Liverpool comfortably outclassed Manchester City last season as they won their maiden Premier League title with seven games to play. The Reds will be keen to defend their English crown, but they can be assured that the Cityzens will come back with a stronger challenge.
While the Reds and the Cityzens are likely to remain the strong favourites to make the top four next term, there is plenty of competition behind them for the final two Champions League places.
Last season saw Leicester City on course to finish in the top four places, but their poor run of form during the backend of the campaign saw them leapfrogged by both Chelsea and Manchester United before the season end.
Here are our predictions for the 2020/2021 campaign:
Manchester City and Liverpool have been a class above the rest in the Premier League and they are expected to challenge for the title next term. The Cityzens’ failure to replace Vincent Kompany cost them dearly last season as their backline looked vulnerable to the counter-attack. The Cityzens finished 18 points adrift of Jurgen Klopp’s side and they suffered a surprising nine defeats – their worst loss tally since the 2015/16 campaign.
They have already sought to bolster the backline with the recent purchase of Nathan Ake, but the Reds should still have the edge over them. It is quite clear that the Merseyside giants won’t spend on marquee signings amid the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, but the advantage of having a settled squad should benefit them. The title race should be much closer next term, but the Cityzens may face the burden of the expectations than the Reds with their summer spending spree.
Liverpool to win second successive Premier League title
Liverpool and Manchester City are definite favourites to make the top four of the Premier League. Behind them, there are a number of teams including Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Leicester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers competing for the remaining Champions League spots.
United were unbeaten in the final 14 games of the previous campaign and that saw them jump into the top four in the penultimate matchday to finish third. The arrival of Bruno Fernandes has definitely improved their creativity in the final third, but a title charge appears unlikely unless they improve the quality of their back-up options.
Meanwhile, Chelsea exceeded expectations last term as they finished fourth on the table. The west London side did not make any new additions to the squad, partly due to the transfer ban, but they still managed to hold onto their top-four spot from October until the end of the campaign.
Their attack will be significantly improved with the summer arrivals of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, but there remains the vulnerability at the back, which may deny them a title push. Still, they are good enough to make the Champions League places.
United and Chelsea should be the front-runners to claim the third and fourth positions on the table. The likes of Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur can’t be ruled out from the race, but their challenge may depend on whether they are able to make shrewd signings, who can standout in the big games.
Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea
Jamie Vardy picked up his first Premier League Golden Boot last season after he bagged 23 goals for Leicester City. Despite turning 33, the Englishman continues to remain a potent threat on goal and should continue to do so for the Foxes next term.
However, the defence of the accolade won’t be easy with the quality of forwards present at the different Premier League sides. Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane and Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero are always at the front line of discussions when it comes to the prize, but the question remains whether they can remain unscathed.
Hence, we are fancying a battle among Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Timo Werner for the award. Arsenal experienced their worst season in 25 years last term, but Aubameyang still managed to impress up front with 22 goals to his name.
The Gunners should make an improvement on their eighth place finish and the Gabon international will definitely have a key role to play, suppose he remains with the club. The north London side are reportedly optimistic of extending his contract beyond June 2021 on the back of their FA Cup success.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to win his second Golden Boot
Stats from Transfermarkt.com