Predicting the Premier League is basically impossible, let’s face it.
Sure, you could pretty safely forecast in September that Manchester City would finish in the top four and that West Bromwich Albion would struggle, but beyond the broad strokes, you’re on a hiding to nothing.
So, just imagine how brainless this humble GIVEMESPORT writer was to even attempt predicting the Premier League Team of the Season before a single ball had been kicked in the 2020/21 campaign.
Premier League Team of the Season
Uh huh, you did read that right and although there are still a few game-weeks to play, I think we can all have a pretty safe guess at how the actual Team of the Season will play out when the awards roll around.
As such, it’s officially time to wave goodbye to my integrity, raise a middle finger to my dignity and dump my footballing acumen on a bonfire by reacting to the predicted team I compiled back on September 11.
And to be fair to oneself, all those deprecating jokes aside, I dare go as far as saying that my predictions were worthy of the following description: smatterings of genius with fat dollops of disaster.
Leicester 2-4 Newcastle United Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
But considering I foresaw that ‘I’ll probably look like a complete mug when the actual Premier League Team of the Season rolls around in May’, make no mistake that I’m prepared for all the banter.
Revisiting our predicted XI
So, without further ado, let’s revisit my choices – complete with either my finest predicative line or most disastrously wide-of-the-mark forecast – in the breakdown below:
Key line: “I’m expecting the impeccable Ederson to retain his Golden Glove, produce a number of stunning displays in the big games and establish himself as the league’s best ‘keeper.”
Anyone want the lottery numbers??? Ok, to be fair, there’s still a chance that Edouard Mendy could run away with the Golden Glove this season, but I think this a pretty strong start to proceedings.
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Key line: “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Alexander-Arnold went all the way and won next year’s PFA Player of the Year award and built on his own Premier League record by surpassing 15 assists.”
Uh oh. Whoops. Yeh, all in all, it’s been a pretty tough season for Alexander-Arnold, so not only is he nowhere near the PFA Player of the Year race, but he’s fallen 10 assists short of my prediction.
CB: Kalidou Koulibaly
Key line: “Ah, yes, this prediction could turn out to be a complete disaster because Koulibaly might struggle to make the Premier League Team of the Season if, erm, he isn’t even in the Premier League.”
Well, at least I predicted that this could blow up in my face and alas, Manchester City actually bought Ruben Dias instead. So, wait, does that actually make this correct by proxy? I’ll see myself out…
CB: Virgil van Dijk
Key line: “A bit like Alexander-Arnold, it’s tough to imagine Van Dijk producing a season that would finish far short of being one of the best in the Premier League, so he’s a pretty safe bet in the back four.”
In my defence, I don’t think this prediction was actually that bad because I was hardly doing to predict Jordan Pickford snapping him in half. Then again, he did play in the Aston Villa defeat…
LB: Luke Shaw
Key line: “So, with United destined to finish fourth at the very, very least, I can easily see a world where Shaw continues to build on his strong 2018/19 and 2019/20 campaigns to earn himself a spot.”
I’m a sporting genius, ladies and gentlemen, bow down to the throne of my intellectual brilliance because my footballing IQ has more digits than Sheikh Mansour’s bank account. Let’s ‘av it.
RM: Mohamed Salah
Key line: “Falling just short of a third Premier League Golden Boot, bagging over 20 goals, with Liverpool surpassing 90 points for the third consecutive season is exactly why I see Salah getting the nod.”
Let’s skate over my prediction that Liverpool would surpass 90 points and focus on the fact that Salah missing out on the Golden Boot to Harry Kane with over 20 strikes is probably going to happen…
CM: Kevin De Bruyne
Key line: “I anticipate him falling short of breaking Thierry Henry’s record once again, but in a City team that I reckon will win the title, you’d be mad to bet against De Bruyne slotting into this starting XI.”
Ok, sure, I wasn’t breaking ground with this forecast, but I still got it right, so quiet down, you at the back.
Key line: “So, sure, take your screenshots and inevitably laugh at me when 2021 comes around, but I wouldn’t be able to look myself in the mirror if I generically airdropped Bruno Fernandes here.”
Yeh, I should have generically airdropped Fernandes because you are inevitably laughing at me in 2021. At least he played really well on his debut at Tottenham Hotspur, I guess?
LM: Christian Pulisic
Key line: “Expect more than 10 goals and 10 assists apiece in the league to make him a real hit with the statisticians as well as some crucial goals against the top six to help fire Chelsea to third place.”
It’s great to see Pulisic finding his feet again in recent weeks, but I was miles off with this shout because the Chelsea man has only produced four goals and one assist, not 10 in both categories.
ST: Aleksandar Mitrović
Key line: “The Serbian has proven Premier League pedigree, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he smashes home 15 goals and doing so within the context of a difficult season at Craven Cottage may earn him the slot.”
I have no explanation for this one. Move on. Keep scrolling. Nothing to see here.
ST: Harry Kane
Key line: “It’s staggering to think Kane amassed 18 league goals last season with his injury troubles, so I expect him to bag 25+ this time around to win his first Premier League Golden Boot since 2017.”
I’m not in the clear with this prediction as far as the Golden Boot and 25-goal part is concerned, but let’s not split hairs here, Kane is strolling into the Team of the Season and I called it back in 2020.
Hits and misses
All in all, I think that could have gone a lot worse, though there’s admittedly no defending Mitrović and Allan when they couldn’t possibly be any further away from Team of the Season contention.
But in a world where I could see the best XI coming a mile off, the Premier League just wouldn’t be the Premier League because it’s the unpredictability that keeps us coming back year after year.
And if you haven’t got your fix of laughing at my predictions from this Team of the Season alone, then rest assured that my forecast for the 2020/21 table will look suitably stupid in due course…