The Premier League kicked off on the 12th September for the 20-21 season, but not quite as we know it. Due to the on-going Coronavirus pandemic, fans have not been able to return to the stadium. Pre-season there was a lot of chatter about how this could affect teams’ performances, and if standards would slip.
Four game weeks in and we can safely say that entertainment wise standards may even have gone up. With 144 goals across the opening 38 games, this has been the most prolific start to a Premier League season ever.
Reigning champions, Liverpool have already suffered a shocking 7-2 defeat to Aston Villa, while Manchester City were beaten 5-2 at home to Leicester.
So, what does all that mean for who could win the league this year? Betting odds have been fluctuating with every result, but proven online betting sites still heavily fancy either Liverpool or City. City are currently available at 6/4 (2.5) with most bookies including bet365.The odds for Liverpool have risen from slightly from 6/5 (2.2) to 11/8 (2.37) due to their loss, so if you’re thinking of backing them – now might be the time. Let’s take a look at the outside contenders.
Carlo Ancelotti was appointed manager of Everton almost a year ago. At that time, the Toffees were struggling at the foot of the table making his appointment all the more shocking.
The world-renowned coach has enjoyed success across the continent including winning the Champions League on three occasions. He has turned out to be quite the coup by the Everton board as he has guided the Toffees not only to safety but to the top of the table. The Toffees have won all four of their opening games and look a real threat.
Ancelotti has such a strong pull for players who want to work under world-class managers. He has brought in players with an excellent pedigree including Columbian midfielder James Rodriguez from Real Madrid. Rodriguez has been an instant hit registering three goals and two assists in four games. It shows the club’s ambitions and the Toffees will certainly not be the walkover they have been in recent years for their city rivals.
Frank Lampard and Chelsea were busy in the transfer window with six high-profile signings. Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Hakim Ziyech were all brought in to help ease Chelsea’s issues in front of goal. Last season saw the Blues drop precious points with a lack of being able to kill off games. The trio has set owner, Roman Abramovich, a cool £150m.
Although Lampard’s men struggled to score, their backline was also weak. £71m goalkeeper Kepa finally seems to have been dropped as the first-choice stopper after a number of high-profile errors. Edouard Mendy was brought in from Rennes and has looked solid so far. Albeit, time will tell if he is good enough to help Chelsea this season.
Ben Chilwell was bought from Leicester for around £50m, while Lampard also recruited the services of veteran defender Thiago Silva.
On paper, Chelsea have had a terrific window but getting these players adjusted to a new league and playing together is easier said than done. Performances indicate they still have some way to go to be considered serious contenders for the title. With so much money laid out on players, you have to wonder how long Lampard will be in the job without results.
Much can be said about how poor Tottenham’s 2019/20 season was and rightly so. Only a late fightback secured them a sixth-placed finish and much more is expected of them this season.
Jose Mourinho bemoaned injuries last season, and to be fair he was without his key players for several months. This year, however, things look brighter. An incredible 6-1 win over Manchester United would have been hugely satisfying for the Portuguese manager.
Spurs have netted 12 goals in the opening matches with Heung-min Son notching six, and Harry Kane bagging three plus six assists. New signing Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has been in inspired form for his new side so far, and when you consider Gareth Bale is yet to start – Spurs could do something special this season.