Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea: Predicted 2020/21 line-ups for the Premier League 'Top Six'

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The 2020/21 Premier League season will be upon us before we know it.

The footballing calendar has been altered, uprooted and remodelled after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered a three-month delay across the majority of competitions in the European game.

As a result, the gap between Premier League seasons has never been smaller and we're less than two weeks away from seeing English football's very best locking horns once again.

2020/21 Premier League

There's plenty of questions to be answered across the 2020/21 campaign from the relegation battle, the scramble to qualify for Europe and whether or not Liverpool can retain the title.

The last two questions in particular have become difficult to answer after heavy spending from the clubs traditionally known as the 'top six'.

A slew of arrivals and departures means that predicting the order of Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea has become a topic of debate.

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The 'top six'

And it's one that we couldn't help getting involved in. So much so, in fact, that we've decided to dust off our crystal ball by predicting the strongest starting XI that all six teams will boast in 2020/21.

We've modelled their XIs based on the transfers we expect to see happen by the October deadline and ranked them by how strong we think they look in comparison to each other.

Get the picture? Ok, well, strap yourselves in because here is the GIVEMESPORT verdict on the top six's strongest line-ups coming into 2020/21.

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6. Tottenham Hotspur

Look, sorry Jose Mourinho, but there's no denying that your chase for the Champions League places is by far the most difficult and your 2020 spending hasn't exactly set the world alight.

Matt Doherty and Pierre-Emile Højbjerg are shrewd purchases for Tottenham in terms of the football Mourinho wants to play and the positions they need to strengthen, but they won't have Liverpool quaking in their boots.

By far the most intimidating players in their squad remain the mercurial forward trio of Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Heung-min Son from whom fans will hope for consistent form and regular fitness.

This isn't to say that I think Tottenham will finish sixth in the table, just that, on paper at least, they're set to enter the 2020/21 season with the most underwhelming XI amongst their top six rivals.

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5. Arsenal

Again, this isn't to say that Arsenal are nailed on for fifth place, because they have a young and exciting manager in Mikel Arteta who has proven his pedigree at getting results against the big clubs.

We're backing them to bolster their midfield with permanent deals for Thomas Partey and Dani Ceballos, while their move for Gabriel Magalhães looks nailed on to happen before the summer is out.

But they're still highly reliant on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's superhuman supply of goals and they're never more than 10 games away from defensive disaster with David Luiz in their back-line.

Their 2020/21 XI will propel them into contention for the Champions League places once again, but we feel pretty confident that there are four Premier League squads much stronger than them.

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4. Chelsea

For all their spending this summer, we think their potential XI is worthy of the same position they finished in last season, but that's more to do with the teams around them improving as well.

There's no doubting that their attack will be one of the most formidable in England with Timo Werner adding goals, Hakim Ziyech complimenting Christian Pulisic with technical majesty and Kai Havertz pulling the strings behind them.

But there's still plenty of reason to be worried by the defence. Besides, a team that conceded 53 league goals last season - the same number as Brighton - can't be fixed overnight.

The arrival of Thiago Silva and our predicted coup of André Onana will go a long way towards remedying that, but their back-line still leaves them behind three of their rivals, in our opinion.

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3. Manchester United

At long, long last, it seems as though the transfer cogs are turning at Old Trafford this summer and Donny van de Beek is reportedly the mere beginning of a squad shake up before the new season.

If the Ajax midfielder is indeed followed through the front door by Dayot Upamecano and Jadon Sancho, then there's good reason to think that United will be challenging for the Premier League title.

It's absolutely imperative that United find a world-class centre-back partner for Maguire and their RB Leipzig target looks to be the final piece in the puzzle as the Red Devils continue their rise.

Sure, Chelsea's summer spending would still be more eye-catching regardless, but United are set to enter the 2020/21 campaign with an XI that still looks more rounded to us than their rivals down south.

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2. Liverpool

But as much as United and Chelsea fans think they can break the current duopoly in English football, there can be no doubting that Jurgen Klopp still has a remarkable XI on his hands.

Besides, we're talking about a squad that just won the Premier League with 99 points, boasting arguably the world's best centre-back, left-back, right-back and goalkeeper to boot. Not bad, huh?

Combine that with the fact one of Europe's best midfielders, fresh from winning the Champions League, could be marching to Anfield in the form of Thiago Alcantara and you start to get the picture.

Even if Giorginio Wijnaldum does kiss goodbye to the Merseysiders with a move to Barcelona, the lowest we can see Liverpool tumbling to in the starting XI stakes is second place. 

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1. Manchester City

However, it's Pep Guardiola and co. that take the gold medal with a summer transfer window that could see them sign one of the greatest players of all time.

We place a massive caveat over this selection, though, because we think Liverpool would have the strongest line-up in the country if they don't get their hands on Lionel Messi and Kalidou Koulibaly.

But if they do, then all roads lead to the Premier League title with Koulibaly and Aymeric Laporte arguably making for the most formidable centre-back partnership on the continent.

Marry that to De Bruyne and Messi being the world's two best passers - both bagging more than 20 assists last season, naturally - and you can just imagine Guardiola running away with the title.

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GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

I love this Liverpool team, I really do, but City are just two signings away from winning back their crown.

I can't see a world in which Klopp's side could retain the title if their biggest rivals sign Koulibaly and Messi which, rather astonishingly, is looking like a real possibility this summer.

The biggest problem Guardiola faced over the course of last season was their defensive woes and the additions of Ake and Koulibaly would go a long way towards bridging the gap to Liverpool.

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Would Messi be overkill? I guess, but, come on, signing the greatest player of all time is a once in a lifetime opportunity and at the very worst, you'll get 15 league goals and assists out of him.

So, yes, if all these predicted XIs are completed with their relevant signings, I think the top six will go as follows: Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham.

But if the transfer window was to hypothetically close right now: Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal and Tottenham. 

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Then again, when was predicting the Premier League ever easy? We can't wait to see how things actually pan out for real and there's less than a fortnight to go until we find out. Bring it on.

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