The 2020/21 Premier League season is officially over.
And now that the final table has been settled, football fans across the country have been trawling through their messages and notes to unearth their predictions from the start of the season.
2020/21 Premier League
Here at GIVEMESPORT, we’re no different because this humble writer decided to chance his arm last summer by making a series of sensational predictions about the 2020/21 campaign.
We’ve already looked back at my forecast for the Premier League Team of the Season, which was certainly interesting, but now it’s the turn of my prediction for the full table from 20th to 1st.
You can check out the original article from August here, but keep scrolling to see how my original prediction compared to each team’s actual finish as well as a key line that gives a brief overview of my reasoning.
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Revisiting table prediction
So, without further ado, be sure to check out whether I’m Mystic Meg or woefully out of touch with Premier League football down below:
20. West Bromwich Albion (Actual finish: 19th)
Key line: “Albion’s return to the Premier League could be a rocky one and perhaps befitting of their yo-yoing history.”
I’m pretty happy with this prediction. The Baggies might not have finished rock bottom like I thought, but my relegation suspicions came true despite Sam Allardyce’s best attempts to save the day.
19. Aston Villa (11th)
Key line: “Conceding 67 goals in 38 games meant that only Norwich City had a poorer defensive record in 2019/20 and I can’t see them getting away that again.”
Woof. This is without a doubt one of my worst calls in the entire table, but fair play to Villa because what Dean Smith has achieved this season could set them up for a bountiful era in the top-flight.
18. Crystal Palace (14th)
Key line: “Marry that to the fact the Eagles surely won’t be able to hold on to star man Wilfried Zaha for another summer and their woeful goal-scoring record – we’re looking at you, Christian Benteke – to see why we’re tipping them for the drop.”
Again, I was all over the show with this prediction because Zaha did indeed stay at Selhurst Park, Benteke actually enjoyed an unexpected renaissance and Palace never looked like going down.
17. Fulham (18th)
Key Line: “A combination of Aleksandar Mitrović’s proven track record in the Premier League, Scott Parker’s clear managerial tenacity and most crucially of all, the lessons learned from 2018/19 makes me think Fulham are better equipped than WBA to dodge the drop.”
Well, they were indeed better equipped than West Brom to dodge the drop, but still didn’t. As for my woeful prediction that Mitrović’s goals would fire them to safety, the less said about it, the better.
16. Brighton & Hove Albion (16th)
Key line: “There’s only reason to think they’ll consolidate this sort of position and particularly after the impressive coup of Adam Lallana.”
Let’s skate over the Lallana line for a second and enjoy the fact that I was absolutely bang on the money when it came to predicting that the Seagulls would finish in 16th place. Let’s have it.
15. Newcastle United (12th)
Key line: “Newcastle are forever destined to finish in this broad region of the table as long as their transfer activity continues to be either nonexistent or wildly haphazard, Joelinton cough cough.”
For a long time, it looked as though this prediction was actually incredibly optimistic but a late flourish from the Toon has ensured that I was actually three places too pessimistic.
14. Leeds United (9th)
Key line: “There’s good reason to believe their strong squad will be better drilled than most for having ‘El Loco’ at the wheel and I expect them to secure plenty of upsets against the ‘top six’.”
Judging by the way I spoke about Leeds, you’d think I was backing them for a much higher finish and given that the Whites actually placed in the top half, I should have backed my chat more.
13. West Ham United (6th)
Key line: “Predicting West Ham to finish this highly has been a guaranteed recipe for disaster recently, so come on, David Moyes, please please reward me for having some faith in you lot.”
Oh dear, oh dear. The funny thing is that I actually thought I was being really generous and renegade by picking West Ham to finish ‘so high’, but boy did they make me look like a mug.
12. Burnley (17th)
Key line: “Burnley are essentially at the whim of however many points the teams around the top-half/bottom-half border collect, because Sean Dyche’s is alarmingly reliable at steering them to the 50-point mark.”
This is a poor prediction, it must be said, because although Burnley never really looked like going down to the Championship, they finished closer to the relegation zone than any of the survivors.
