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Opinion

'Daylight above the rest': Is the Premier League already decided for this season?

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Roar Rookie
30th July, 2021
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With the 2021-22 Premier League season kicking off in two weeks, more and more pundits have placed their bets on the top four and there seems to be a familiar pattern.

Manchester City sit at the top of the bookies’ list to retain their title and accompany this with the possible signing of Spurs and England captain Harry Kane, it’s not hard to see why they are less than $2 favourites.

In the opinions of many, the top four will not change from last year however the order within it may: Man City, Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool.

As Manchester City lose their most capped player and highest goalscorer in Sergio Aguero, the looming signing of Harry Kane is a real possibility as the billionaire powerhouse owners of the City Group are prepared to drop £160 million ($302 million) on the striker.

Add this to what could be one of the most complete teams in all positions and a manager that has been dubbed up there with the greatest of all time. They are the definition of a force to be reckoned with.

Considering that Ruben Dias was close to the Premier League player of the season last season, accompanied with a back line that includes the likes of John Stones and Joao Cancelo, City are dangerous.

Ilkay Gundogan, Phil Foden, Gabriel Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne are just a few of the stars likely to shine this season for the sky blues and it’s hard to see any team beating them on their day outside the top four. My prediction for Manchester City is first.

Fernandinho of Manchester City lifts the Premier League trophy

(Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)

The 2019-20 champions, Liverpool, have been predicted to return to top form. With no key players leaving in the summer and the attacking forces of Sadio Mane and Mo Salah accompanied by an in-form Diogo Jota, the Reds can seriously contend to lift the trophy this season.

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Virgil van Dijk has finally returned from injury and is deemed match fit to start the season, which gives a massive boost to the Reds. Place van Dijk centrally between the likes of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold as wing backs and the counter-attacking threat Liverpool possesses will be deadly and very difficult to contain. My prediction for Liverpool is second.

Chelsea are coming off the back of one of the biggest wins in their history after toppling Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League final in 2021.

Timo Werner copped a huge amount of criticism last year for missing clear chances and not reaching his expected goal tally. Werner could potentially put himself in a position to be player of the season this season. What goes unnoticed are his direct contributions to so many of Chelsea’s goals last season and his assist tally.

Pair Werner and Kai Havertz and you have a deadly duo. With the likes of Jorginho pulling the strings, N’Golo Kante’s work ethic and Mason Mount’s raw talent, that will serve Werner perfectly.

Not to mention there is the priceless experience in the back line featuring Thiago Silva and Cesar Azpilicueta. My prediction for Chelsea is third.

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Lastly, one of the most active teams in the transfer window are the Red Devils. Signings include Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho for more than a combined total of £110 million ($208 million).

However the possible release of Paul Pogba to PSG would prove a huge loss. Although Pogba has the ability to go missing in certain games, he is still a pivotal part of the squad.

Players that are in form during the back end of the season and internationally during the off-season include Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Edison Cavani, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba.

Ole Gunnar Solskjær seems to be making a statement this season and with a star-studded side and a positive finishing place last season, I can definitely see United securing a Champions League spot. My prediction for Manchester United is fourth.

It’s difficult to predict the order of these sides but the top four are almost daylight above the rest.

I can see the next few teams down the ladder in no particular order featuring Leicester, Everton, Spurs, Arsenal, Leeds and Aston Villa.

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