It’s been just six weeks since we said goodbye to the most bizarre Premier League season in history, but as lunchtime on Saturday we welcome England’s top flight back into our homes as the newly promoted Fulham take on an Arsenal side undergoing an Arteta revolution.
A lot as happened in the six weeks since the Premier League 2019/20 season ended. We’ve seen the culmination of the Europa League and the Champions League, the return of French and Scottish football and a whole host a transfer activity.
Will Liverpool successfully defend their first ever Premier League trophy and finally celebrate in front of their fans? Can Pep Guardiola’s men reclaim their crown? And, most enticingly, is the Premier League still a two horse race?
We delve into all the stats, figures and developments below as we discuss our Premier League winners, top four and top six predictions.
Wondering when all our other outrights will be live? Check out FST’s season outright predictions calendar here. We’ll also be covering every single Premier League game in depth on our Premier League predictions page.
Premier League winner prediction: Manchester City
You may look at last season’s table and think Liverpool are a shoe-in for the 2020/21 trophy after their humongous 18 point advantage over Manchester City, but that doesn’t tell the whole story and the defence of their crown could prove a lot more difficult than many imagine.
Manchester City have a starting lineup to rival that of any club in the world, but where they really press their financial advantage is in their incredible squad depth. They can afford to keep the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Gabriel Jesus and Phil Foden on the bench, and they have further added to that deep pool of talent with the acquisition of Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake.
The Citizens did, of course, have that talent available to them last season and still failed to collect the trophy, but injuries did play a role in their underperformance. Aymeric Laporte is the prime example: the French centre back managed just 15 Premier League appearances and was a huge miss at the back, as you can see below.
Liverpool’s perfect season
Liverpool fully deserved their maiden Premier League victory last year, but the margin of their triumph doesn’t tell the whole story. We’ve already talked about Laporte, but there’s more.
Liverpool, almost bereft of any serious injury concerns, saw seven different players start at least 30 Premier League games last season. Manchester City had two, one of which was goalkeeper Ederson.
Of course, you can argue that Jurgen Klopp’s fitness regime contributed to that, but the fact remains that Liverpool were extraordinarily fortunate to not suffer any selection crises of note. This level of injury-free perfection is unlikely to be repeated, and Manchester City have a much deeper squad to deal with these situations.
Then we can look at the contentious topic of Expected Goals (xG) and Expected Points (xPTS). It may be a flawed system, but it undoubtedly hints at a certain level of good fortune enjoyed by the Merseyside club. They outperformed xPTS by a massive 24.72, while Manchester City underachieved by 5.76 xPTS.
Of course, nobody should hand out titles on the basis of Expected Goals, but what it does tell us is that last year’s title race should have been a lot closer than it was.
All in all, the chasm in Expected Points and the lack of injuries suggest that the margins are a lot finer than they first appear. Liverpool have so far failed to recruit anyone of note, while the blue half of Manchester will be hungry for success once more and have further strengthened their already mammoth pool of talent.
Backing the sky blues of Manchester City looks preferable to a successful title defence.
Who won the Premier League 19/20?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a good few months, you’ll be well aware that Liverpool finally ended their 30 year wait for an English top flight trophy last season as they snatched the title away from Manchester City by a mammoth 18 point margin.
Due to the bizarre circumstances enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, Liverpool broke two very contrasting records as they became both the earliest winners of the Premier League (seven games remaining) and the latest winners (25th June 2020).
Premier League winner odds
The bookies are predicting another two horse race at the top of the Premier League, with Manchester City firm favourites ahead of defending champions Liverpool. Chelsea’s summer spending spree put them in prime position to crash the party, while Manchester United are a distant fourth in the market.
*All odds correct as of 13:00 on 7th September 2020 on bet365.com
- Manchester City – 4/5
- Liverpool – 9/4
- Chelsea – 10/1
- Manchester United – 16/1
- Arsenal – 33/1
- Tottenham – 50/1
bet365 are also running a fantastic offer where your league winner outright bets can be paid out early if your team takes a lead of 10 points or more.
