The 2020-21 Premier League season begins this Saturday, but it's never too early to look ahead toward the end of the season when it comes to standings, awards and more. Liverpool are the reigning league champs and hoping to go back-to-back while it's a massive season for Manchester City as they look for domestic and international success.
So even before the season starts, here's how the teams will finish, awards and more:
Predicted top four
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
Why: Look for Man City, the clear-cut most talented team in the league, to find consistency and win the title. I imagine Liverpool will struggle a bit out of the gate. Meanwhile, look for Chelsea to push for second with a strong second season for Frank Lampard.
Remainder of top six
Why: The North London clubs occupy fifth and sixth and actually come close to Champions League qualification, which goes to Manchester United. Arsenal build off their end to last season with a fairly strong campaign.
8. Leicester City
11. Leeds United
12. Sheffield United
Why: No real world beaters here. The expectation is for Leicester and Wolves to fall off a tad after really strong 2019-20 campaigns. Everton have added talent and can make a push for Europa League spots. Another fascinating team to watch: Leeds United, who I envision going from promotion to almost the top half of the table under Marcelo Bielsa.
15. Crystal Palace
16. West Ham
Why: Palace won't be in the relegation battle all that much, but West Ham and Fulham will be until the final days of the season. In the end, how those clubs start the season will play a huge factor into their chances of staying afloat.
18. West Brom
19. Aston Villa
Why: Brighton may have finished in 15th last season, but this is a team that scored just 39 goals in 38 games. With Aaron Mooy now gone, they will struggle even more and get relegated. West Brom and Villa join them.
Harry Kane, Tottenham: The striker stays healthy, builds off of his 18-goal campaign last season and finishes with 25 goals.
Kai Havertz, Chelsea: You can make the argument he is as good as any young player in the world. He's a Ballon d'Or-type talent and future captain of the German national team. He comes through for the Blues with double-digit goals and double-digit assists in the league, cementing himself as the best signing.
Nathan Ake, Manchester City: Look, Ake is a good player. He's young and experienced, but there is a reason why he never made it at Chelsea. He just doesn't feel like an upgrade over what City have in defense at the moment, and that money could have been better spent going after a top center back like Dayot Upamecano. Ake doesn't come in and fix City's defense at all.
Manager of the season
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City: Despite still having some defensive issues, City are brilliant in attack all season long and win the league after losing it to Liverpool last season. Guardiola, as a result, gets manager of the season.
Player of the season
Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City: The Belgian superstar against dominates with his creativity, his production in attack and helps his team to the league title once again, cementing the award in back-to-back seasons.
Young player of the season
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Liverpool: Another back-to-back here with the Liverpool fullback taking the award home again in the season in which he turns 22 and record 15 assists.