The 2020/21 Premier League season is upon us and the BettingPro.com team have been looking at the biggest stories ahead of the campaign to pick out our favourite outright bets.
Premier League Betting Tips & Predictions: Can Liverpool Rule England & Europe?
Liverpool are finally champions of England after a 30-year wait, but they will not stop until they rule both England and Europe by claiming the Premier League and Champions League double. The Reds finished 18 points clear of their nearest rivals Manchester City as they lost just three league games all season.
As we head into the new season, it looks like Jurgen Klopp will be keeping hold of his star trio in Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane. Salah and Mane scored 37 goals between them last season, while Firmino weighed in with nine of his own and the key to their success this time around will land at the feet of those three. Liverpool’s problem last season was that they couldn’t maintain a strong run in both the league and Champion League – they were knocked out of Europe in the round of 16 when they went down 4-2 on aggregate against Atletico Madrid.
It is difficult to maintain your top form when going for both titles, the last team to win the Champions League and Premier League in the same season was Manchester United during the 2007-08 campaign. The Red Devils are the only English team to have achieved this feat and they have done it twice, so that gives Liverpool more incentive to join that elite list. At the time of writing, Liverpool have only added one new player to their squad with the capture of Kostas Tsimikas from Olympiacos, so if the Reds are to make history then they are going have to rely on the players they have already.
If Klopp had shown an interest in trying to sign Lionel Messi, then the odds on Liverpool winning the double would have been slashed considerably, but seeing as they have no desire in bringing the Argentina international to Anfield the odds on them winning both the Premier League and Champions League are quite lengthy. If any team is going to be the first since United to do this unique double, then this Liverpool side has a great chance. They are solid at the back – and that will be boosted with the arrival of Tsimikas – while they certainly know how to score goals. It is certainly worth a punt on them ruling England and Europe.
Premier League Betting Tips & Predictions: Will Revamped Chelsea Be Best Of The Rest?
Frank Lampard’s debut season as Chelsea manager did not result in any silverware, but it was still an impressive campaign from the Blues nonetheless. Lampard was handcuffed by a transfer ban and went into the season without the services of star man Eden Hazard after he ditched Stamford Bridge for the Bernabeu in a big-money deal with Real Madrid. That left Lamps with a ‘weakened’ squad full of young talent that was not expected to finish in the top four, but they defied the doubters over the course of the campaign to finish fourth in the table, with only goal difference denying them third place.
The biggest Achilles heel they had was at the back where they conceded 54 goals – the worst record of any top-10 club – but Lampard has moved quick to try to fix that issue by bringing an experienced head in Thiago Silva from Paris St Germain as well as highly-regarded talents in Ben Chilwell and Malang Sarr. Ajax star Hakim Ziyech has also been added to the mix to provide a threat out wide and Bayer Leverkusen midfield star Kai Havertz is on the brink of completing a move at the time of writing, but the biggest of all the deals is the arrival of RB Leipzig and Germany hitman Timo Werner. Havertz’s fee will blow Werner’s price tag out of the water, but Chelsea need and out-and-out goalscorer and the German striker is fresh off a career-best 34-goal campaign for RB Leipzig. He should fill that role nicely.
So as you can see, Chelsea will almost certainly be a lot stronger this season than they were in 2019/20, and while I do believe they still have more work to do in the transfer market if they want to make themselves a massive threat to the top two, they do have a squad that is more than capable of being the ‘best of the rest’ behind Liverpool and Manchester City.
Premier League Betting Tips & Predictions: Could Spurs Pay Price For Trophy Chase?
