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Premier League Season Preview 2021/22

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Premier League Season Preview 2021/22

We have taken a look at how bookmakers think next season is going to unfold. Below we’ll discuss which teams are going to be fighting it out for the title, who is going to seal a top four place, and which teams are going to be involved in a dreaded relegation dogfight? Obviously, there is still time for some big potential transfers that could have a big impact for the teams involved. All the odds quoted in this Premier League season preview are from squawka.com and are accurate at the time of writing.

 

Title Contenders

Manchester City are currently the clear odds on favourites to retain their title with the bookmakers (4/6.) Last season they suffered a slow start, but their form soon improved, as they comfortably sealed the title. Rumours surrounding the possible signing of either Harry Kane or Erling Haaland persist, and adding a player of their quality would make their odds shorten even further. The squad is still quite young and settled, with players like Ruben Dias and Ferran Torres coming in last season to add further quality to Pep Guardiola’s team. With Phil Foden expected to have an even more prominent role in the team and the continuing evolution of John Stones in defence, it is going to be difficult for any team to challenge them for Premier League dominance.

Liverpool are rated as the second favourites for the crown at 5/1. Last season’s campaign was blighted by injuries to key defensive players which quickly ended any title challenge. With Virgil van Dyk and Joe Gomez returning and new signing Ibrahima Konate adding depth at the centre-back position, the Reds seem to have shored up their backline for next season. Question marks over their lack of a goal-scoring forward remain, with Donyell Malen being repeatedly linked with Jurgen Klopp’s side. Can both Salah and Mane continue their goal scoring form next season and will Diogo Jota be more of a permanent fixture in the side, after a very promising start to his Anfield career?

Last season’s Champion’s League winners, Chelsea, are currently third favourites, priced between 5/1 and 9/2. The Blues enjoyed a strong second half of the season after Thomas Tuchel replaced Frank Lampard in January. Tuchel attended to the defensive problems that Chelsea had endured, bringing in Edouard Mendy, Antonio Rudiger to make them harder to break down. Kai Havertz eventually found some decent form and next season’s midfield should be very competitive, with Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Hakim Ziyech all competing for a starting place. Up front however things don’t look quite as positive for the Stamford Bridge club. Olivier Giroud has now departed for AC Milan and Tammy Abraham is being continually linked to a return to Aston Villa, it could leave the squad surprisingly short of forwards. Timo Werner’s performances last seasons were somewhat underwhelming, so it’s no surprise that Roman Abramovich has given his approval for the Blues to make a £130 million bid for Erling Haaland. Tuchel’s team are also apparently quietly preparing a bid for their former forward Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan, in case their bid for Haaland fails. If they sign either of these forwards the Chelsea’s odds will be shortened further and will move to second favourites.

Manchester United are the fourth favourite team to be title challengers and are currently priced at 8/1. Ole Gunnar Solskjær has continued to add quality and depth to the United squad over the last few seasons. The signing of Jadon Sancho resolves issues they had down the right hand side and if he can form a productive relationship with Marcus Rashford, Bruno Fernandes and Mason Greenwood, then they might find themselves finishing even higher than fourth. Fernandes seemed to tire towards the end of last season and if the arrival of Sancho can take some pressure and responsibility from the talented Portuguese midfielder, then Bruno might re-discover the form he showed earlier in his time at Old Trafford. If United can complete the signing of Raphael Varane they will have secured quality partner for Harry Maguire in defence.If they can secure this transfer the club will feel that they have has a good transfer window and they possess a squad who are equipped to challenge for trophies.

 

Top Four Challengers

Looking at the odds for other teams outside of those four teams are probably Leicester City, who at 50/1 could be worth a closer look. Brendan Rodgers’ team had another strong showing last season, narrowly missing out on a Champions League spot by a single point. The Foxes have made a couple of quality signings during this transfer window, securing the services of Patson Daka, Boubakary Soumare & Ryan Bertrand, as well as rumours linking the potential signing of Italian star Domenico Berardi from Sassuolo.

North London rivals, Tottenham and Arsenal are the next two teams who are tipped to have stronger seasons than last year. Tottenham (50/1) have only made one signing this summer, Pierluigi Gollini, despite being linked with numerous other players. The seemingly inevitable departure of Harry Kane and the resulting chasm it would create in the squad are serious concerns for Spurs. Heung Son Min’s new contract extension brings some positive news, but with an ageing defence, a lack of a creative play-maker in midfield and, potentially, no recognised striker, next season could prove very difficult for Nuno Espirito Santo’s team.

