2020 Premier League predictions: Through the eyes of the gods - In the English Premiership, the worst kept secret is the fact that Liverpool will be champions and that would be a lazy man’s prediction.
|Willian goes to ground under a challenge during Chelsea's 2-5 win away at Wolves during a Premier League match earlier in the season. (Image source: premierleague.com)|
Things hardly stay the same in world football but projections are allowed based on momentum, historical facts, and drifts.
In the English Premiership, the worst kept secret is the fact that Liverpool will be champions and that would be a lazy man’s prediction.
But beyond the title winners, we stick our noses on top-four finish, Europa places finishers, relegation picks as well as golden ball winner... here we go.
Leicester to break into top four
Brendan Rodgers has done marvelously well with Leicester City this term, he has proven to be beyond the first team alone with the strong showing at West Ham where he fielded second strings and emerged victoriously.
A result that came at the cost of Manuel Pellegrini’s head and how well his team has fared in the absence of Jamie Vardy, and with every other team around fumbling and wobbling, they should no doubt hit the top four and yes, they will.
They may have surrendered the upper hand in the Carabao Cup with the stalemate at home to Aston Villa, they do have it all to do in the second leg but do they really want to challenge the Citizens in the final?
Spurs to miss out
After successive years in the UEFA Champions League, Tottenham Hotspur are set to miss out of the elite competition in 2020.
Currently sitting 6th in the league, five points behind Chelsea in 4th and with news that Harry Kane will be away for a while, Jose Mourinho will huff and puff to a Europa spot finish and ultimately run into the darkroom of engagement with Daniel Levy.
While the terms of employment aren’t in the public, for now, things are very likely to be different in the coming months when results don’t click.
The inability to convince Christian Eriksen to commit his future means he is free to talk to teams from now and ultimately leave for free in the summer, lack of funds and inactivity on movement fronts will keep the squad the way it is and that will haunt Spurs badly, Kane is injured, Heung Min Son is back from suspension and that might not be enough.
Jose Mourinho isn’t renowned for building with kids and that might be the way to go if funds aren’t available to fly in the ongoing window.
Every indication says no to a Spurs triumph in the race for top four and with the defense leaking goals every now and then, fans can give up on a top-four finish.
No Champions League joy for United
Manchester United currently sit 5th on the log but they will finish below that come May, the squad is thin, filled with overrated average players.
The manager seems to be there simply because of his contributions in the past as a member of Fergie’s “fledglings”, totally outplayed and outclassed by Manchester City in the league cup semifinal first leg at Old Trafford.
A result that drew a statement of huge insult from Kevin De Bruyne after he said it took just fifteen minutes for the holders to train the false nine tactics, the likes of Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones cannot possibly land United the top-four finish that would represent significant success and if they don’t bolster the midfield this window, there are chances they will miss out of Europe altogether.
With strong teams dropping out of Champions League to the Europa League, it’s more than difficult for United to experience joy in the competition.
The team is average at best, Scott McTominay is injured and that has exposed the team badly, Fred is trying his best as the team’s most improved player but with Lingard and a very static Matic around him, he’s going nowhere.
Upfront it’s the same trio of Rashford, Martial and James, Greenwood is coming out of the blocks but of their competitors, they have the weakest frontline, largely due to inconsistency, if it continues, it won’t end well.
Norwich to go down, Villa too
This might be frustrating to hear but sometimes, it’s beyond the sleek moves and the beautiful football, the emotions and the love from fans of the game can be meaningless if results don’t speak anything good.
Daniel Farke has done a great job with Norwich this season but injuries haven’t been kind to the team, exciting lads and very talented bunch but they won’t stay up.
Currently, at the foot of the log, all it takes to end the confidence is another run of great performances on losses and one or two draws, as soon as surrounding teams steer clear of them, it would be too tall a dream to climb.
Aston Villa is another exciting bunch but once you take Jack Grealish out of the team, what is left is a mid-table championship side, while they are currently out of the drop zone, Watford is already ticking and an injury to their skipper would mean the end of their survival.
Aubameyang to beat Vardy to the golden boot
Despite being four goals behind Jamie Vardy at the time of filing this, the outlook of things under Mikel Arteta suggests that Arsenal will attack fiercely and this would place Pierre Emerick Aubameyang in the pole spot to finish ahead of other contenders in the race for the golden boot for the ongoing season.
Vardy currently sit on top of the tree with 17 goals, four more than the Arsenal skipper and Danny Ings of Southampton, the Liverpool team is sharing goals this season and Tammy Abraham of Chelsea will have to improve on his conversion rate to compete.
Being played out wide is a bane for the Gabonese striker but with Arteta sounding it hard that his team will be the front burner, Aubameyang will be the beneficiary of that.
City won’t win FA Cup
It’s no longer news that Manchester City will not be premier league champions this season, they relinquished the title long ago with lots of baffling results in the league and look set to compensate with the league cup and maybe the champions league but they won’t land the FA Cup.
Pep Guardiola's side will have to prioritize at some points, they will do well to surrender the Liverpool chase and focus on the big one.
VAR will also stand in their way in the domestic cup competition but their fans can dream big in Europe.
The FA Cup is there for the taking for the likes of Chelsea, Liverpool, and Arsenal or even a greenhorn.
Wolves will dump Manchester United in the replay.
Spurs have a good chance with their league position under threat, Mourinho can find joy here.
Written by @Komptrolla