EPL: Last season’s top four to maintain status quo

The Premier League starts in mid August 2021 and as usual, it comes with the freshness of homes for a new campaign, undiluted ambitions for the season from both fans and players, expectations from the coaching staff and generally the excitement of its return.

Last season, Manchester City lifted the title, Harry Kane topped the scoring charts, Ruben Dias was the Player of the Season, Pep Guardiola the Manager of the Season and Phil Foden was the Young Player of the Season. Erik Lamela, who has already left Tottenham, and the Premier League, was awarded Goal of the Season for his Rabona kick that gave Spurs the lead against Arsenal.

So, what are the predictions as the new season approaches? How teams have strengthened in the summer and availability of key players throughout or for the better part of the season will be key. 

A tight season is once again a common prediction across the top pundits, with Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea backed to fight for the title. Meanwhile Arsenal, Leicester City, Tottenham and Everton are expected to fight for European places. 

Chelsea had attacking woes last season, and seems to be in dire need of another forward following Timo Werner and Kai Havertz’s struggles as well as Olivier Giroud’s departure. They need a 20+ goal forward to compete, and have been linked with Erling Haalang but that will call for a very big investment.

Manchester City will also need a forward after heavily relying on midfielders to score the goals last season. The departure of Sergio Aguero and the fact that Gabriel Jesus can’t be relied upon all season is more reason, if they really want to challenge for a back to back title.

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Manchester United have made two big signings in Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho. In those two they have an edge, but still seem short of an attacking player in midfield, with Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood set to miss the opening months while Edison Cavani recovers after taking part in Copa America.

Liverpool have added to their defensive solidity after struggling in that area for the better part of last season, when Virgil van Dijk was injured. If the Dutchman can come back and fit in well, they still look like a decent side.

As in the past seasons, SportyTrader will have the previews for the matches as well as EPL predictions. Pundits from different quarters are backing these teams, which finished in the top four last season, to battle it again for the title.

The name Harry Kane is set to dominate headlines too towards the start of the new season and for the entire transfer period. After a great campaign last season, and a good showing for England at Euro 2020, all eyes will be on whether or not he stays at Spurs. Remember he already asked to be released last season. Should he stay on, he is among the top predictions to bag the top scorer’s accolade. He has nothing to prove, but needs to get winning silverware, which is thought to be his main motivation in asking for a move.

Talking of something to prove, James Maddison has all to play for after being left out of the England squad for Euro 2020. He was one of Leicester City’s top players last season and his snub may just be the reason pundits predict he will be the season’s surprise player. He has been linked with a move to Arsenal and perhaps a new environment would b great for him to prove his worth.

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