English Premier League 2020/21 — A Detailed Preview
The 30-year wait was finally over last season. The Reds from Merseyside, Liverpool finally claimed their League title for the first time after 1990. The joy was cut short by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic as the season was extended in a humongous manner and the celebration parade didn’t happen. But it didn’t stop the Scousers from flashing their red ultras outside Anfield.
For the other English giants though, it was a complacent season. Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City had one of their worst Premier League seasons in a long time despite finishing second. The Solskjaer Army from the red half of Manchester had a huge turnaround in the second half of the season to finish third. Meanwhile, a transfer ban surviving Chelsea appointed their legendary player Frank Lampard to lead the side and famously thrashed odds to finish fourth.
For the two other clubs in the traditional top six, it was a year of disaster. Arsenal finished eighth after sacking Unai Emery and doing a ‘Chelsea’ by bringing in ex-starlet Mikel Arteta. On the other side of London, Tottenham just clinched an Europa League spot as they invited the ‘Special One’ — Jose Mourinho — to the helm.
Newly promoted side Norwich was the first to be relegated, followed by Watford and Bournemouth, as the Hornets and the Cherries bid a farewell to the English top flight after a long time.
West Brom and Fulham make a comeback to the Premier League after a short couple of years stint in the Championship, but the spotlight remains on only one promoted side — Leeds United.
After a 16-year wait, the famous Leeds are back at their perch. Big rivals of Manchester United and led by the genius of Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds will be a big team next season.
Without much ado, let’s get straight into a detailed preview of the 2020–21 season of the most watched league in the world, the English Premier League.
The Transfer Business: Ins & outs from the English Premier League
It isn’t something new that every European football player dreams to play in the Premier League. With that being said, this season surely — many dreams have come true.
When it comes to the transfer business in England this summer, Chelsea have been gargantuan in the market, thanks to their exile due to the transfer ban. The Blues from London have already signed the likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Malang Sarr. Not only that, but if reliable reports are to be believed, German football’s biggest youth icon, Kai Havertz has already had his medical at Cobham. Chelsea mean business.
Pep Guardiola missed out on both the Premier League and the Champions League last season, which is something unusual on his resume. The Spanish gaffer has already brought in Nathan Ake and Ferran Torres to Manchester City and with an almost perfect squad at his disposal, these are some serious additions which are taking the Citizens closer to perfection.
Champions Liverpool have been very quite this window. But the Reds are heavily linked with Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago Alcantara. Considering their world class squad, the addition of Thiago would be enough to contend for a successive Premiership.
The Red Devils from Manchester haven’t confirmed any signings too, but Dutch young sensation Donny Van de Beek is extremely close to being announced.
The arrival of Van de Beek would mean that Manchester United have the best midfield in the English top flight with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes and Van de Beek holding the fort. United also continue to be linked with probably the best young player in the world, Jadon Sancho.
Tottenham Hotspur have signed Matt Doherty from Wolves and Pierre-Emile Hobjberg from Southampton as Mourinho attempts to assemble a group which in his words, ‘would go to war with him’. Arsenal have William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes coming in — two young central defenders who have been reckoned to take the defending world by a storm in the years to come.
In the Spotlight: Players to look out for this season
If Manchester United are able to sign Jadon Sancho by the end of the summer window, then there is no doubt the battle between the two young starlets of Bundesliga — Sancho and Havertz — will light up English Football.
When it comes to the goals, there is no doubt new Chelsea signing Timo Werner will be all set to give a tough fight to Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Arsenal’s Pierre- Emerick Aubameyang.
The two Dutch football sensations Hakim Ziyech and Donny Van de Beek will also be in the spotlight for their amazing brand of total football from Ajax.
In the back-half of the field though, it’s Arsenal’s new recruits Saliba and Gabriel who shall steal the show. In Sir Alex Ferguson’s words, it’s the defence which wins you titles, and if that is to be stuck to, Mikel Arteta is doing some good business at the Gunners.
What are the odds — A look at our possible winners
Manchester City have won a title once every two years in the last decade. This statistic in addition to the fact that Pep Guardiola is a serial winner who guarantees trophies makes City the favourites to clinch their second title in 3 year, as the Etihad awaits another masterclass in the upcoming 2020–21 season.
Almost a net spend of 200 million pounds in the last one month means that Chelsea have a potentially title contending squad for next season. If all the new players and the existing stars live up to their potential, the Blues are expected to give a tough fight to Manchester City in the title race, but it is too early for Frank Lampard’s Chelsea to directly lift the trophy in such a short time.
Liverpool’s latest Community Shield defeat to Arsenal exposed a lot of flaws in the Reds’ overall squad and playing style. The reigning Champions’s failure to reboot and overhaul their squad through heavy recruitments means that they might just miss out on defending their title. The Reds should finish in the top three for sure though.
If Manchester United can overturn their season in the second half so well, that they finished third last season, it’s without a whisker of a doubt that the Red Devils will be up there in the top four giving Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool some occasional problems.
Arsenal should finish fifth as Mikel Arteta is proving to be the real deal. He has already won two trophies in the space of 1 month and should do enough to clinch an Europa League spot in the upcoming season.
Tottenham are undergoing a serious rebuild under Jose Mourinho and it will surely take some time, preferably more than one season. This means that Spurs should finish outside the top five, and if lucky, should find themselves in the qualifying stage of the Europa League next season.
The Opening Day Bonanza
Due to the delayed European club competitions, both the Manchester clubs will miss out on the opening day of the Premier League this season. City and United will play from game-week two starting in the third week of September.
For the rest of the clubs, the footballing year begins on Saturday, the 12th of September.
The spotlight on the opening day will surely be on the epic clash between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield. The emotions will be skyrocketing for Leeds’ supporters as they end their 16-year wait to see their side competing at the very top. But, Liverpool haven’t lost an Anfield for around two years now in the Premier League and this shall be a really mouth-watering tie.
Another key-fixture is Tottenham hosting Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton at home, which will be a clash of two huge managerial personalities and teams with similar personalities.
Nevertheless, with all the transfer business reaching close to 750 million pounds, legendary promoted sides and a possible 4-legged race for the title, this Premier League season promises history.