In Review

Premier League 2019-20 predictions: title winners and relegation candidates

Can Manchester City top the table again and will Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa survive the drop?

Premier League defending champions Manchester City are eyeing their third title in a row and they start the campaign as the media and bookies’ favourites to lift the trophy.

However, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal will hope to break City’s dominance. 

Championship winners Norwich City are joined in the top-flight by fellow promoted teams Sheffield United and Aston Villa. Can the trio stay out of the dreaded drop zone? 

The UK’s football pundits have put together their predictions for the new Premier League season - we look at their picks for the title winners and relegation candidates. 

Who will win the title?

Charlie Nicholas, Sky Sports: Manchester City 

“I am going for Manchester City to win the league again. They have not needed to strengthen much as there are no weaknesses. Kevin De Bruyne has something different to other teams and is an all-rounder in the abilities he possesses - if they can keep him fit they will win the title again.”

Phil Thompson, Sky Sports: Liverpool 

“I think it is Liverpool’s year. This time last year when I got asked the same question, I went with Manchester City but predicted Liverpool would be a lot closer. I said if they didn’t win it last year, they would this year, and I won’t change my mind on that. The likes of David Silva and Fernandinho are getting older, while the injuries pile up. It is a good opportunity for Liverpool, so they will win the league. I think Manchester City will still have a good season and come second, with Tottenham in third and Chelsea earning fourth spot.”

John Nicholson, Football365: Manchester City

“I’d like to pretend it won’t be City, but it will be City. And by a big margin this year, as I can’t see Liverpool getting within 10 points of last season’s tally but can very much see City doing so, especially as there looks to be about 16 sides they can beat with one leg tied behind their head. This will lead to a widespread feeling of ‘what’s the point any more?’, greater general disaffection with the league as a competition and lots of angry shouting at those who still say ‘anyone can beat anyone in this league, Jeff’.”

Joe Williams, Football365: Liverpool

“Liverpool. Like a lot of Reds, I have a feeling it’s FINALLY their year.”

Phil McNulty, BBC Sport: Manchester City

“Manchester City remain the team to beat - they showed resilience and brilliance to put together a 14-match winning streak to see off Liverpool last season and have strengthened in midfield with the addition of Rodri from Atletico Madrid.”

Cy Brown, Forbes: Manchester City

“Can anyone stop Pep Guardiola and Manchester City? Odds are City will make it a three-peat in the Premier League while angling to finally claim the more elusive prize, the Uefa Champions League.”

Aimee Lewis, CNN: Liverpool

“Jurgen Klopp has not made any major signings this summer but the squad, bolstered by the return to fitness of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Joe Gomez and the promising Rhian Brewster, looks well equipped to end Manchester City’s reign as champion.”

Massimo Marioni, CNN: Liverpool

“They’ll be hungrier than Man City, who have won back-to-back titles, and riding high from their Champions League win, though injuries could leave them exposed in key areas.”

Luke Christou, Verdict: Manchester City

“In a repeat of last season, Manchester City and Liverpool enter the final weeks level on points, but a convincing 4-1 victory over Liverpool all but ends their chances. City wrap up the title in the remaining weeks, finishing with a 6-1 hammering of Norwich City.”

Michael Owen, BetVictor: Manchester City

“They remain the team to beat although they picked up a meagre 98 points last season compared to their century in the previous campaign. Champions League winners Liverpool look set again to be the main challengers to City as they continue their search for a, hitherto, elusive PL title. The Reds played their part in a magnificent title race last season and they are sure to have their supporters as they bid to go one better, but I just favour City in what looks a virtual match between these two great sides.” 

Seb Stafford-Bloor, Football365: Liverpool will fall back 

“Let’s clarify: they’ll fall back from Manchester City, but still finish in a comfortable second place.”

Daily Mirror football writers
  • Andy Dunn: Liverpool 
  • John Cross: Manchester City  
  • Darren Lewis: Liverpool 
  • David Anderson: Manchester City
SPORTbible football writers
  • Ryan Sidle: Manchester City 
  • Adnan Riaz: Manchester City 
  • Nasir Jabbar: Manchester City 
  • Josh Lawless: Manchester City 
  • Jack Kenmare: Manchester City

Who will get relegated?