11. Sheffield United (20th)
Key line: “Let’s just say there’s not a good roadmap laid out by other clubs who shined upon earning promotion with Reading and Ipswich actually suffering relegation in 2008 and 2002 respectively after doing exactly that.”
I’ve had an absolute nightmare here and the worst thing is that I actually saw it coming with Ipswich and Reading suffering similar fates before. Ah well, at least I can’t have been alone in this call.
10. Southampton (15th)
Key line: “I expect them to finish in the top half without any of the early-season struggles they suffered in 2019/20.”
Tut, tut, tut. I do have a soft spot for the Saints, it must be said and I clearly got a little bit excited about their late flourish last season because this prediction turned out to be far too ambitious.
9. Everton (10th)
Key line: “They have a serial Champions League-winning manager, albeit one who has struggled in his last two jobs, so I’ve got to follow the history books and back them for the top half at least.”
Gosh darn it. I’ve been denied only my second correct prediction so far by goal difference. Ugh.
8. Wolverhampton Wanderers (13th)
Key line: “I’ve been given no reason to predict anything short of another successful Premier League season for Nuno Espírito Santo’s men, especially if they can hold on to Raul Jimenez.”
Well, my theory that ‘third-season-syndrome’ isn’t a thing was clearly made to look stupid because Wolves have actually had one of the most disappointing seasons of all. I was far too kind.
7. Leicester City (5th)
Key line: “The top six have only improved and I don’t expect them to launch a Champions League assault again. The only way is down for Brendan Rodgers’ men.”
Leicester fans, I owe you an apology because I thought the wheels would fall off this season and that couldn’t have been further from the case, even if you once again missed out on the top four.
6. Tottenham Hotspur (7th)
Key line: “As much as predicting Tottenham to stand completely still seems harsh, Spurs just don’t seem to be improving at the rate that their rivals are.”
How silly could I have been to think that the ‘top six’ would actually finish in the top six? In my defence, I was only one place off, but I should actually have called Spurs to move backwards.
5. Arsenal (8th)
Key line: “After a truly dire 2019/20 league campaign, however, I still think it’s pretty positive to predict the Gunners to return to fifth place and start feasibly challenging for the Champions League again.”
Yes, yes, yes, I stupidly bought into the hype of Arsenal winning the FA Cup and Community Shield, but at least they were only actually five points off fifth place by the time the season finished.
4. Chelsea (4th)
Key line: “Bolstering their attack is hardly Chelsea’s problem when they’re leaking goals left, right and centre, so excuse me for being unconvinced until they bolster a back five that shipped the same amount of goals as Brighton last season.”
Right, now is the time to bow down to my genius because you might have noticed that the remaining four teams are indeed the correct top four – and I actually got Chelsea’s exact position spot on.
3. Liverpool (3rd)
Key line: “The fact of the matter is you’ve got to improve while you’re ahead and I simply cannot see a world where the Reds exceed 90 points for the third time in a row without dipping into their wallets.”
I can’t begin to tell you how much stick I got from Kopites for predicting them to finish third on the back of their 99-point season, but fast-forward eight months and now they’re buzzing with bronze.
2. Manchester United (2nd)
Key line: “The most controversial pick in the entire table… I know, I know.”
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen, I correctly predicted the exact top four before a ball was even kicked this season and I got no end of abuse for picking United as runners-up, let me tell you.
1. Manchester City (1st)
Key line: “The heart of my prediction is that the spine of the greatest Premier League team in history still remains and being able to spends tens of millions repairing that with Guardiola at the wheel can only spell silverware.”
This prediction wasn’t exactly trailblazing at the time, but considering City’s slow start to the season, I’m pleasantly surprised that it actually paid off and completed my perfect Champions League places.
Remarkable predictions… and errors
So, yeh, I wasn’t kidding about the whole ‘it looks remarkable now’ thing.
I think that description is more than justified when, to my credit, I correctly predicted the exact top four despite duly incurring the wrath of every Liverpool fan in the country when I did so.
Beyond that, my prediction has to go down as remarkable for bad reasons, too, because predicting Sheffield United to finish 11th and Aston Villa to go down couldn’t have been wider of the mark.
It really goes to show just how impossible it is to predict the Premier League table, but that doesn’t make trying any less fun.