Arsenal (60/1) have been more active during the current transfer window, already signing Albert Sambi Lokonga and Nuno Tavares joining then, with Ben White’s expected arrival later this week. The Gunners have also been linked with James Maddison and Sassuolo’s Manual Locatelli, both of which would add the creativity to their midfield that is currently absent. Arteta is also trying to bring in Aaron Ramsdale to challenge Bernd Leno for the the Number 1 jersey. With a couple more signings it could be an exciting season at the Emirates stadium, but can they find the consistency that has so often eluded them in previous seasons?

 

Relegation Contenders

As usual, it’s the promoted teams are lead the betting to be relegated at the end of the season. Both Norwich and Watford are both predicted to find life among the elite to be too demanding. Daniel Farke’s team have lost their influential Argentinian playmaker Emi Buendia to Aston Villa, with rumours growing that Todd Cantwell and Max Aarons may also depart this summer. The Canaries have signed defenders Ben Gibson and Dimitris Giannoulis who should bolster their defence and it will be interesting to see how Milot Rashica settles in to life in the Premier League. Overall the squad needs another recognised forward, other than Teemu Pukki, along with a ball-winner and a playmaker in midfield.

Watford are priced almost identically to Norwich and they will encounter similar problems in trying to avoid the drop. They have identified the need to score more goals and have already signed 3 forwards this summer; Joshua King, Ashley Fletcher and Emmanuel Dennis. Danny Rose has also joined on a free transfer and could be a valuable addition if he can successfully integrate himself into the squad. Watford are going to struggle at the back, as they have lost Craig Dawson to West Ham and his presence and experience would have been useful in helping them survive. The Hornets need to sign further defensive recruits along with a combative midfielder to enhance their survival bid if Xisco Munoz’s team have any chance of staying in the English top flight.

According to the bookies, Crystal Palace’s new manager, Patrick Vieira, has a lot of work to do. They possess very talented individuals, such as Wilfried Zaha and Eberechi Eze and keeping these skilful players at Selhurst Park needs to be high on his priority list. The recent signing of England U21 defender Marc Guehi from Chelsea is a good start, especially as Patrick van Aanholt has left on a free transfer to join Galatasaray and Gary Cahill has rejected a new contract. Michael Olise’s addition in to the squad further adds to their talented midfield options, but as with the other clubs at the wrong end of the table, they need to find a goal scorer. This seems like it could be a transitional season for the Eagles and they will need to adapt to life under a new manager quickly, otherwise they will find themselves in a relegation scrap.

Burnley (11/4) are the next favourites to struggle next season and if you look at their current squad and their inactivity in the last few transfer windows it is easy to see how they have ended up in this position. The Clarets have always been a team run on a shoestring budget, by Premier League standards, yet Sean Dyche has always managed to get the best out of his players when it matters. Their squad has only been bolstered by the arrival of Nathan Collins from Stoke for £12 million and Wayne Hennessey, who was a free agent after leaving Crystal Palace. They need to add to their squad in all areas and hope that Aston Villa fail in their bid to lure influential winger, Dwight McNeil to Villa Park.

As for other potential relegation candidates, newly-promoted Brentford (11/10) of course need to be considered as vulnerable, as do Newcastle United (11/4). Thomas Franck’s team won promotion by playing an attacking style of football and it seems that bookmakers feel they will score enough goals to potentially survive an immediate return to the Championship. The form of Ivan Toney is going to be crucial to their chances of survival. Franck will be hoping that key players like Bryan Mbeumo and Sergi Canos can adapt to life in the Premier League and recreate the same form they have shown in previous seasons to help Brentford’s survival cause.

Newcastle United’s problems all stem from the boardroom and a continued lack of investment in the team has led them being relegation candidates. Last season, Steve Bruce worked wonders with the squad he had available to finish a creditable 12th place. If Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin stay fit then they will always be a threat going forward, however defensively they can struggle and currently they are without a fit goalkeeper to start the season. Their squad lacks any real depth and it adequately cannot handle a number of injuries. Magpies fans will need to pray that Joe Willock signs from Arsenal and hope that their key players stay fit for the majority of the season if they are going to avoid another disappointing campaign.

 

We hope you enjoyed this article ‘Premier League Season Preview 2021/22’. How do you think the 2021/22 Premier League season will unfold? Let us know!

 

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Drew is a lifelong sports fan from Bristol who currently lives and works in Hong Kong. He has a keen interest in football, rugby, cricket, F1 and NFL.

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