to lift the Premier League title for a second time.

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