The Premier League season is already proving to be absolute chaos.
England's top flight has long been considered the world's most competitive league, but that couldn't be truer than in the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in during the pandemic.
Crazy start to Premier League
It's clear that the lack of supporters, hectic fixture schedule and lack of pre-season is causing the Premier League to be flooded with goals galore and a complete mish-mash of results.
As a result, the annual exercise of predicting the entire Premier League table has never been tougher and frankly, you'd be a fool to even try having witnessed the first four game-weeks.
Well, I guess that makes me a fool, because I'm here to submit the latest GIVEMESPORT prediction for the final 2020/21 Premier League table now that the summer transfer window has closed.
Predicting the Premier League table
We drew up our initial forecast before a ball had been kicked, but both the events of Deadline Day as well as the opening fixtures mean that plenty of our selections have changed.
Besides, to give you some perspective, we rather boldly predicted that Everton would only finish ninth and that Manchester City would win the title so, yes, we had to make some tweaks.
Therefore, with the squads finalised for the new season, we rest our predictive case with a 20-team ranking that, no doubt, will turn out to be miles wide of the mark. Check it out down below:
I'm an unabashed fan of Scott Parker and actually tipped them for 17th in my initial prediction, but four defeats from their opening four games with terrible defending to boot has given me cold feet.
Credit to Fulham for learning from the mistakes of their 2018 spending splurge, but the inspired coup of Alphonse Areola, who was superb at the weekend, won't save them from instant relegation.
19. West Bromwich Albion
Again, it always feels harsh to throw a promoted team under the bus and you've got to credit the signing of Grady Diangana as well as scoring three goals in one half against Chelsea.
However, just one point from their opening four fixtures has alarm bells ringing and I'm sticking with my prediction of both the Baggies being relegated and Slaven Bilic to be the first manager sacked.
18. Sheffield United
For whatever reason, the Premier League seems to wallop clubs who have an absolutely inspired first year from promotion with second-season-syndrome, just look at Ipswich Town and Reading.
I was so impressed with the Blades in 2019/20 that I thought they'd buck the trend, but zero points, six goals conceded and just one goal scored leaves me with few reasons to tip them for survival.
The whole reason we've reevaluated our predictions is because of the transfer window and even Sean Dyche himself has been vocal about the lack of spending at Turf Moor this summer.
Combine that with their 0% start to the season and I simply have to tip them for a relegation battle, even if I think Dyche's superb management and Chris Wood's goals will be enough to keep them up.
16. Crystal Palace
I placed Palace in the relegation zone for my first prediction and although I've come round to the idea that they might stay up, don't get too excited about their wins over United and Southampton.
Their dire end to last season shows that the Eagles still have plenty of problems - though Michy Batshuayi could liven up their attack - and I expect Roy Hodgson to politely retire next summer.
15. Brighton & Hove Albion
Despite the low placing I've given them, I don't think Graham Potter's men will be sweating about a relegation battle too much and the acquisition of Adam Lallana, if he stays fit, could really pay off.
Neal Maupay will be crucial to their hopes of crawling into mid-table and has already hit the ground running in front of goal, but their leaky defence and brazen brand of football will hold them back.
14. Newcastle United
So many teams have shown flashes of brilliance already that it feels cruel to dump Toon in 14th and I'm certain that Callum Wilson will reach double figures as the summer's most underrated buy.
I'm a fan of what Steve Bruce has done at the club, think that Allan Saint-Maximin is unstoppable on his day and reckon that Martin Dubravka is a top goalkeeper... so, why do they place this lowly?
Well, keep scrolling because predicting the mid-table is like solving a Rubik's club with a blindfold on in pitch-black darkness while wearing handcuffs. Ok, maybe not that tough, but it's darn tricky.
Southampton's transfer business has left us a little cold - the deal for Theo Walcott could go one of two ways - although back-to-back wins has seen them recover from two opening defeats.
But regardless of transfers, I just can't see the Saints running into too much danger with a top manager in Ralph Hasenhuttl and one of the Premier League's deadliest strikers in Danny Ings.
12. West Ham United
You'll start to see why the middle of the table is so hard to predict when, at the time of writing, it's practically gridlocked and only placing West Ham in 12th feels pretty harsh after the weekend.
It's astonishing to think the Hammers smashed Wolves 4-0 and followed it up with a 3-0 win at Leicester, so I've got to tip them to finish well clear of the relegation zone despite a poor transfer window.
11. Aston Villa
Even I'm worried that I might be jumping the gun by predicting Villa to finish quite this highly, but how can I be anything less than optimistic when they smashed seven goals past the champions?
Plus, unlike last summer, their transfer activity looks to have been very shrewd - I expect Ollie Watkins to hit double figures - and three wins from three suggests they're starting to find consistency.
