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2020-21 Premier League Predictions, Odds and Best Bets


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Premier League Predictions

One of the main themes of last season’s Premier League was the idea that the big six - Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur - had never been weaker.

Liverpool were immense, City underachieved but were always certain to finish second, but the other four all gained fewer points than they had in 2018/19. Strong challenges from Leicester, Wolves and Sheffield United added to the narrative that the Premier League had suddenly become more competitive.

But that feeling is drifting away, and the big six are rated comfortably better than anyone else in the league. Liverpool and City lead the market. Chelsea showed lots of promise last season and have indulged in their biggest spending spree since the first two summers of the Roman Abramovich era.

Manchester United emerged from lockdown a completely different team, with a settled attacking unit. Arsenal’s mostly dreadful season ended on a real positive note as they won the FA Cup, while Spurs also enjoyed a quiet upturn in form, securing Europa League football on the final day of the season.

2020-21 Premier League Odds to Win

Odds To Win 2020-21 English Premier League (5/23/21)
Team American Fractional
Manchester City -140 5/7
Liverpool +230 23/10
Chelsea +1200 12/1
Manchester United +1200 12/1
Arsenal +4000 40/1
Tottenham +4000 40/1
Leicester City +15000 150/1
Leeds United +15000 150/1
Wolverhampton Wanderers +20000 200/1
Everton +25000 250/1
Newcastle United +50000 500/1
Sheffield United +50000 500/1
Southampton +50000 500/1
West Ham United +50000 500/1
Brighton & Hove Albion +75000 750/1
Burnley +100000 1000/1
Crystal Palace +100000 1000/1
Aston Villa +100000 1000/1
West Bromwich Albion +100000 1000/1
Fulham +100000 1000/1

Yet in this open-looking race, we have an odds-on favourite. Manchester City are 4/5 to win the league, despite finishing 18 points behind Liverpool. Neither side has done much business in the transfer market, and so this price is largely down to statistical measures such as expected goals, which rated City as a better side than Liverpool.

Certainly, they tend to create more chances, and Liverpool secured an almost improbable number of narrow victories last year, especially at home, but the points gap was no pure fluke. Liverpool have an unshakeable winning mentality, especially at home, while City constantly threw in bad performances at bad times. They did this in Europe too - conceding silly goals as they once again failed to make the semi-finals in a defeat to Lyon.

Key players like Sergio Agüero and Fernandinho are a year older. Leroy Sane has moved on and no replacement has been bought.

Lots of this could also be said about Liverpool, who probably peaked late in the 18/19 season rather than last year. They have had an almost identical first choice XI for two and a half years, and there were signs late last season that the squad is getting tired. Money is tight at Anfield - long-term target Timo Werner went to Chelsea, and at the time of writing it looks unlikely that they will sign Thiago Alcantara.

But just at the price of 9/4, they look a better bet than City. If they make a good start, any whispers of a drop off will soon go away. They are now used to winning trophies, and it would not be a surprise if they won a 20th league title this year.

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Chelsea look the best of the rest. They finished just a point behind Manchester United in fourth last year, but their huge outlay in the transfer market means they will be a different beast this year. In fact, despite only getting 64 points, Chelsea’s general performance level last year was good; they were let down by a terrible goalkeeper and less-than-great finishing. At the end of the season, United were favoured to finish third. Now, Chelsea are above them in the betting.

Timo Werner in particular looks like being a huge hit. He has scored 93 league goals in his last four seasons and at 9/1 is my pick to win the Golden Boot.

Manchester United hit upon a great attacking formula last year, and the addition of Donny van der Beek looks shrewd. However it cannot be ignored that for much of the season United were laboured. Doubts remain over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, especially if some of his attacking talents are injured. That said, they should build on last season and are likely to get Champions League football once again.

Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal look hard to split. There has been much excitement around Arsenal since their FA Cup win, but it must be remembered that their average performance level in the league last season was shockingly poor. They were frequently outplayed by bottom half sides and were bailed out by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Spurs’s form was decent under Jose Mourinho, but their business looks a bit unambitious, and it would be a surprise if they could bridge the gap to the top four.

Leicester City’s post-lockdown collapse last year was spectacular, and with the short turnaround between seasons there is a good chance that their slump will continue at least into the start of 20/21.

Wolves also faded slightly last season, going out of the Europa League with a bit of a whimper against Sevilla and also putting up little fight away to Chelsea with European qualification on the line. There is a sense that teams have gradually started to work out their system, although Nuno Espirito Santo is one of the best managers in the league, and it would be a surprise to see Wolves lower than mid-table.

Everton have spent big this summer, but few big clubs were after their targets, and it remains to be seen whether Carlo Ancelotti truly knows his best team. There are too many doubts over these sides to be confident that any will make a convincing charge for top four.

Newly-promoted Fulham and West Bromwich Albion are the joint 11/10 favourites to go down, and Fulham make much more appeal. The Whites were hapless in the Premier League two years ago and their squad is probably worse on paper than it was then.

They were probably the fourth best team in the Championship last year. Manager Scott Parker is pretty unproven at this level, and was criticised by sections of the Fulham support last year despite promotion. Fulham’s current ownership have been trigger happy in the past with managers, and at 11/1 he looks a good bet for the first manager to be sacked.

Finally, Burnley look well equipped to exceed expectations once again. They have been quiet in the transfer market, but given the economic times so have many teams. They are as stable as you can get in England. Sean Dyche has been manager for nearly eight years now and they are showing no signs of becoming tired at this level. Since promotion they have finished 16th, 7th, 15th and 10th. At 5/1 they look a great bet to finish top half.

Best Bets

  • Liverpool to win the Premier League at 9/4
  • Chelsea to finish top w/o Liverpool and Manchester City at 6/4
  • Burnley to finish top half at 5/1
  • Fulham to be relegated at 11/10
  • Scott Parker to be the first manager sacked at 11/1

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