The New Premier League Season
With the excitement of the Euros now behind us, it’s time to look ahead once more to the start of another nail-biting Premier League season – if England supporters have any nails left to bite, that is.
The stage is set for what could be one of the tightest campaigns at both the peak and summit of the 2021-22 Premier League table. If you fancy a pre-season flutter, make sure to read on to find out where we think the key battles will be won and lost across the season.
The battle for the Premier League title
Man City’s dominant run of 15 consecutive league wins ended the title race before it could really get started last year. And while it was local rivals Man Utd who brought that streak to an end, it was little solace for the Red Devils – whose title hopes had already evaporated before their 2-0 victory at the Etihad Stadium. City will no doubt be fighting for yet another crown and it’s hard to see them as anything other than runaway favourites.
This year the red half of Manchester is looking to bounce back stronger, with the addition of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to their ranks. Scoring goals when it mattered was a real issue for United in the second half of the 20/21 campaign, so the addition of the former Borussia Dortmund and Bundesliga star could make all the difference. United are a healthy 8/1 to win the Premier League title.
Meanwhile, unlucky 2019/20 title-defenders Liverpool have strengthened in the area they needed it most. An unbelievable string of injuries at centre-back left the Reds needing to field players who had been either academy or non-league during their title-winning campaign. The return of Virgil van Dijk, alongside new signing Ibrahima Konate – who was picked up from RB Leipzig for £36m – should make them legitimate contenders again.
Of the London clubs, it’s probably Chelsea who have the best hope of upsetting the applecart. The Blues are champions of Europe, and looked far more solid defensively under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel. Their transfer policy this summer, coupled with the performance of their misfiring forward Timo Werner, will determine where their season is headed.
The fight to stay afloat
Last year’s relegation battle was uncharacteristically drab, with West Brom, Fulham and Sheffield United all destined for the drop as early as November. In fact, it was the first time in Premier League history all three relegated teams picked up less than 30 points. This year, things will probably be a little different.
New boys Brentford, as well as returning regulars Norwich City and Watford, will have to be considered likely candidates. While all three teams impressed in the Championship last season, we all know just how challenging the step up to the top flight can be. You can get odds of 9/1 on all three promoted sides to be relegated.
Elsewhere, Brighton fans probably anticipate a stressful season ahead. The Seagulls have flirted with the drop in each of the four campaigns they’ve had in the Premier League. Interestingly, they have won exactly nine games in each of those years. A stalwart back line of Adam Webster, Lewis Dunk and Dan Burn is their best hope for survival. The Seagulls are priced at 6/1 to fall through the trap door.
Burnley also can’t be overlooked as potential candidates. The historic Lancastrian club always managed to punch above their weight, but found themselves 17th at the conclusion of the 20/21 season. Chris Wood has top-scored for the Clarets in each of the last four campaigns, so it’s vital for them that he keeps up that rich vein of form. Burnley will hope his stint at the Olympics won’t keep him out for too many games.
If we were to go a little left-field, punters who like longer odds might want to keep their eyes pinned to Wolves’ fortunes. The loss of Nuno Espirito Santo, as well as a bevy of high-profile names leaving the club across the past two seasons, has left them in a precarious position of instability. The future plans of star-man Raul Jimenez will decide how their season goes. The Black Country side are 5/1 to be relegated.
Signings to watch out for
It’s always tricky to pick out the players who we think are going to excel at a new club. So many unknown factors go into whether a signing is going to flop or smash it out of the park. That said, here are a handful of stars who we have a strong gut feeling about.
Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United). Sancho was starting to feel like the kind of player Man Utd would be linked with every summer, without ever snapping up. But with serious heat on the board following the European Super League fiasco, spending policies have changed. The English winger notched eight goals and 11 assists in the Bundesliga last season, and could make all the difference for the Red Devils come the end of the year.
Michael Olise (Reading to Crystal Palace). Olise sprung onto the English football scene for Reading last season, tallying seven goals and 12 assists from a central attacking midfield position. Palace showed last season with the signing of Eberechi Eze just how shrewd their transfer policy can be. Is this a repeat of that?
Josh King (Everton to Watford). Having been a star at Bournemouth, it was somewhat surprising to see Josh King completely fail to show up for the Toffees. A move to Watford could be just what he needs to spark back into life. We know he can score – and for the Hornets, that could be the difference between safety and the drop.
Are you excited for the 2021/22 Premier League season? Make sure to follow all the action with BetBull, and remember to always gamble responsibly.