Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea: 13 predictions for the 2020/21 Premier League season

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The 2020/21 Premier League season is so close we can almost taste it.

Such is the bizarre nature of 2020 that it only seems natural that the new campaign will commence so soon after Jordan Henderson lifted the trophy above his head for Liverpool.

Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic means that 2020/21 will proceed in unprecedented circumstances with a September start date and a smattering of fans at the absolute most.

2020/21 Premier League

But that won't make the football any less entertaining with the title race, relegation fight and the chase for the Champions League places making thrills and spills an absolute guarantee.

Of course, this is also a time where football fans love to make their Premier League predictions and we already threw our hat into the ring with our forecast for the final table last month.

Since then, everything from Football Manager to FIFA 21 to supercomputers have been used to predict how next season will pan out, but we're not satisfied with stopping there.

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Predictions for the season

In fact, we've decided here at GIVEMESPORT to make 13 predictions for the 2020/21 season away from simply the final table and we're feeling buoyed after the last time we tried.

Besides, we correctly predicted Eddie Howe's Bournemouth exit and that Marcus Rashford would outscore Sergio Aguero when we made predictions for the remainder of last season.

But how will we fare this time around? Well, prepare to either laugh or seethe with anger as we once again put our integrity on the line by checking out the 13 things we think will happen this year.

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1. Manchester City will regain the title

I think a lot of people are with us on this one. You really get the feeling that Pep Guardiola is out for revenge this season and there were enough wobbles from Liverpool after the restart to give them hope.

I'm predicting that the Citizens will indeed complete a deal for Kalidou Koulibaly, which would give them arguably the best centre-back partnership in the world alongside Aymeric Laporte.

Combine that with the free-scoring likes of Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero as well as the inimitable playmaker that is Kevin De Bruyne and City could really run away with things.

Liverpool will run them close, don't get me wrong, but I reckon the Etihad side will finish up with around 90 to 95 points, which should be enough to outdo Jurgen Klopp's money-shy Reds. 

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2. Harry Kane will win the Golden Boot

If there's one thing you don't back against in football, it's Jose Mourinho in his second season at a club, so I'm fully expecting Tottenham to make some wholesale improvements in 2020/21.

And one of the biggest consequences of that inevitable upturn will be Kane not only just competing for the Golden Boot again, but winning it for a third time.

The fact he scored 18 Premier League goals last season despite his injury problems make me feel confident that the England man will top the standings with 27-ish strikes this time around.

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3. Slaven Bilic will be the first manager to go

Yeh, look, I don't think I'm revolutionising how people are viewing the new Premier League season by thinking that West Brom could struggle and I'm reluctantly tipping them to finish rock bottom.

Consequently, I think the Baggies will make a really slow start to their top flight return, causing them to panic just like they did in the 2017/18 campaign and therefore bring the axe down on Bilic.

I wouldn't be surprised if they replaced him with Howe if that was indeed the case.

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4. Liverpool will lose at Anfield

It's got to happen some day, hasn't it? Liverpool's home record has been nothing short of astonishing since their defeat to Crystal Palace in April 2017, not losing a single league game.

However, I'm backing City to end that historic run with an upset victory when the two sides meet in February, essentially spurring on the Manchester club to win their third league title in four years.

That being said, I don't expect Liverpool to drop any more points on Merseyside and hmm, let's say they'll only lose four games overall.

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5. Timo Werner will score more than 20 goals

It's impossible to tell how some world-class players will adapt to the Premier League and you only need to look at the cautionary tales of Andriy Shevchenko and Gonzalo Higuain at Chelsea to see that.

But I don't expect Werner to follow the same path and although he won't score enough to catch Kane, I back him to do well enough in the Premier League to surpass 20 goals again.

I also anticipate Hakim Ziyech to be one of the most impressive signings of the summer, while I'm slightly more reserved on Kai Havertz who, a little like Christian Pulisic, could blow hot and cold.

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6. Trent Alexander-Arnold will win the PFA award

Give or take De Bruyne, I'm not sure there's a better player pound-for-pound in the Premier League than Alexander-Arnold and I expect him to establish himself as Liverpool's star man this year.

I think De Bruyne will beat him to the Playmaker award, while still finishing short of his own and Thierry Henry's record, but Alexander-Arnold could well surpass 15 assists for the first time.

