What a summer of soccer it has been around the globe. In the Euro 2020, Italy was crowned champions after beating England in a penalty kick shootout. On the North American front, the United States has shown the world that they are force to be reckoned with. In the Nation’s League Final versus Mexico, Champion’s League winner Christian Pulisic put a penalty in the back of the net to capture the first ever Nation’s League Tournament. In the Gold Cup, USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter took a very young team to the finals, facing off with Mexico again. Miles Robinson soared into the air in the 118′ to seal the victory for the United States. It was their first Gold Cup Trophy since 2017.
The United States has stolen the show this summer, but the Premier League season is right around the corner. It has been rumored that Spurs forward Harry Kane is forcing a move to another club. That would be a huge blow to Tottenham’s title chances. Manchester United had quite the summer as well, capturing the signatures of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane. However, it is their arch-rival, Manchester City, who are favored to win the league once again. Pep Guardiola has been brilliant at the Emirates Stadium, and have even formed the makings of a dynasty in the Premier League.
With the Premier League kickoff only days away, let’s take a look at some of the title contenders, soccer betting odds and who might win the Golden Boot.
Odds to Win the Barclays Premier League
- Manchester City (-155)
- Liverpool (+500)
- Chelsea (+525)
- Manchester United (+800)
- Arsenal (+5000)
- Leicester City (+5000)
- Spurs (+5000)
- Everton (+12500)
- Leeds United (+12500)
- Aston Villa (+15000)
- West Ham United (+15000)
Title Favorites for Premier League
Manchester City is the clear favorite to win the league this year. After Pep Guardiola opted not to use a striker on multiple occasions last season, the Champions have really stepped up their offseason pursuit of a goal scorer. Most recently, it was reported that Spurs and England star Harry Kane is forcing a move to Manchester City. Adding Kane would make City even more of a favorite. However, Guardiola could opt to make Jack Grealish City’s priority before the season. Grealish looked great at Euro 2020. I would be absolutely shocked if last year’s champions didn’t at least crack the top four this season. With that being said, winning silverware is the main priority of Manchester City and their owners.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 2nd
Last year’s Champion’s League winners have also struggled to find a high scoring striker. However, it has been rumored that they may be able to land Romelu Lukaku from Inter or Erling Haaland from Dortmund. Manager Thomas Tuchel has been known to switch formations throughout the season, so if they capture Haaland or Lukaku, they will be a real threat to unseat Manchester City. Also of note is that Christian Pulisic is open to playing wing-back for Tuchel. Pulisic has the speed to cover and the skill get by defenders. Look for him to have a 8+ goal campaign.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 3rd
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad has added some exciting new pieces this summer. They were able to land Jadon Sancho from Dortmund. Sancho and Marcus Rashford on the wings for United is a scary thought. The bigger signing might have been sealing a deal for former Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane. With Varane and Harry Maguire paired at the back, and Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka up the wings, Manchester United are going to be a very balanced team. The offense will flow through Bruno Fernandes, who had a sub-par Euro performance. However, with Fernandes pulling the strings, guys like Rashford, Sancho, Mason Greenwood, and even Edinson Cavani can help the Red Devils end their title drought.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 1st (+800)
Liverpool was crushed by injuries last season. When central defender Virgil Van Dijk went down with an injury early in the season, any thoughts of a title winning campaign were quickly quieted. The Reds did add Ibrahima Konate, but also lost Georginio Wijnaldum to PSG. Overall this should be a better campaign for Jurgen Klopp’s men. With that being said, Mo Salah isn’t getting any younger, and neither is Sadio Mane. Expect the Reds to finish fourth and claim the final Champion’s League Spot.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 4th
With the news coming in today about Harry Kane, it seems Spurs are poised for a down season. Without Kane, Spurs don’t have a ton of quality attacking players. Dele will have to return to his pre-pandemic form if Spurs want any chance at a Champion’s League Spot. Many pundits and fans have welcomed Spurs as one of the “big-six” in the Premier League, but that run will end this year.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 7th
Arsenal had one of their worst seasons in recent memory last year. They finished 8th in the table, which is simply not acceptable for Gunner fans. Luckily, Arsenal were able to off-load David Luiz and Matteo Guendouzi. The Gunners did add Nuno Tavares at left back. That will ease the pressure off of Kieran Tierney. Also, Bukayo Saka was in great form during Euro 2020. It did not end the way he would have liked. However, he’s one of the best young players in the world. Arsenal should claim a European Competition spot once the season is over.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 5th
Unfortunately for Leicester, Jamie Vardy is another player who isn’t getting any younger. However, they have proven themselves one of the most consistent teams in the league over the past couple of years. Up front for Leicester is also Kelechi Ihenaocho, who was on a tear during the final weeks of last year’s campaign. Manager Brendan Rodgers also has to be happy with his young and talented defense. James Justin and Wesley Fofana anchor the defense, and will be able to get the former Cinderella story in a European Qualification position.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 6th