A lack of silverware ultimately brought an end to Mauricio Pochettino’s spell as Tottenham Hotspur manager last season, and the North London club turned to serial trophy-winner Jose Mourinho in the hope that he could finally add something to the trophy cabinet. It was an understandable move given the Portuguese’s incredible track record and long list of honours from his previous jobs, and although he was unable to lead Spurs to some sort of glory in 2019/20, there were some promising signs. For example, following his arrival last November only three clubs collected more Premier League points that Tottenham did – champions Liverpool, runners-up Manchester City and big-spenders Manchester United. His approach may not have been incredibly pleasing on the eye at times, but they did produce results and had it not been for injuries to Harry Kane and Heung-Min Son, as well as the departure of want-away star Christian Eriksen, then there is a very good chance that Spurs would have been a top-four side once again.
So what can we expect in 2020/21? Make no bones about it, Tottenham need a trophy and that is what Mourinho will be judged on. The Premier League title is certainly beyond their reach this time around, but the domestic cup competitions will offer a very realistic route to silverware while the Europa League is more than winnable and would offer them a route back into the Champions League for 2021/22. The latter could be a very high priority for Mourinho and Spurs this season, so could that actually hinder their Premier League campaign and push for the top four? Could it even result in them finishing outside of the top six for the first time since 2008/09?
We expect Liverpool and Manchester City to fill the top two slots once again, with a revamped Chelsea team a good bet for a top-four finish alongside Manchester United, who will spend big again. Throw in Leicester City, Wolves and an improving Arsenal team under Mikel Arteta and you have at least seven clubs that could end the 2020/21 campaign above Tottenham in the table. Spurs missing out on the top six is a real possibility here, but if Mourinho and his side finally end their trophy drought that will be forgiven, especially if that success comes in the Europa League and secures a route into the Champions League.
Premier League Betting Tips & Predictions: Auba To Get Arsenal Back In Top Four Mix?
Are Arsenal finally heading in the right direction in the post-Wenger Era? Mikel Arteta was handed the reigns after the club finally axed Unai Emery last December, and while he was unable to at least lead the Gunners back into the top six before the end of the 2019/20 campaign, he was able to lead them to a trophy and offer some belief that the North London club are on an upward trajectory once again. A Premier League win over Liverpool after the restart was arguably their best league result of their entire campaign, but that result was topped by the performances and results that led to FA Cup glory. The Gunners stunned Manchester City in the semi-finals at Wembley and then came back from a goal down to beat Chelsea in the final. A return trip to the national stadium at the end of August brought about further silverware as they beat Liverpool on penalties in the Community Shield, and all of this has given the Arsenal supporters some excitement as they 2020/21 campaign draws closer. But can they get back among the big boys and end their exile from the Champions League?
That may be a step too far, especially for a club that is not exactly renowned from playing with a big warchest in the transfer market. Arteta has begun tweaking his squad though and the arrival of Lille centre-back Gabriel Magalhaes and the return of William Saliba from St Etienne could be just what was needed to stiffen up a notoriously leaky rearguard. The arrival of Willian adds more attacking threat to an already talented group, but the biggest deal they can strike this summer is holding onto Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
The former Borussia Dortmund striker has already scored 54 Premier League goals in just two-and-a-half seasons, with his 22-goal showing in 2018/19 earning him a share of the Golden Boot and his 22-goal display in 2019/20 ensuring he finished just one behind Jamie Vardy in the scoring charts. Therefore it goes without saying that Arsenal desperately need him to re-sign. It appears as though he will soon do just that and if he does extend his stay in North London he makes for an incredibly appealing Golden Boot pick for 2020/21. Arsenal may not break back into the top four, but they can at least sit at the top of the charts when it comes to goalscorers.
Premier League Betting Tips & Predictions: Can Wolves Blow Down Door To Champions League?
One of the most entertaining teams to watch in the Premier League has to be Wolverhampton Wanderers, they have been a breath of fresh air since their promotion in 2018 and are hot on the tails of the top four. Manager Nuno Espirito Santo has turned the fortunes of the club around since replacing Paul Lambert in May 2017, and he will soon be managing in the Champions League again – whether that is with Wolves or another so-called big club.