Combine that with five to seven goals and generally being an absolute wizard and I wouldn't be surprised if the Englishman is crowned the Premier League's best player very soon.

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7. Dean Smith will be sacked before Christmas

Surviving on the last day of the season seems to have papered over the cracks at Villa Park and there's no denying they should be doing better for how much they spent last summer.

And even though it seems certain that Jack Grealish will stick around, I'm backing them to suffer from second-season-syndrome and come crashing back down to the Championship.

I think the Villa hierarchy have been admirably loyal to Smith, but it will become abundantly clear that the club's head coach should be getting more out of the 11th most valuable squad in the league.

As a result, I wouldn't be surprised if Smith followed Bilic as one of the early managerial casualties.

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8. James Rodriguez will be an expensive flop

Call me a negative nelly, but aside from his masterclasses at the 2014 World Cup, I've never really been blown away by Rodriguez and his impending move to Everton really sets off alarm bells for me.

I'm not convinced that Carlo Ancelotti will be able to inspire the Toffees to more than eighth place next season and at the very least, I suspect Rodriguez will be outperformed by fellow arrival Allan.

Expect the Colombian to score an absolute screamer during one of his first five games, before completely falling off the radar, getting bullied in midfield and providing merely three or four assists.

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9. Ederson will retain the Golden Glove award

As I mentioned earlier, I think Koulibaly will be a City player by the October deadline and that makes for a pretty formidable prospect when you consider how crucial Laporte was the season before last.

It would be too strong of a back-line for Guardiola's team to not hoover up clean sheets, particularly at the Etihad, so I think they'll pip Liverpool in the Golden Glove standings just as they will in the table.

Consequently, Ederson can feel pretty safe about freeing up some space in his trophy cabinet ahead of time.

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10. Roy Hodgson will retire

You've got to tip your hat to Hodgson for having done such a solid job at Selhurst Park when he's now deep into his seventies, but surely the former England boss is close to calling it a day.

I think he'll do a decent enough job for the Eagles this season that their collaboration will last until next summer, but suspect that they'll agree to go their separate ways when his contract expires.

And although I think a lot of Premier League clubs could benefit from having Hodgson in their dugout, it makes sense that the Palace job will be his last and thus, he could feasibly retire.

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11. Leeds United will win at Old Trafford

Unlike some slightly more optimistic football fans out there, I'm not convinced that Leeds will go hurtling into the cushy surroundings of mid-table, but I don't back them to be relegated either.

And I do think a real string to their bow will be getting results against the top six with Marcelo Bielsa instigating some tactical masterclasses to hoover up clean sheets on the road.

As a result, sod it, let's forecast Leeds to replicate their 2010 FA Cup heroics by snatching an upset victory against Manchester United who, for the record, I suspect will finish in third.

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12. '#ArtetaOut' will trend on Twitter

Hold your horses because, no, I don't think Arteta will be sacked this season and I'm pretty sure Arsenal will threaten the Champions League places, before finishing in a respectable sixth place.

However, I anticipate that Arsenal will go through a winless streak of five or six games at some point during the season, leading to genuine suggestions from a minority of fans that Arteta should go.

In other words, expect some fireworks on AFTV when we're about two or three months in.

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13. Newcastle finish in the top half

I'm calling it, I'm calling it. Burnley have laid the roadmap for mid-table clubs to sneak their way into the top half in recent seasons and I have a funny feeling that Steve Bruce will follow that formula perfectly.

As much as it feels like the Magpies are airlifting Bournemouth's attack right now, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser are shrewd signings nonetheless and Allan Saint-Maximin will only get better and better.

So, yes, I can definitely see a world where Newcastle tiptoe into ninth or tenth place by a few points or maybe even goal difference with some strong form at St. James' Park proving pivotal.

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Only time will tell

They're all going to be wrong, aren't they?

Look, predicting the Premier League is so unpredictable and that's what makes it the most entertaining league in the world, so we don't even necessarily want our shouts to come true.

Besides, we're talking about a competition where Leicester won the trophy against 5,000-1 odds; there's no denying that the Premier League can throw up anything.

So, go on, be sure to take your screenshots and laugh at us in 12 months time, but regardless of how many we get right or wrong, we're already impatient to see it restart all over again.

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