Mark the date September 12 in your calendars as the Premier League 2020-21 season officially kicks off albeit behind closed doors. There has been a short break and a short pre-season for all the clubs between the two seasons. Rustiness shouldn’t be a factor coming into the Premier League 2020-21 season, so expect the clubs to get up and running pretty swiftly.
The Premier League is the most competitive football league in the world and the biggest reason for that is the unpredictability of the eventual winner of the title. On a given day, any team could win and that’s the real beauty of the league. There are four outright contenders this season and let’s dig deeper as to why these teams stand out.
Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City will step into this season as favourites to win their third Premier League title under the Spaniard. City fell well short in 2019-20 and will be looking to massively improve from the previous season. Uncharacteristically, they lost nine league games in the season and that’s something they would definitely not want to repeat again.
A big concern for them last season was the injury to their star defender Aymeric Laporte. The squad depth at the centre-back position was a concern as Fernandinho had to fill in as a centre-back for the majority of the season. For 2020-21, they have added Nathan Ake to the squad and are interested to sign Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly. It’ll be fascinating to see their response to Liverpool’s title defence in the 2020-21 Premier League season.
Liverpool finally got their hands on the league title after a 30-year wait. Jurgen Klopp and his boys will go down in the club’s history as the ones who got them back on their perch. Still, they are not just content with winning it just once. The biggest challenge is always to defend the Premier League title and win it in back-to-back seasons. In the last ten years, only Manchester City have managed to successfully defend the Premier League title and that too with just the difference of one point. This tells us how big a task the Reds have in front of them before the Premier League 2020-21 season.
The squad looks like a complete puzzle for this season but will surely need reinforcements for the next few as the top players at the club are mostly in their late 20s. They have just signed a left-back cover in Kostas Tsimikas in the transfer window and the lack of signings have been a concern for some of the fan base. Still, experts think that along with City, Liverpool are overwhelming favourites to win their 20th English top-flight League title.
After a flurry of signings in the transfer window, Frank Lampard’s Chelsea have jumped over Manchester United to become the third-most fancied team to win the Premier League 2020-21 title. In a period where not many clubs can manage to pull off big-money transfers, Chelsea have thought of closing the gap to the top two teams by bringing in a few of the best talents in Europe. The way the squad will gel together and the camaraderie will be interesting to see with so many new faces at the club.
One key problem that persists with Chelsea is the goalkeeping position. Kepa Arrizabalaga has had two difficult seasons as Chelsea’s number one and last season, he had the worst save percentage in the Premier League. Lampard dropped him at the end of the season and has been looking for a capable replacement ever since. They are being linked with Edouardo Mendy but that deal is still not over the line. Top four candidates for sure but with the amount of money spent this summer, Chelsea will look to go all the way in the upcoming season.
Manchester United finished the previous season on a high, having secured the third spot in the Premier League table. They were among the favourites to win the Europa League but fell short in the semi-finals against eventual champions Sevilla. Since then, they have added another attacking midfielder in Donny van de Beek from Ajax who will provide creativity to the midfield. Some pundits believe that he probably wasn’t the player the squad needed at the time as Bruno Fernandes is already doing a stellar job in that position, while some believe Fernandes could do a better job deeper in the midfield. Van de Beek could also be a great option for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to call off from the bench and add more creativity to the team.
At present, it seems like their pursuit of Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho is a failed one and the hunt for a right-sided attacking player is still on. In an ideal world, they would like to add depth to their centre-back position as well but again that seems to be more of an ongoing problem. There are question marks over David De Gea’s spot in the starting lineup as well, because they have the ever-impressive Dean Henderson waiting in their ranks to be United’s number one. Despite these apparent problems, United are the fourth favourite club to win the Premier League 2020-21 title and most of that is due to the exciting young talent they have in the attacking side of play.
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