10. Leeds United
I'll be the first person to admit that I thought people were getting ahead of themselves predicting Leeds to finish in mid-table, but boy has their start to the season made me change my mind.
There's no denying that Marcelo Bielsa is one of the best coaches in the division and aside from giving Liverpool and City really tough games, they've bagged victories in their other two matches.
It's still early days, so I'm not predicting them for an outside shot at European football, but I expect them to cause plenty of shocks for the Premier League big-hitters as they threaten the top half.
9. Wolverhampton Wanderers
You can't go too far wrong with Nuno Espírito Santo in the technical area, Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez bombing up the pitch and a squad that keeps getting topped up with talent each summer.
They looked to have bagged themselves a real talent in Fábio Silva and Nelson Semedo is a top-class signing from Barcelona, so ninth actually has more to do with the teams above them improving.
8. Leicester City
The Foxes are one of the toughest teams to place seeing as their opening four games have already seen them trounce Manchester City 5-2 at the Etihad, but also lose 3-0 at home to West Ham.
So, while we're playing it safe by posturing them outside the top six, we wouldn't be surprised if they finished higher after a superb summer in which Timothy Castagne might be the signing of the season.
7. Manchester United
I've got a confession to make: I initially picked United to finish second. Yup. Seriously. What was I thinking?
But after seeing the Red Devils looking poor in their opening three games and deeming the signings of Donny van de Beek and Edinson Cavani as pretty ill-fitting, I just had to demote them five places.
I regretfully see a world in which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, let down by the board, is sacked before Christmas and a brief revival in 2021 proves insufficient to really challenge for a top four place.
Yeh, sorry Everton fans, we're not predicting the dramatic charge towards the Premier League title that some are anticipating, but make no mistake, sixth place would still mark a fantastic season.
I have all the faith in the world that Carlo Ancelotti will be able to drive this Toffees side within five points of the top four with James Rodriguez surpassing both 10 goals and 10 assists in the league.
But I can't predict them to finish much higher than this when three of their wins have been against bottom-half competition, while their Spurs victory is slowly starting to look like an unfair reflection.
I'm a big fan of what Mikel Arteta is achieving a Arsenal and they've been incredibly productive in the transfer window with the Deadline Day signing of Thomas Partey proving a massive coup.
The Gunners have shown their ability to win without playing well this season, while also improving against the top teams, so expect them to come within a nose-hair of Champions League football.
The world seems to have only just realised that Chelsea splurging on Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell and many more won't immediately thrust them into title contention.
That being said, there have been flashes of brilliance from Frank Lampard's men already and if they can shore up their defence, they simply have too much quality not to reach the Champions League.
3. Tottenham Hotspur
It's not been a flawless start to 2020/21 for Spurs, no doubt, but their thrashings of Man Utd and Southampton show Jose Mourinho could be continuing his golden streak of second seasons.
Besides, Spurs have enjoyed one of the best transfer windows in the division, especially the recapturing of Gareth Bale, while the in-form Harry Kane is my prediction for the Golden Boot.
2. Manchester City
I think we can all agree that the City-Liverpool duopoly is weakening, but the Citizens simply have too much firepower for them not to be competing for a third Premier League title in four years.
Rúben Dias could be the answer to the club's defensive problems, Ferran Torres looks like a real talent and although I'm not convinced about Nathan Ake, he's hardly put a foot wrong so far.
Combine that with boasting the Premier League's best player in Kevin De Bruyne and one of the world's best managers in Pep Guardiola to see why anything less than second seems impossible.
That's right, despite being absolutely trounced 7-2 by Aston Villa, we still think that Liverpool will maintain the most consistent form and retain their Premier League title, albeit less convincingly.
You only have to look at the Reds starting their season with wins over Leeds, Chelsea and Arsenal to see that they still have plenty left in the tank and their transfer activity has been spot on.
In Thiago Alcantara, they have one of the world's five best midfielders in their squad and Diogo Jota brings competition for Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah that is long overdue.
GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says
I've written plenty of prediction articles in my time, but I'm not sure any of them have ever posed a tougher task than this.
Forecasting the entire Premier League table is near impossible at the best of times, never mind when it's the most unique, bizarre and unprecedented season in the history of the competition.
To see just how crazy the 2020/21 campaign has been already, you only have to look at the fact every single Premier League team other than Everton and Villa have already lost at least one game.
Therefore, if you're asking me how confident I am about Liverpool winning the league, Tottenham finishing third, Sheffield United being relegated and so on, the answer is absolutely not.
I think they're pretty educated guesses - I wouldn't have bothered otherwise - but I dread to think how much could change in 34 games when the opening four have already been absolutely insane.
And that's all without touching on transfers, which could easily flip the league on its head as well, so I don't doubt for one second that we'll all be laughing at my table come May.
But isn't that great? It really feels as though we're on the precipice of the craziest Premier League season in history and even just writing out that sentence has me toe-tapping with excitement.
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