Premier League Preview: Liverpool’s title defence under threat from bolstered rivals


Written by Debkalpa Banerjee
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Updated: September 11, 2020 9:55:22 pm





Liverpool gained the 2019/20 Premier League title with 99 factors — 18 greater than second-place Manchester City. (Source: File)

Unlike final season’s two-and-a-half-month wait, the 2020/21 Premier League season makes its comeback on Saturday after simply six weeks. The confetti has barely been cleared up at Anfield, but the cash-rich carousel of twenty groups is locked and loaded to go as soon as extra.

The unusual season of the final time period took 11 months of insanity to finish, punctuated by a worldwide pandemic, a three-month postponement, and empty stadiums. But the wait introduced closure to a season which introduced an finish to a 30-year home title drought, launched the oldest Golden Boot winner, and noticed the midtable fortunes of the North London sides.

Now forward of the brand new season, the questions stay the identical, albeit with sudden solutions. Who will win the title? Who will fall quick? Can the minnows put up one other European problem? Which new faces will set fireplace to the league?

THE BEST OF THE BEST

On course to successful their 19th home title, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool turned the record-breakers in its truest sense as they sealed the title with seven matches to spare. But regardless of their success final season, the problem up forward for them is by no means simple, with their rivals respiration closely down their necks.

Liverpool have raised the bar by registering the second-highest factors tally (99) in Premier League historical past final season, however whether or not they can preserve their place on the high of the mountain stays to be seen. While they’ve simply added a reserve left-back in Kostas Tsimikas, different title challengers have made use of the switch window — Manchester City have introduced in Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake, Manchester United have introduced in Donny van de Beek, and Chelsea have introduced in Kai Havertz, Thiago Silva amongst a slew of different signings.

While Pep Guardiola has bolstered the City defence within the hope to cut back the hole with Klopp’s mob, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would hope to remodel United’s high quality 13-match unbeaten run final season into a real title problem. Chelsea, then again, have damaged the financial institution this season to kind a daunting frontline, having the likes of Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Kai Havertz, and likewise Christian Pulisic.

THE NEW FACES ON THE BLOCK

(L-R-L) James Rodriguez of Everton, Kai Havertz of Chelsea, Kostas Tsimikas of Liverpool, Ferran Torres of Manchester City. (Source: Twitter)

Frank Lampard obtained the brand new signings in earlier than the beginning of the brand new season to correctly put together for the transition in Chelsea. With Kai Havertz, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, and Thiago Silva, the Blues will search for a title problem after a lacklustre fourth-place end final season.

On the opposite hand, Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhães would look to fill the gaps in Mikel Arteta’s defence with the assistance of different newcomers William Saliba and Pablo Mari. Everton’s James Rodriguez, Leeds United’s Rodrigo, and Leicester City’s Timothy Castagne will probably be ones to observe, who can change the fortunes of their golf equipment.

READ | All the ins and outs of the summer transfer window

Looking additional down the desk, Sheffield United and Newcastle United have each made shrewd signings — the Magpies have gotten in Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, and Jamal Lewis for a mixed £33 million, whereas the Blades roped in Aaron Ramsdale, Ethan Ampadu, Jayden Bogle, and Max Lowe for lower than £30 million.

Apart from the incoming transfers, promoted gamers like Leeds United’s Luke Ayling and Kalvin Phillips, West Brom’s Matheus Pereira, Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic, and Anthony Knockaert can be hoping to make their mark. Amongst the youth, Liverpool’s Curtis Jones, Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour, Leicester City’s Luke Thomas, and Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze can have their breakthrough seasons.

THE FIGHT DOWN BELOW

Marcelo Bielsa ended Leeds United’s 16-year exile from the Premier League. (Source: File)

After an awesome relegation escape by Aston Villa on the ultimate matchday of the season, Dean Smith’s crew will hope to not discover themselves in one other scrap on the backside of the desk after retaining the companies of their captain Jack Grealish and getting in Brentford’s in-form striker Ollie Watkins. Among the opposite surviving groups of final season, the percentages usually are not precisely within the favour of David Moyes’ West Ham who’ve simply made one signing up to now.

The promoted groups — Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion, and Fulham — will all hope to repeat the miracle of Sheffield United, who had been guided to a ninth-place end by Chris Wilder. Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds, who are making a top-flight return after 16 years, look almost certainly to repeat that feat with a bunch of proficient gamers like Rodrigo, Robin Koch, Kalvin Phillips, and Pablo Hernandez.

On the opposite hand, golf equipment like Wolverhampton Wanderers, Newcastle United, and Crystal Palace will vie for constant performances resulting in a top-half end.

THE QUEST FOR EUROPEAN GLORY

With Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes lacking out on the qualification for UEFA Champions League final season with a loss to Manchester United within the closing day of the season, the problem to amass the well-known ‘Big Ears’ is on the shoulders of Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, and Chelsea.

Meanwhile, Leicester City and Arsenal are in competition for competing within the UEFA Europa League, with Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur doomed to start out the competitors from the second qualifying spherical.

RECAPPING THE PREMIER LEAGUE 2019/20 SEASON

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