Premier League 2020-21 predictions and odds: champions, top four, relegation
A look at what the football media has to say ahead of the new season
After just 48 days Premier League football is back this weekend.
A total of 380 matches will be played in the top-flight during the 2020-2021 season with clubs battling for the title, European qualification and trying to avoid relegation.
Liverpool start the campaign as reigning champions while Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham have come up from the Championship.
With teams such as Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United hopeful of challenging at the top, can Liverpool hold on to the title? And can the newly-promoted trio retain their status in England’s top division?
Here we look at what the football journalists are predicting ahead of the 2020-21 Premier League season…
Phil McNulty, BBC Sport
“Tough task to maintain the sort of standards and momentum Liverpool have gathered in winning the Champions League and the title in the last two seasons, but this is a team without any obvious weaknesses and an array of world-class players in key positions. It is also tough to retain the Premier League but I reckon Liverpool have the mental strength and ability to do it. Champions again - but this season will be very close.”
Relegation: Fulham (20th), West Brom (19th), Crystal Palace (18th)
“This is said with a heavy heart as Fulham is a wonderful club back in the Premier League and it would be a real pleasure to eventually eat humble pie on this one. [West Brom boss Slaven] Bilic still has time to put together a squad to ensure safety but needs some good work to avoid struggles. Always an element of risk suggesting any team with Roy Hodgson in charge will go down - but they [Crystal Palace] had a dreadful end to last season. This is one where the crystal ball may be a bit cloudy but Hodgson needs a good start.”
BBC football pundits predict the top four
Chris Waddle: Man Utd (1st), Man City (2nd), Liverpool (3rd), Chelsea (4th) Alan Shearer: Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd Alex Scott: Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd Ian Wright: Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal Mark Lawrenson: Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea
Sam Wallace, The Daily Telegraph
Champions: Manchester City
“They never went away - they were just beaten by a better, more consistent team. 105 goals scored last season, just two more conceded than Liverpool and a run of five straight victories at the end of the season with a cumulative score of 21-1. Such a balanced, competitive squad.”
Relegation: West Ham (18th), Fulham (19th), West Brom (20th)
West Ham: “The outcry from players led by captain [Mark] Noble over the sale of [Grady] Diangana suggested a much deeper crisis of confidence in the owners than previously thought. The club have been in this crisis-spiral with their fans for some time but it has never before come so publically from the dressing room.”
Fulham: “Held their nerve in the restart and through the play-offs to win promotion in extra-time, but it has not left them long to transform from a Championship side. The mistakes of their 2018-2019 relegation loom large. The promoted teams who succeed tend to have a distinct style - hard to say that with Fulham.”
West Bromwich Albion: “Another promoted club having to gamble on financing survival or preparing to return to the Championship in ten months’ time. The signings of loanees Pereira and Diangana are a start. As for the rest, it feels like the club do not want to risk too much.”
Champions: Manchester City
“Pep Guardiola isn’t taking last season’s Premier League disappointment lying down. It is hoped Nathan Ake’s early £40m arrival from Bournemouth will shore up a defence overly reliant on Aymeric Laporte. Former Valencia winger Ferran Torres, meanwhile, has been brought in to replace Leroy Sané, who departed for Bayern Munich at the end of the season.”
West Brom (20th), Fulham (19th), Aston Villa (18th)
Miguel Delaney (chief football writer): “Manchester City. I don’t make this prediction with any great confidence, as I think there are sufficient questions about all of the main challengers. Hopefully will be a very good title race, as a consequence.”
Ben Burrows (sports editor): “Liverpool - they were the best team in the league by a distance a season ago and I don’t think anyone will be sufficiently able to bridge the gap with continuity likely to be even more important after such a short offseason.”
Miguel Delaney: “Fulham, West Brom, West Ham United - the issue with making predictions like this is that so many of the at-risk clubs are likely to make mid-season managerial changes, thereby changing everything. It is why it’s difficult to make much of a call on clubs like Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and even West Ham, so it then comes down to squad quality and cohesion - which is where these could fall.”
Ben Burrows: “Fulham and West Brom will go with Aston Villa joining them if Ollie Watkins doesn’t hit the ground running.”
Champions: Manchester City Top four: Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd, Spurs Relegation: Burnley, Fulham, West Brom
Champions: Liverpool Top four: Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd Relegation: Fulham; West Brom; Crystal Palace
Champions: Manchester City Top four: Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea Relegation: Crystal Palace, Fulham, West Brom
Champions: Manchester City Top four: Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd Relegation: West Bromwich Albion, Burnley, Fulham
It’s never easy to predict who will be Premier League champions or who will be relegated, but features editor Mike Starling has a go...
“Jurgen Klopp’s team were a class above last season and while Man City and Chelsea have spent big, Liverpool will hope for more of the same in 2020-21. Consistency in both results and squad selection will be key and could make the big difference for the Anfield club.”
Top-four finish (Champions League qualification)
“Liverpool (as champions) followed by Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United.”
Relegation: Fulham, West Brom, Aston Villa
“Out of the three promoted teams, Leeds should be strong enough for safety. However, it’s going to be tough for Fulham and West Brom. We predict those two will be joined by Aston Villa in the bottom three come the end of the season.”
Premier League betting odds
According to the bookies, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City are favourites to win the 2020-21 Premier League title while Fulham are tipped to go down. Here’s a look at the latest prices from Oddschecker.
2020-21 winner betting odds
Man City: 4/5 Liverpool: 2/1 Chelsea: 11/1 Man Utd: 18/1 Arsenal: 33/1 Tottenham: 66/1 Full price list at oddschecker.com
Top-four finish betting odds
Man City: 1/20 Liverpool: 1/12 Chelsea: 1/2 Man Utd: 8/15 Arsenal: 11/4 Tottenham: 7/2 Wolves: 13/2 Leicester: 10/1 Everton: 20/1 Leeds United: 25/1 Full price list at oddschecker.com
Relegation betting odds
Fulham: evens West Brom: 11/10 Aston Villa: 2/1 Crystal Palace: 9/4 Newcastle: 5/2 Burnley: 7/2 West Ham: 4/1 Sheffield Utd: 4/1 Brighton: 4/1 Leeds: 4/1 Southampton: 10/1 Full price list at oddschecker.com