League Winner Early Payout Offer. Get your bets paid out early if the team you back takes a lead of 10 points or more in their league with bet365. Applies to bets on the To Win Outright market on selected leagues up to and including 15th October 2020. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply. New and eligible customers only. You can find the full terms and conditions here.
Premier League top 4 predictions
While the Premier League title race was prematurely ended last term as Liverpool romped to an unfathomable lead, the battle for the all-important Champions League spots continued until the Premier League’s dying breaths.
Leicester had looked all but guaranteed a Champions League berth before a dreadful end to the season, culminating in a final day defeat to 3rd place Manchester United, saw them end 5th. The Foxes won just three of their final 14 league games, and with Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal all strengthening a repeat of their top four challenge looks unlikely.
But what about the rest of them?
Chelsea to Win without Manchester City or Liverpool
Last season was seen as a transitional period for the Blues. Frank Lampard, in just his second season of management, had just lost Eden Hazard and was unable to replace him due to the Blues’ transfer ban.
However, Lampard assembled his young guns and took the Premier League by storm, eventually finishing 4th in the table when many expected a top six finish at best.
This season is looking extremely promising for them. Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and the German prodigy Kai Havertz have joined an attacking lineup that only scored fewer goals than Man City and Liverpool last term. At the other end, where all their major problems lie, they have added the experienced head of Thiago Silva, former Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell and the highly promising Malang Sarr.
This is a squad brimming with young and exciting talent and they could very well close the gap on the dominant two this season.
Continuing on from that, we’ve already discussed Manchester City’s advantage in the title race and Chelsea’s excellent chance of a top three finish. 7/1 for a Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea tricast looks exceptionally good value.
Arsenal to Finish in Top 4
Arsenal have failed to make the top four in each of the last four seasons, but Mikel Arteta seems to be building something exciting down at the Emirates.
The Spaniard has breathed new life into the club and he could be the catalyst they needed to get them moving back in the right direction. They have lost just four of their 21 Premier League games and beat the likes of Manchester United, Wolves, Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea. Not only that, but they’ve made some very smart moves in the transfer market.
Pablo Mari and the acclaimed Gabriel Magalhaes will be key to strengthening a back line that’s always on the verge of the calamitous, while Willian could prove to be one of the best signings of the season after making the short move across London. The 32-year-old Brazilian scored nine goals and assisted seven more in the Premier League last season and is a fine addition to any squad.
Most importantly, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang appears to be staying at the club. The Gabon international is the leading man in this FA Cup winning Arsenal squad and if anyone can return them to the Champions League, it’s him.
What about Manchester United?
At odds of 1/2 to finish in the top four, Manchester United simply don’t look a good value pick.
The Red Devils may have been revitalised with the emergence of Mason Greenwood and the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, but while their first choice lineup can trade punches with the best of them, they do fall away when you get further down the pecking order.
Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Phil Jones and Andreas Pereira are just a couple of injuries from being returned to the starting lineup, and unfortunately for them they simply aren’t good enough right now.
Donny van de Beek is undoubtedly a great player, but the problems with Manchester United’s squad don’t lie in midfield. Injuries to Victor Lindelof or Harry Maguire would force Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to play the injury prone Eric Bailly or the calamitous Phil Jones, while Aaron Wan-Bissaka is irreplaceable at right back.
Up front the likes of Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford make for a terrifying attacking trident, but replace one of those with Mata or Lingard and they become a lot less effective.
League success rarely stems from a starting lineup alone, and Manchester United will need to rotate to cope with the demanding schedule. Unfortunately, they just don’t have the depth and 1/2 looks far too short.
Premier League top 4 odds
*All odds correct as of 13:00 on 7th September 2020 on bet365.com
- Manchester City – 1/33
- Liverpool – 1/14
- Man Utd – 1/2
- Chelsea – 1/2
- Arsenal – 5/2
- Tottenham – 3/1
- Wolverhampton – 6/1
- Leicester – 9/1
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