After a short summer break and a truncated preseason, the Premier League is back. Once again, games will be played in empty stadiums. While the hope is that fans will return over the course of the season, there are also contingency plans to end the season if there are further outbreaks of the virus. We are living in strange times indeed.
The era of teams winning 100 points, or close to it, is coming to an end this season. Teams are improving, and the top six or seven teams will all take points from each other. However, higher points totals will be required for the champions league places. Expect somewhere around 90 points being enough to be champions and a total of around 76 points being required for forth place.
Although the transfer window is still open and teams could yet strengthen, my predictions are based on the squads as they are now.
Arteta has made an impressive start to his managerial career. He has added organization and a bit of steel to a chaotic and soft defense. Arsenal have excellent forward players and have made some interesting signings, such as Wilian from Chelsea and Ceballos from Real Madrid.
Last season Arsenal finished 8th, 10 points off a Champions League place, with only 14 wins and 56 points in total, scoring 56 goals and conceding 48. They will improve this year. They will score more, concede less, and win more games this season. They will be challenging for a top 4, but I expect they will need to add 20 points to achieve that goal.
Villa escaped relegation by the skin of their teeth. They lacked goals and have done little to strengthen that department. The experience from last year should stand to them, but they will remain in the bottom six.
Brighton only won 9 games last season; however, they proved difficult to beat. Goals were in short supply, and while the addition of Llanna will improve the quality available in the attacking third, he won’t solve their lack of goals. More of the same.
Burnley are well organized and difficult to beat. They are not much fun to watch but are an established Premier League team. They will hover around mid-table but will end up in the bottom half.
Frank Lampard, the darling of the English media, did a decent if a somewhat overrated job in his first season in charge. His team played some great football at times but also seemed tactically naive and conceded too many goals. The Pensioners won 20 games last year, but they lost 12. They have made some huge signings in the transfer market, but I think they could struggle to achieve last year’s achievement of a top-four finish.
I don’t really care about Palace. They have great fans who make fantastic noise, but I feel they will struggle and will be fighting for their lives.
The toffees have been thinking big over recent summers only to disappoint season after season. Even though they have a great manager, mid-table mediocrity will continue for another year. Taking points from Liverpool would be an achievement for them.
They should be a welcome addition back to the Premier League. They have a good young manager, and they have a chance of surviving, but they will be in the bottom six and fighting to stay in the division.
I am excited to have Leeds back in the division. They are a massive club, and their manager is considered the godfather of many great managers. They also have a unique playing style. I expect them to do well. A top ten finish.
Leicester City had a very good season last year, although it ultimately ended in the disappointment of not making the champions league. Rodgers proved again that he is a top-quality manager, and his team probably would have made the top four if the season hadn’t been interrupted. Due to the expected improvements in other team’s Leicester will have a more difficult season this year. Expect a similar points total.
The champions. The points total achieved over the last two seasons, 97 and 99 points, will be very difficult to replicate this season. However, the Reds can afford to double last season’s 3 losses and still end up with 90 points. Expect some tactical variations this season as Klopp’s men strive for back to back titles.
Genius manager and a great team. They will be Liverpool’s biggest threat. Two great team’s going head to head three seasons in a row. City will not lose 9 games again. Three more wins will get them to 90 points. It’s going to be close.
The Devils finished the season strongly, and they did well to finish third even if both Chelsea and Leicester should never have opened the door for them. The ridiculous amount of penalties they got really helped too. Fernandez looks like he has a star quality about him even if he goes missing in games, and penalties inflate his stats. The big question is the manager-does he have the knowledge and personality to make Utd a serious contender. I don’t think so, and that’s why they won’t finish in the top four.
The” toon” have done well over since they returned to the premier league. Bruce surprised everyone with the job he did last season. Now that the takeover doesn’t look like it’s happening, more of the same and a cup run would be a huge success. A trophy- any trophy would make a massive difference to the Toon.
A breath of fresh air last season. They will struggle to be as impressive this season but should be a comfortable mid-table team.
Great coach. A well-run club. They will be a comfortable mid-table team.
They have Jose Mourinho. Based on that fact, they will be better this season. They will be in the top four.
Not on my radar- they will struggle.
The hammers will be fine. A reliable mid-table team.
Wolves are a well-run club.plus they have a great manager. A Solid top half team.