The new season of the Premier League is already on the horizon. It starts on Friday 9th of August and over the course of the next nine months, the world’s toughest league will be bringing joy to soccer fans around the globe.
Even though there aren’t many leagues with such strong teams in them, the situation at the top of the table has been pretty straightforward lately.
After Leicester City miraculously won the Premier League in 2015/2016, six clubs created a monopoly on the top six spots, namely Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United. It’s been like that for three seasons straight; can something change this time? Is there a team that can break the ‘Big Six’ dominance?
Another Two-Horse Race?
BT Sport has recently launched an experiment in which the goal is to predict the table placement of each Premier League team at the end of the season. For that, they used statistical data from such sources as Google, Opta, and Squawka, as well as asked some of the leading sports analysts for advice.
After taking all sorts of variables into consideration, the supercomputer was able to make its predictions, putting Man City at the top of the table. But you really don’t need an AI to tell you that.
It seems that everyone agrees that Manchester City and Liverpool are once again the biggest favorites for the title. Many pundits believe that we’re going to see a two-horse race, the same we did last season when only a single point decided the champion.
Drawing on the last season’s experience, it’s also possible that regular dark horse of the Premier League might challenge the title. We’re talking about the Spurs, who, unlike the previous season, did make some big signings over the transfer period.
Those three clubs are expected to finish on the top three spots, while the other three giants might not have such a lovely time this season. Chelsea, Arsenal, and Manchester United seem as if they could cause some major disappointments to their fans in 2019/2020.
Chelsea – East of Eden
Although the data analysis conducted by BT Sport suggest Chelsea will be able to qualify for the Champions League next season, not many pundits agree. Actually, many believe the Blues will be struggling to get a spot among the top six.
These are strange times for Chelsea, with their best player for the past couple of seasons finally moving to Real Madrid. The Blues’ recent success is owed greatly to Eden Hazard, but he’s history now.
And because they have a transfer ban, Chelsea weren’t able to invest the money they received for Hazard in bringing a suitable replacement for the Belgian playmaker.
They did bring in a couple of players, most notably Christian Pulisic, who’s signed a contract before Chelsea got a ban on transfers.
Another big addition to the club is that their playing legend Frank Lampard has now taken the role of the manager. Although loved by fans, Lamps is still an inexperienced manager and a potential hazard to the future of this team.
Arsenal – Back Problems
There’s no denying that the Gunners have some excellent players in the team. The trouble is that most of them are far away from their goal. Arsenal’s backline was their Achilles’ heel last season and they still haven’t solved the problem.
Rather than investing heavily in defense, they did just the opposite. They brought in Nicolas Pepe from Lille and Dani Ceballos from Real Madrid, both of whom are very offensive players. Arsenal did sign William Saliba for a pretty big fee, but the defender is to join the club next year.
Manchester United – Real Test for Ole
The supercomputer has predicted that Man United are going to finish the season 2019/2020 at the 6th place, but its prediction came before the Red Devils went shopping. If the latest soccer news reports are correct, Manchester United will be spending heavily during the last week of the transfer window.
With players like Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes coming to the club, in addition to Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James who signed in June, this squad now looks more than capable to challenge for a Champions League place.
Who Can Challenge the Top 6?
If one (or more) of the ‘Big Six’ teams underperform this season, there are several contenders to take over their place. Although everyone would like to get there, there are only three clubs that seem actually capable to break into the top six, namely Wolves, Everton, and Leicester City.
Wolves – Going a Step Further?
Computers don’t think Wolves have what it takes to break the monopoly of the six Premier League heavyweights. Still, judging by this team’s performances last season, their fans do have the right to dream big.
Finished seventh, Wolves were a true nightmare of English giants, taking points off most of the teams that finished in the top six spots. This season, Wolves look even stronger, but the trouble is that they’re fighting on two fronts – the Premier League and the Europa League, where they’re still in the qualification stage.
Everton – Fantastic Potential, Still No Results
Same as last season, the Toffees seem like the dark horse that can get really far. If you take a look at Everton’s squad, you’ll see that they have some really talented players there.
It’s their manager’s job to make them work well together. Last season, Marco Silva did manage to turn Everton into a decent side; this season, the fans demand more. The AI suggests they will finish seventh, but they definitely have the potential for more.
Leicester City – The Foxes Are Capable of Anything!
The Foxes managed to win the Premier League a few years back, so whatever they do this season can’t surprise us much. With a pretty talented squad and a pretty experienced manager, Leicester City do seem capable of achieving great things.
Brendan Rodgers’ boys finished at the ninth position last season, but this time, they’re ambitions are much higher. They want to challenge a spot among the top six!