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.
|Top Four||Liverpool, 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.
|Relegated||West 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.
|Best Signing||HAKIM 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.
|Worst Signing||JAMES 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.
|Top Goalscorer:||PIERRE-EMERICK AUBAMEYANG (Arsenal)|
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.
|Player of the Year||Kevin De Bruyne||Man 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.
|Surprise Package||SHEFFIELD 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.
|Breakout Star||DWIGHT 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.