Premier League 2020/21 Title Winner Predictions, Odds and Picks
- Liverpool are the reigning champions having coasted to the prize last term
- Neutrals will hope the title race is more competitive this time around
- The bookmakers still rank Manchester City and Liverpool far ahead of the chasing pack
Premier League Title Winner Odds
Odds taken 14 September 2020 from DraftKings
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Premier League Title Winner Predictions and Picks
Liverpool dominated the Premier League last season, wrapping up the title with seven games to spare and finishing the campaign 18 points clear of Manchester City – a margin that would have been even wider had they not tailed off once the trophy had been secured.
City are unlikely to finish so far adrift of top spot again this term, but Liverpool looks underpriced at +225 given how much better than the chasing pack they were in 2019/20. With Chelsea and Manchester United forced to make up huge ground, it is worth backing the Reds to make it two in a row this term.
How to Watch Premier League
|Premier League Information|
|What||2020/21 Premier League season|
|When||12 September 2020 – 23 May 2021|
|How to Watch||NBC Sports|
Liverpool Are Still the Team to Beat in the Premier League
Retaining the Premier League title has proved rather difficult in the last decade. Manchester City successfully did it in 2018/19 having also finished on top of the pile the previous year, but no other side won back-to-back championships in the 2010s. The last team to do so before City was Manchester United, who scooped the prize under Alex Ferguson in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Liverpool, therefore, knows that drawing level with United on 20 top-flight titles will not be straightforward. They have not significantly strengthened their squad in the summer transfer market, and there are question marks about their depth in certain areas. A long-term injury to one of Alisson Becker, Virgil van Dijk, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, or Roberto Firmino could prove the difference between success and failure.
Yet similar predictions were made ahead of 2019/20 after Liverpool had just amassed 98 points and narrowly finished as runners-up to City. Many expected the Reds to take a backward step, but their relentlessness did not abate and there are few signs that they are about to enter a period of decline.
Jurgen Klopp has created a winning machine, with each and every player knowing what is expected of him. And a lack of major transfer activity is not a surprise: it is very difficult to strengthen Liverpool’s starting XI. For those reasons, Klopp’s side looks well placed to come out on top once more.
Manchester City Will Not Win the League If They Do Not Improve Defensively
Manchester City may point to certain statistics that suggest they were unfortunate last season. Indeed, they produced better Expected Goals (xG) and Expected Goals Against (xGA) figures than the champions, which some have pointed to as a sign that they were unlucky. However, that is an overly simplistic interpretation: while City’s attack was able to run up huge scores in certain games, their shaky defense cost them in key contests.
Pep Guardiola’s team will probably outscore Liverpool again, but it is the Reds who have the better balance from back to front. City should get closer to the title this year, but they will only finish in the first place if they can become more solid at the back and improve their collective approach to defending against the counter-attack.
Manchester United and Chelsea Hoping to Challenge This Term
Manchester United and Chelsea finished third and fourth respectively in 2019/20. The former’s qualification for the Champions League looked in doubt midway through the campaign, but they were excellent in the second half of the season, helped in no small part to the signing of Bruno Fernandes in January.
United fans are understandably excited about a front four of Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, and Mason Greenwood, with Paul Pogba and Donny van de Beek supporting from midfield. But there remain question marks about the defensive half of the team, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – for all that a third-place finish was a good achievement last season – has no experience of competing for major trophies. That could ultimately harm United’s prospects of triumphing after a 38-game season.
The same can be said of Frank Lampard, although Chelsea’s transfer activity means the manager has the considerable talent to call upon. It is rare for a new-look squad to gel instantly, though, and Chelsea could still be vulnerable in defense. The Blues conceded more goals than any other top-half finisher in 2019/20 and looked far too open without the ball.
Winning the title will surely prove a bridge too far for both United and Chelsea this term, but Solskjaer and Lampard will hope to get closer to the top two than they managed last season.
Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Leicester City are All Outsiders
A challenge from a team that finished outside the top four in 2019/20 is unlikely. Leicester City may have been tipped to compete in the first half of last season, but they fell away spectacularly in the New Year. A top-four finish will be Brendan Rodgers’ overriding objective, although Leicester is certainly capable of taking points off the big boys.
Arsenal finished a lowly eighth last time out but are clearly moving in the right direction under Mikel Arteta. The Spaniard has now had sufficient time to get his ideas across and the Gunners are consequently in much better shape than they were at the start of last season. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is up there with the best forwards the Premier League has to offer, but a title tilt looks unlikely in Arteta’s first full season at the helm.
Tottenham Hotspur brought in Jose Mourinho because of his trophy-winning experience, but they too will focus on Champions League qualification. A title challenge is not completely out of the question, but a relative lack of strength in depth will probably put paid to such lofty ambitions.