The new Premier League season is upon us and it looks set to be yet another great season in possibly the best league in Europe. Here’s a couple of predictions from myself for this upcoming season.
Best Promoted Team: Norwich City
This was a genuinely tough choice to make. But after losing their best player of 2020-21 (Emiliano Buendia), the Canaries have gone out and bought in some talented players as well as a little bit of depth too.
Take a look at Billy Gilmour. He’s been with Chelsea for a while, was part of their academy between 2017-19 (previously was with Rangers), has had a little bit of experience playing with them (22 appearances in two seasons) and has three international games under his belt, including a man of the match award against England at UEFA Euro 2020.
Add in two talented players from Werder Bremen in Milot Rashica and Josh Sargent as well as more depth in goal with the signing of Angus Gunn, they made some pretty good moves in the end to slightly add to their depth of the 2020-21 Championship Premiers.
They also have the likes of the talented Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell as well as the evergreen Teemu Pukki, this side could do better than they did in the 2019-20 Premier League. Won’t be surprised if they get relegated, but I think they have the talent and depth to stay in the top tier for a little while.
Surprise Packet: Aston Villa
They may have surprised a few last season by finishing near the top half, but Aston Villa could be set for a much bigger 2021-22 season in the top tier of English football.
It is a side that, despite losing their best player (for, somehow, £100 million, approx. $188 million AUD), went out and bought some talent and improved their depth.
Leon Bailey has proven himself in the Bundesliga at Bayer Leverkusen, getting 15 goals and 11 assists in 40 appearances in 2020-21.
Danny Ings is also a proven striker in the EPL, finishing equal second only two seasons ago and scoring 52 goals in 126 appearances at both Burnley and Southampton in the Premier League.
Emiliano Buendia has the potential to replace Jack Grealish as well, with the 24-year-old Argentinian acquiring 15 goals and 15 assists in the Championship in 2020-21 (30 goal involvements, equal third best in the Champions in 2020-21).
Combine those three with eight top scorer Ollie Watkins of the 2020-21 EPL season, and with their solid defence and midfield, The Claret and Blue could be set to improve yet again this season.
Biggest Improver: Leeds United
Now they improved a lot in the 2020-21 season mind you did Leeds, but now that they’ve settled with the pace of the EPL this season Leeds could be set to improve on their ninth placed finish of last season.
It is a very talented and settled side too, with the Whites having not just the fourth top goalscorer in Patrick Bamford (17 goals), but also the sixth best playmaker in Raphinha (nine assists).
It’ll be a settled side too, with the only likely inclusion to be former Barcelona left back Junior Firpo and only losing the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Ezgjan Alioski.
However they did add some much needed talent and depth in goal, with U21 Norwegian International Kristoffer Klaesson signing from Norway and set to be the understudy of talented Frenchman Illan Meslier (11 clean sheets in 2020-21, equal fifth in the EPL).
This Leeds side is settled and it has plenty of talent across all four positions on the field. And this season it could even challenge for a spot in the Europa League. Expect big things from the only EPL team in Yorkshire.
Challengers to the Throne: Manchester United
Man United have in recent times shown improvement in recent times, but their fans have just wanted success, especially given their history. This year though they could not only take it up to the noisy neighbours, they have the team to challenge for the king of English football throne.
Some may say they’ll bottle it again, but the Red Devils now have serious depth across all positions this year. And they bought in some superstars too, including future superstar Jadon Sancho, who’s coming off a terrific couple of years at Dortmund.
Across 136 appearances in the yellow and black, he got 46 goals and 63 assists (109 goal involvements). That’s 0.8 goal involvements per game, and he’s only 21. Yes the EPL is a slight step up from the Bundesliga, but he has the talent to become a star in red.
They’re also welcoming Raphael Varane, who’ll fill a much needed void at CB and could form a wall duo with the most expensive CB in the world Harry Maguire.
Yes City are good and they do have a lot of stars and talent, but if they lose someone like a Kevin De Bruyne or Raheem Sterling and all goes according to plan for United, they’ll be banging down the doors of their next door neighbours pretty soon.