Premier League Season Predictions 2020/21
Well, thanks to COVID-19 we haven't had too long to wait for the return of the new Premier League season, it all gets underway this Saturday and I think it is set up to be much more exciting than last year.
Liverpool romped to their first title in 30 years, 18 points clear of second place Manchester City and and 33 clear of third & fourth place. However, teams have made big changes, players have returned to fitness and Leeds are back in the top flight after 16 years, we are in for a great Premier League season in 2020/2021.
Battle for the Top Four:
Last years top four had a familiar look to it but a new season brings new hope for those who couldn't quite get there last season and outside of Man City and Liverpool, top four will again be the aim for Man Utd & Chelsea, along with Spurs, Wolves, Leicester, Arsenal and Everton if their new signings can have the desired impact.
For me it will come down to the standard four teams vying for third and fourth place. Man United and Chelsea will again battle it out for third place and whoever loses that battle will drop into the fight for fourth that will occur between Jose Mourinho's Spurs side and Mikel Arteta's Arsenal. While I am sure most will expect Chelsea to push for the title this season, you have to remember that they are still a young team with a young manager and while they may be able to make a top two push it is more likely that they will simply close the gap rather than actually break into the title race.
There is still plenty of time for change with the transfer window open until October and if Man United were to bring in another couple of quality signings to go with Donny Van de Beek, I could see them making more of title push than they have in the past few seasons. But as things stand they are basically the same team as last year and it would take a huge push to bridge the gap to City and Liverpool with their current squad.
It is going to be a tight battle to the final day, as it should be every year in the so called best league in the world. At least four teams will feel they belong in a Champions League spot come the end of the season but there's only room for two alongside City and Liverpool and you only get what you deserve in this life after all.
Top four Prediction (in no particular order)- Liverpool, Man United, Man City and Tottenham (Chelsea wont make the top four but will do a cup double)
Breakthrough Star of the Season-Anthony Martial
While it may seem a bit ridiculous to name a guy that has been in the Man United first team since 2015 as a breakthrough star in 2020, he has had a question mark hanging over him since day one and after impressing last season I believe 2020/21 is going to be the season where Martial becomes the star instead of being a could be star.
Martial bagged 23 goals last season including 17 in the league, his highest ever total since joining United as a teenager. He is now the no.1 choice at striker and beginning to play with an aggression and swagger week in week out instead of once every five games. He is still only 24 and with the quality he has around him now, he is in a great position to kick on again this season and break the 20 goal mark in the Premier League for the first time.
With healthy scoring competition coming from Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood to keep him sharp, all signs point to success for Martial. A positive attitude is the key for the forward and if the goals are flying in how can he not be in a positive frame of mind every time he steps out onto the pitch.
Golden Boot winner-Harry Kane
Harry Kane is the elite goalscorer in the Premier League alongside Sergio Aguero and Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and similar to Aguero, injuries are the only thing that have prevented Kane from total domination. The England captain has never failed to score over 20 goals when he plays 30 games or more in a league season and won back to back golden boots in 2016 & 2017. It would have been a three-peat in 2018 but his 30 league goals were not enough to beat Mo Salah.
While there is still a large question mark over Spurs under Jose Mourinho, the way his teams usually set up, with focus around getting the ball to the main striker in scoring positions as quickly as possible, will benefit Kane hugely and if Harry stays fit for the full season, he will hit at least 30 league goals.
While there are a number of great goalscorers in the Premier League, I believe Kane has the best chance to be top of the pile as he is the only one guaranteed to start every week as the central striker once fit. (something to to look at in fantasy). Kane is a great striker, unstoppable when fully fit and he is going to remind the world of that this season.
Outside of Norwich, it was a very close battle right to the end to avoid relegation last season, Aston Villa eventually finishing one point above Watford and Bournemouth to avoid the drop. This season I think they will be more comfortable however, as I see Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins forming an exciting attacking force for Villa, although they will have to sure up their defense, the main issue last season.
Everyone is wondering what Leeds will be like back in the top flight but I predict they will stay up comfortable, however I am not so confident in the other two newly promoted clubs. Fulham will fall the same way they did in 2019, with poor defending and while West Brom do have some young,exciting players I don't think they have enough to avoid the drop.
2020/21 is a huge year for David Moyes and West Ham, Moyes went from being one of the most consistent managers in the league to the guy teams look at after they miss out on there first choice. The Hammers only finished five points above the drop zone last season and if they have a difficult start to this season, Moyes career may be all but finished. They, along with Brighton and Aston Villa will end up battling it out to avoid that final relegation spot again.
Bottom three Prediction- West Brom, Fulham and West Ham
Young Player of the Year-Kai Havertz
Chelsea spent big to bring this young German star to the Premier League and I think he is going to hit the ground running. Havertz netted 18 goals and registered nine assists for Leverkusen last season and if he can match that in his first year in England it will be very impressive.
Of course Chelsea paid £71 million for this kid and will be expecting him to improve year on year even at 21 years of age. With his height & speed, he can play any position in the front four whether than be central or out wide and with the quality forward players he has around him, he is in a great position to fulfill his potential.
This is still a young Chelsea side and there have been a number of new additions to the side this summer, so while it may take some time, people will stand up and take notice of this kid by the end of the season.
Player of the Year-Kevin De Bruyne
If Man City are to bridge the gap to Liverpool then KDB will have to be the elite player in the league once again. De Bruyne notched 13 goals and 20 assists in what turned out to be a very underwhelming season for City but he was still the outstanding player to watch nearly every week.
He claimed both the Premier League Player of the Season and PFA Players Player of the Year award in 2020 and barring injury I expect him to be right up there in peoples thinking for both awards in 2021. While back to back winners of these awards hasn't occurred since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008, De Bruyne has every team terrified and after matching Thierry Henry's assists record last season, I am backing him to break it in 2020/2021.
Premier League Champions 2021-Manchester City
Liverpool were utterly unstoppable last season but think about how they would have faired without Virgil Van Dijk for the majority of the season. City are still an elite team and while they dropped off last season I think they will bounce back this year.
It will be impossible for Liverpool to even come close to their domination in 2019/20 and while they haven't made any major signings this summer they will still be a force to be reckoned with in 2021. City and Liverpool will still be the top two teams in the league but teams like United and Chelsea will put up a stronger fight this season.
Man City have lost a couple of key players in David Silva and Leroy Sane but Pep Guardiola is still managing a squad littered with talent. I expect Phil Foden to step into David Silva's shoes and play a crucial role for City this campaign and Aymeric Laporte being fit for the season will add a key dimension to the consistency of this City team.
City were the form team after the restart and they are going to bring that level of performance into the new campaign and most importantly of all...they have got Scott Carson back in on loan.HUGE!