After a summer of football and Euros heartbreak for England fans, the return of the Premier League is almost upon us, with the 2021/22 campaign only days away.
After a Covid-19-derailed season, fans are returning to stadiums and clubs are coming out of the other side of the pandemic.
More than ever, though, there are unanswered questions heading into the new season. Can anyone stop Manchester City? And will they sign a striker to replace Sergio Aguero? How will the three new manager’s in the league fare?
Premier League Preview 2021/22
Are Chelsea Manchester City’s Main Rivals for the Title?
Even before their Champions League triumph over Pep Guardiola’s side in Porto, many were tipping Chelsea to be City’s main threat for the title this season.
Thomas Tuchel’s enjoyed a magnificent second half of the season. They were defensively sturdy, as Timo Werner struggled to find the back of the net at the other end of the pitch.
The biggest question for the Blues this season is whether they can add a more threatening striker to their ranks. Some are hoping that Werner can improve on his form from last season, but there are rumours that a deal is close for Romelu Lukaku.
If Manchester United hit the ground running, then they could be the team to threatening their city rivals for the title. Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane are two world-class additions, but like Chelsea, they are lacking a striker capable of firing them to the league title.
Liverpool, too many, remain an unanswered question. Jurgen Klopp’s side finished third in remarkable circumstances last season after a continuous plague of injuries on Merseyside. They have only added Ibrahima Konate to their ranks, but Klopp will be hoping that his deadly attacking trio can make an emphatic return.
However, City will take some stopping. Like their rivals, there is a need for a striker at Etihad Stadium, but Pep Guardiola’s side will always find a way to be threatening in front of goal.
The Battle for Europe
Tottenham will be an unknown quantity to many this season, having appointed Nuno Espirito Santo over the summer. The Portuguese was not their first-choice, and if you couple that with the potential departure of Harry Kane, there could be swathes of changes this season for Tottenham.
Mikel Arteta will be hoping that they can build on their excellent end to the season. The Gunners have made some intriguing additions to their side, but their biggest test will be whether they can maintain a consistent threat across the season.
Beyond Arsenal and Tottenham, there are a host of teams vying for a place in the European competitions. West Ham United, last season’s surprise package, may struggle to deal with the demands of the Europa League, so may not threaten this time around. The Hammers have only added Alphonse Areola to their squad from last season, and further additions are almost certainly required.
Leicester City are now an established European contender under Brendan Rodgers, and will be in mix for European places again this season. A good end to the season may even see them break the barrier and earn a return to the Champions League. The Foxes’ transfer business has largely gone under the radar – Patson Daka has the potential to be one of the signings of the season, while Ryan Bertrand is a shrewd acquisition to bolster their ranks at left-back.
There is one side many are predicting to join the aforementioned sides. Even after the departure of Jack Grealish, Aston Villa have the potential to be a hugely exciting prospect this season. The additions of Leon Bailey and Danny Ings are some of the most eye-catching in the Premier League. If they gel quickly, they will upset the apple cart that is the top seven.
An Open Relegation Battle
Last season, the relegation places seemed to be settled long before the end of the season. This season, though, could be strikingly different.
Watford are heavily tipped for a difficult return to the Premier League. The Hornets have a squad size that is well beyond their means, and have continued to add to it this summer. Several fringe players will need to depart before the window shuts, but questions still remain over their transfer business.
Describing them as an unknown quantity heading into their ninth season may seem strange, but many do not know what to expect from Crystal Palace this season. It will take time for a new squad to gel under Patrick Vieira, and due to the size of their rebuild, could be one for the drop.
Winner – Manchester City
It is hard to look past Pep Guardiola’s side for the title this season. Jack Grealish is a wonderful addition who is full of talent, and even without a recognised striker in their line-up, they will be hard to stop.
Top Four – Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool
It is hard to overlook any of the above three for places in the Champions League. Leicester and Tottenham will make the race for the final four go to the final day, but Liverpool’s front three should carry them over the line.
Relegation – Burnley, Watford, Newcastle United
Burnley are a wily and experienced side, but their reliance on a small and depleted squad may see them struggle. Xisco Munoz’s lack of experience and the turbulent hot seat at Vicarage Road may see them destined for the drop. Steve Bruce’s lack of support from all angles in Newcastle will seem their endure a tough campaign.
Top Goalscorer – Harry Kane and Bruno Fernandes
Wherever Harry Kane is come the end of the transfer window, the England captain is always going to score goals. The Tottenham captain is prolific in front of goal, and will always be a competitor for the Golden Boot.
Bruno Fernandes is perhaps a left-field pick, but the Portuguese the talisman for Manchester United. He registered thirty goals in all competitions last season, and could easily be a contender to be top goalscorer.
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