The 2019-20 EPL season begins on Friday August 9 and, ahead of the big kick off, Wag makes his predictions for who will win the title and who will finish in the top four and qualify for the Champions League.
Finally! The end of the summer is upon us and we can stop watching these bullshit international tournaments that are great for the fans and the youth development, but an eye soar for me. The summer is supposed to go like that. It’s a time where you’re supposed to switch off and enjoy the little things, drink some booze, gain 15 pounds and just chill. I did the opposite. I was sitting in my room facing a corner glued to the twitter world waiting to see if De Ligt was coming to the Premier League, or if Leroy Sane was on his way out, or whether there is a transfer conspiracy involving a premier league team, China, and Real Madrid over Gareth Bale’s future. It’s time to turn away from the corner and face my TV because come August 9th, we will see that ball roll across the perfectly cut green grass at Anfield and everything in the world will be normal again.
Let’s reflect a little bit from the previous season as it was one for the ages. Manchester City and Liverpool were neck and neck throughout the whole season making every weekend a must-watch weekend. The last closest ending to the Premier League season was when Tottenham gave Chelsea a run for their money in 2017, and then of course when Manchester United’s heart got ripped out by Aguero. We witnessed record-setting achievements as champions Manchester City equaled their own record for ‘Most wins by a club’ of 32 wins. Last season brought us the ‘Most points combined for top two’ with Liverpool and Manchester City, and we saw the ‘Highest-scoring season’ ever scoring 1,072 goals. To put the cherry on top for all the English citizens out there, both European finals featured Premier League teams resulting in bragging rights as the best league in the world, currently. Unfortunately, we won’t see a close contested season for the Premier League this year which will make the race for top 4 a lot more intriguing.
We welcome back Aston Villa and Norwich City to the Premier League after a 3-year absence from the top flight along with Sheffield United who make their first return since the 06/07 season. Historically only one out of the three promoted teams stay in the top flight for the following year. If I were to play the popular high school game ‘F**k, Marry, Kill’ regarding the newly promoted teams, I would kill Sheffield United without skipping a heartbeat. It’s been a while since they have been in the top flight and I don’t see them making much progress in the Prem besides gaining experience. I would F**k Aston Villa because Jack Grealish is the perfect mix of a retro and modern soccer player with a Rooney-like passion. Then I would marry Norwich City because they were running away with the Championship along with Teemu Pukki scoring 43 goals last season. I would have married Aston Villa if Tammy Abraham wasn’t a Chelsea player. But Enjoy Sheffield and Aston Villa as much as you can this year, they won’t be around too long along with a crippling Newcastle United or a struggling Brighton.
Let’s bring it on to the big boys of the best league in the world, currently (Are you triggered?). The worst part about Liverpool’s season was that they would have won the league any other year with 97 points, but they have to be somewhat content with the Champions League as they await to take on the Premier League yet again. What a bunch of losers. However, they take a major blow as Nathaniel Clyne is out for a majority of the season with an ACL injury he suffered during the summer. Liverpool has also signed 16-year-old Fulham winger Harvey Elliot who will be a flexible rotation player for the Reds. Pep Guardiola and City reached deep into their pockets yet again and bought Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri but lose club legends Vincent Kompany and David Silva with Leroy Sane’s future in doubt after being excluded in Pep’s starting XI towards the last days of the season. With a loaded attacking force, it’s no shocker that Manchester City are the favorites to win the Premier League a third consecutive year. Although Chelsea has a transfer ban, Frankie Frank will have an army of loanee’s return to the club along with Christian Pulisic, Kovacic, and Batshuayi. Frank Lampard is going to have to adapt quickly with the number of games his team will be playing since they are in the Champions League. However, they will be fighting the hardest to finish top 4 in the Premier League. Tottenham have been in the Champions League for 5 consecutive years now and always provide pressure to first and second-placed teams during the season but can never close the deal by winning anything. They are suffering from the worst case of blue balls I have ever seen with the additional load from losing the Champions League Final. The Spurs should have another ball bruising season finishing in the top 4 along with their record signing of Tanguy Ndombele to give a better midfield presence for the Spurs. Arsenal seems to be clicking more than their last few games last year. With Ozil starting to be more a part of Unai Emery’s plans, this will be the perfect boost Aubameyang and Lacazette are going to need as everybody is rooting for them to be a successful striking duo. Who doesn’t love to watch a bunch of clowns fool around in their goal celebrations? Ole Gunner and the Red Devils are going to have to put on their big boy pants if they want to improve from last season. With more and more questions looming around Pogba and Lukkaku’s futures are the first signs of ‘What the f**k is going on’ at Manchester United throughout the season. United got their pacey defensive player they desperately needed from Crystal Palace as Aaron Wan-Bissaka is looking to make an immediate impact for the reds. Marcus Rashford signed a long-term deal with the Red Devils during the summer giving him more confidence as his role is more solidified with the club. But the club is struggling to find their identity. It’s been 6 years since Fergie’s last game, time to wake up!
As it stands Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea are the top 4 favorites to win the premier league, in that order. To be fair, I think any regular football fan would agree to the oddsmakers prediction’s but Chelsea is dealing with a new coach which has been historically great for the first half of the season followed up by falling off the grid towards the end of the season, but I’m rooting for Frankie Frank more than I am for the club. Additionally, their transfer ban gives me more doubt with their young squad’s inexperience.
I think Liverpool is going to end their Premier League drought and win the Premier League. Liverpool fans will be delighted and ecstatic and hopefully retire the saying ‘This is our Year’ and pass it along to Manchester United or Tottenham. (Liverpool Winner +275 via SugarHouse).
As for the Top 4 of the Premier League, I know it’s going to look like this:
- Liverpool (-1250)
- Manchester City (-5000)
- Arsenal (+150)
- Tottenham (-177)