Middle of the Premier League Table
The midfield is where Wolves thrive. Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves are talented midfielders and they control the pace of the game. The biggest blow Wolves took this offseason, was losing their manager (Nuno Espirito Santo) to Spurs. Adam Traore is a viable threat outside for Wolves. Look for them to be in nearly every game this upcoming season, and finish higher than expected.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 8th
Villa’s finish in this season’s table, will be solely based on if Jack Grealish is still there or not. He’s been rumored to nearly all big clubs in England, most notably, Manchester City. Ex-Manchester United midfielder Ashley Young provides experience and creativity to Aston Villa.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 10th
The Hammers ended their campaign last year on a high note. They even defied the odds and qualified for the Europa League. Unfortunately for them, Jesse Lingard, who was a vital to them at the end of the season, is back in Manchester. However, Declan Rice, the 22-year old skipper, has drawn interest from nearly all of the “big six.” If he does move, this season could be disastrous for the Hammers. However, I believe Rice will play another season for West Ham.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 11th
Leeds were one of the best stories in all of soccer last year. A historic program, finally returned to the Premier League last season, and finished ninth. This season could be even better for the Leeds. Manager Marcelo Bielsa runs a super fast paced style of play, with quick passing and constant pressure. They also managed to pry Junior Firpo from Barcelona, who will help solidify the defense.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 9th
Everton had a very interesting summer. They hired Rafael Benitez as manager, who is not the most well-liked guy in England. The situation becomes even weirder when you remember Benitez also was a manager for Liverpool at one point. Liverpool and Everton are bitter rivals. Overall the Toffees will have an average season. They won’t sniff the top six, but they also should be comfortably above the relegation line.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 12th
Palace recently named Patrick Viera their new manager. He doesn’t have the greatest managerial style, but he should keep Palace afloat. Offensively, Palace have managed to keep a hold on Wilfried Zaha over the past few summers, and he’s one of the most dangerous players in the league. Also watch out for Christian Benteke, who is having a sort of career-revival.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 13th
The Saints had a great start to their campaign last year. After the first month, they were at the head of the table. However, then everything began to fall apart. Danny Ings is their main goal-scorer and creator, so they are in the market for some more offensive minded players. With that being said, Southampton may flirt with relegation at the beginning of 2021, but will eventually find themselves safe from being sent down.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 14th
Burnley had a very poor showing last campaign, finishing 17th, only one spot ahead of the relegation zone. They didn’t add many play-makers, so they also may flirt with relegation early. However, as with Southampton, they will steer clear of the drop.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 16th
Norwich should be able to stay above the drop as well. They have the same similar style of play that Leeds do, so last year’s Championship winners should make them competitive every game. Look for them to take some of the big clubs the distance, however they will also stumble along, but steer clear or the drop.
Predicted Premier League Finish: 15th
Fighting to Stay Above the Drop
17. Brighton Hove & Albion
Preseason Premier League Best XI
The players below all have a lot of expectations on them to perform at a high level this season. Between the pipes is Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez, who had a fantastic campaign last season. He’s 28 and even helped Lionel Messi win Copa America this summer. The two fullbacks, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Kieran Tierney are able to cover a ton of ground and have speed to burn. The young partnership of Fofana and Dias in the middle is stout and both will get better throughout the season.
In the middle, N’Golo Kante seems to not age, and he is flanked by James Ward-Prowse, and Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes. Bruno had an underwhelming showing at Euro 2020, but he pulls all the strings for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men. On the wings are Jack Grealish and Son Heung-min. Grealish was brilliant in Euro 2020. As for Heung-min, outside of Harry Kane he’s the most important player for Spurs. If Kane does leave the club, the only way they will continue to win is if Heung-min plays out of his mind. Finally up front, Harry Kane. Pretty self-explanatory. The only question with Kane is who will he be playing for this season?
It is important to remember that many of these players haven’t had a real “offseason” in almost two years. The pandemic shut down the Premier League, just like it did everything else. Well, it finally seems like the sporting world is back on track. The stadiums across England will be packed during opening weekend.
This season might come down to which team has the most quality depth on the squad. If that’s the case, Manchester United should be able to fend off the rest of the big clubs to take home the Premier League title. It would be their first league title since 2013. However, it won’t come easy. It should be a great Premier League campaign in 2021-22.
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