The 2018/19 season will be a difficult act for the Premier League to follow. The title race between Manchester City and Liverpool went all the way to the wire while the Top Four race become a contest nobody seemingly wanted to win. At the other end of the table, Huddersfield Town, Fulham and Cardiff City suffered the drop. So what does the 2019/20 season have in store for us?
It’s difficult to envisage any other side challenging City and Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table this season. The standard both teams set last term was unprecedented and with no major exits, and Man City adding Rodri for a club record £62.8 million, it’s likely that their duel will resume after the summer.
Chelsea have lost their manager and their best player, while Arsenal and Manchester United remain in disarray following a chaotic summer. Tottenham Hotspur are best placed of the outsiders to mount a genuine challenge, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side now spending money (Tanguy Ndombele has signed and more new arrivals are expected) and comfortable in their new stadium.
2u - Manchester City To Win The Title @ -153
If City, Liverpool and Spurs are presumed to occupy the top three places, that leaves just one last Champions League spot up for grabs between Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd. Three doesn’t go into one. Arsenal and Man Utd are having trouble in the transfer market while Chelsea have taken an almighty risk by replacing Maurizio Sarri with Frank Lampard. This might be a toss up.
It can often be difficult to call who will be caught up in a relegation battle. For instance, few could have foreseen the struggles Southampton have faced in the last two seasons. This season, Sheffield United and Norwich City will be among the favourites to go down having just won promotion from the Championship. Aston Villa, given the money they have spent, should be safe.
Newcastle United might well be sucked into trouble having seen Rafael Benitez leave. Ayoze Perez has also been sold and Salomon Rondon, last season’s Player of the Year, allowed to move to China. On top of this, Steve Bruce’s imminent appointment as Benitez’s replacement has hardly gone down well.
Brighton and Burnley will be looking nervously over their shoulders, but perhaps a surprise candidate to be embroiled in a relegation scrap is Crystal Palace. Roy Hodgson led the Eagles to a comfortable 12th place finish last season, but they have lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka and could also lose Wilfried Zaha before the transfer window closes.
1u - Newcastle United To Be Relegated @ +220
The usual suspects will be up there, with Sergio Aguero, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah’s scoring record over the past few seasons highly impressive. Pierre Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette are also proven goalscorers over the past 18 months or so. It might also be worth considering Gabriel Jesus as an outsider for the Golden Boot. He helped deliver the Copa America title for Brazil over the summer and has been handed the number nine shirt at Man City for this season, suggesting Pep Guardiola believes he is now ready to play a more central role.
0.5 - Gabriel Jesus To Be Top Goalscorer @ +2800
EXCITING TEAM/NARRATIVE - Can the Top Six party be crashed?
In recent years the Premier League’s Top Six have separated themselves from the rest. That gap might be about to be bridged, though. Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd have all endured difficult summers while Everton, Leicester City and Wolves look likely to get stronger. City and Liverpool might be the clear frontrunners again, but it’s behind them where the 2019/20 Premier League season could get interesting.
PLAYER TO KEEP AN EYE ON - Pablo Fornals (West Ham)
Hundreds of millions have been spent by Premier League clubs over the summer transfer window, but few of those millions represent the value for money that West Ham got in their ___ million deal for Pablo Fornals. The 23-year-old demonstrated his creative edge during the U21 Euros. Indeed, the Spanish midfielder could prove to be one of the signings of the summer, giving West Ham the creativity they have lacked since Dimitri Payet left.