Phil Thompson, Sky Sports: Sheffield United, Norwich, Brighton 

“My reason for that is that they have signed a lot of players, but a similar trend here is that most are Championship players. Brighton had a poor year last season and they will be hoping their signings will be better than what they were last campaign, so hopefully the recruitment will be better and pay dividends. I think Graham Potter is a very good manager but it worries me how they have spent the money.”

Daniel Storey, Football365: Norwich, Sheffield United, Crystal Palace 

“I don’t think Norwich or Sheffield United will be dreadful, but I do think they will drop. Then I’m going to go bold and pick Crystal Palace. Wan-Bissaka gone, Zaha wanting out and too few coming in, given financial restraints. Uncle Roy, anti-climax.”

Ian Watson, Football365: Norwich, Crystal Palace, Brighton

“As Fulham learned, spluffing the budget is no guarantee of survival but I think Sheffield United and Villa have given themselves a decent chance. Norwich probably haven’t. So them, Crystal Palace and Brighton. 

Phil McNulty, BBC Sport: Brighton, Norwich, Newcastle

“Rafael Benitez, predictably, has gone and Steve Bruce finally becomes Newcastle United manager in a blizzard of discontent from supporters who, contrary to belief, do not want too much - just a little of what they genuinely deserve. When will the torture end for Newcastle’s supporters? It may get worse before it gets better.”

Seb Stafford-Bloor, Football365: Newcastle will go down

“A small part of this is instructed by wanting to see bad things happen to Mike Ashley. A much larger, more serious point is that Newcastle survived last season because of their defensive record, influenced by Rafa Benitez, and are now under the control of a Championship-standard coach [Steve Bruce].”

Daily Mirror football writers
  • David McDonnell: Bournemouth, Brighton, Sheffield United 
  • James Whaling: Sheffield United, Newcastle, Bournemouth 
  • Matt Lawless: Brighton, Norwich, Sheffield United 
  • Alex Smith: Brighton, Norwich, Newcastle 
  • Conor Mummery: Sheffield United, Burnley, Brighton
SPORTbible football writers
  • Mark Whitehead: Burnley, Brighton, Norwich City 
  • Macaulay Fletcher: Brighton, Crystal Palace, Norwich City 
  • James Parrott: Burnley, Brighton, Crystal Palace 
  • Sunni Upal: Sheffield United, Norwich City, Brighton

First managerial casualty

Jack Kitson, The Sack Race: Roy Hodgson (Crystal Palace)

“There’s no doubting the work Roy Hodgson has done at his boyhood club, yet the Premier League’s oldest ever manager could find himself in a spot of bother within the first few months of the campaign, during which his side face each of last year’s top-10 in their opening 13 games.”

Gab Sutton, The Sack Race: Steve Bruce (Newcastle United) 

“Bruce has made a mistake going to Newcastle. It was likely the appeal of managing his boyhood club that swung it for him but, sometimes, the dream isn’t what makes us happy in reality. On Tyneside, he has an owner that doesn’t care about the club, and angry or disillusioned fans; whereas at Sheffield Wednesday he was supported by the board and supporters alike.”

Simon Lillicrap, The Sack Race: Marco Silva (Everton) 

“A really tough one this time around. This will leave me to have egg on my face come May but I have never seen such a settled group of managers in charge of their respective clubs. You can’t see any of the promoted teams parting ways with their gaffers and Roy Hodgson is too boring of a choice so I’m plumping for Marco Silva at Everton, who could be given the boot early on after spending big this summer.”

Other EPL predictions

Seb Stafford-Bloor, Football365: Sheffield United will stay up 

“They’ve been assigned Cardiff’s place in the hierarchy; Sheffield United are expected to be down by February. But not so fast. They won’t find Premier League life easy, but they’re a much better footballing side than Cardiff were and the range of weapons they possess is far broader.”

Ian Watson, Football365: Blades to defy the drop

“Chris Wilder’s Championship All-Stars at Sheffield United will defy the relegation odds while bloodying a few noses. Perhaps literally.”

John Sinnott, CNN: West Ham will be the surprise story

“West Ham finished 10th last season in Manuel Pellegrini’s first season in charge. The London club have signed striker Sebastien Haller in a club record deal worth up to £45m and midfielder Pablo Fornals from Villarreal. Pelligrini’s teams play an exciting brand of football and expect the Hammers to cause the Premier League’s top six teams problems.”

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