Wolves managed to maintain a high place on the Premier League ladder and go far in the Europa League last season, they only missed out on European qualification for this season because Arsenal beat Chelsea to win the FA Cup. The only way Wolves could have qualified for Europe was if they won the Europa League, but they were knocked out in the quarter-final with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of eventual winners Sevilla.
A lot of team’s success comes down to keeping their best players, but the priority of Wolves must be to keep hold of Nuno at all costs. He is the key to whether or not they finish in the top four, and if they keep hold of him then the likes of Ruben Neves, Raul Jimenez, Rui Patricio and Diogo Jota will also stay. It is a very difficult task for them to break into the top four, but under the guidance of Nuno and the close links they have with super-agent Jorge Mendes, they could make some big name signings and that will shake up the top half of the Premier League.
Premier League Betting Tips & Predictions: Is West Ham’s Time In Premier League At An End?
When you look at the 20 teams in the Premier League, you would say the likes of Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham would be the favourites to be relegated. But I think one of the Premier League stalwarts will be in deep trouble this season – and that is West Ham. They have been in the Premier League since gaining promotion in 2012, with their highest finish in that time being seventh.
They managed to stay up with a five-point buffer with Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich City all being relegated. The Hammers brought back David Moyes to keep them up, and although that worked, I’m not sure he could do it for a full season. West Ham have some quality players with the likes of Declan Rice, Mark Noble, Andriy Yarmolenko and Michail Antonio, but that quality does not run through the whole team and they will come unstuck against the more talented teams in the division.
Moyes is running out of time to make some changes to his squad, the only notable signing he has made is Tomas Soucek from Slavia Prague. If he doesn’t make some signings soon, then the squad he currently has is not good enough to remain a Premier League side, plus they will more than likely be looking for a new manager before we have taken our Christmas decorations down.
A team is not relegated in the first few weeks of the season, but when you look at their fixture list, they have to play Newcastle United, Arsenal, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and Liverpool in consecutive weeks. They could be rock bottom with zero points after seven matches. That is a massive hole to climb out of, it could be the end for the Hammers as a Premier League side.
Premier League Betting Tips & Predictions: First Axe To Fall On Hammers Boss?
Just like any other season the 2020/21 Premier League season will not be without managerial casualties, although perhaps that number will not be as large as recent seasons thanks to trigger-happy Watford’s relegation. The big question is, who will be the first man to fall? The chances are incredibly high that there will be at least one managerial change before the end of September so the leading candidate has to come from a club that finds themselves languishing at the wrong end of the table during the first few months, and therefore it is no massive surprise to see the likes of Roy Hodgson, Dean Smith and Scott Parker being among the leading contenders to be the first boss to the get the chop.
However, I believe it will be David Moyes who departs his post first. The former Everton and Manchester United boss returned to the London Stadium at the end of 2019 after Manuel Pellegini was given his marching orders, and although he was able to lead the Hammers to safety for a second time it is difficult to have much faith that he can manage that again over the course of the season. Simply put, West Ham are a mess both on and off the pitch. There have been no notable moves during the summer transfer to improve the squad and there is serious concern among the fans that the group of players at Moyes’ disposal could get even weaker with reports suggesting owners David Gold and David Sullivan could cash in on their most prized asset, Declan Rice, before the window closes.
Pre-season is normally a time for hope, but West Ham appear headed for another battle against the drop and they face something of a nightmare start to the season that could pile the pressure on Moyes and ultimately lead to his early exit. Their season-opener against Newcastle United will be considered winnable, but after that they face Arsenal, Wolves, Leicester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester City and then Liverpool, with a derby clash against Fulham coming on the back of those games. You have to believe that Moyes and his men will be propping up the rest of the table after that murderers’ row of games, and if they are it is almost inevitable that the Scot will find himself departing the East End of London for a second time. That makes him the stand-out bet to be the first Premier League managerial casualty of 2020/21.