Premier League

City as champions, West Ham going down - Premier League 20/21 predictions

We also have a look at who may complete the top four as well as the best and worst signings of the campaign

8:00am on Friday 11th September 2020
By
Paul Macdonald

2020/21

Premier League Winner:MANCHESTER CITY

Liverpool were miles ahead last season but they weren't entirely convincing post-lockdown and they have been tentative in terms of making new additions. From an expected points perspective they also drastically overachieved in 2019/20, while City underachieved at the same time.

The gap will close and City will turn some of those narrow losses, ones where they dominated on Expected Goals but couldn't convert, into wins. Liverpool will still be closest challengers but it's City's title to regain.

2020/21

Top FourLiverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd

Liverpool may not win the title but they'll still be the best of the rest. Chelsea's team is hugely exciting if rather unbalanced and while they will likely score plenty of goals, it's not really clear how they plan on keeping other teams out.

United meanwhile will be the best of the rest and should close the gap to the teams above them.

2020/21

RelegatedWest Ham, Fulham, West Brom

West Brom have made two shrewd attacking signings in confirming permanent deals for Matheus Pereira and Grady Diangana, but the concern is what they are capable of doing defensively. Fulham were somewhat fortunate to come through the playoffs and will be under real pressure to get points at home.

West Ham are a real mess off the pitch and are on a downward trajectory - this could be the season where the project blows up.

2020/21

Best SigningHAKIM ZIYECH (Chelsea)

Ziyech had long outgrown the Eredivisie and now is the time to prove his exceptional quality at the highest level, and he has all of the attributes in order to do so.

Ziyech has poise, vision, a broad passing range and can score plenty of goals from his wide position on the right of the attack. If Chelsea play to his immense strengths, he will be one of the stars of the season.

2020/21

Worst SigningJAMES RODRIGUEZ (Everton)

Dearly hope to be completely and utterly wrong on this one. James is an exceptional talent but has regressed and played very little football of late. Teaming up with Carlo Ancelotti may reinvigorate him but this Everton team just has dysfunction written all over it and the quick pace of the league may well pass him by.

2020/21

Top Goalscorer:PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)

Timo Werner should score plenty of goals for Chelsea, while Mo Salah will be there or thereabouts. But Auba is getting better with age and is now unquestionably Arsenal's star man.

Having assumed penalty kick duties now on a permanent basis, and in a Gunners' team looking in decent condition, he can go far better than his 22 goals in 19/20 and a total above that could well be enough.

2020/21

Player of the YearKevin De BruyneMan City

De Bruyne was a worthy winner in 19/20 despite failing to stop Liverpool's run towards the title, but he is a player who is at the peak of his powers at the moment and, with Belgium among the favourites for the Euros next year, it could be a defining season in the playmaker's career.

2020/21

Surprise PackageSHEFFIELD UNITED

But not necessarily in a good way. Sheffield United massively overachieved last season with performances that got the best out of the players they had. But the secret of their success has been exposed to a degree and many of the teams around them look stronger this year than last.

It's unlikely they will be involved in a relegation battle but by the same token they won't be a surprise to the league this time around and I expect their results to regress.

2020/21

Breakout StarDWIGHT MCNEIL (Burnley)

McNeil is a winger of the old school, whose speciality is beating men and knocking in superb deliveries into the area.

It may not be the way that many teams play any more but it works wonderfully well for Burnley and, after playing every single game last season, McNeil will hopefully continue his progression and earn the plaudits - and international recognition - he deserves.

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