The 2020/21 Premier League season feels like an eternity ago already.
With football fans now turning their attentions to Euro 2020 and the Champions League final, we’re starting to say our final goodbyes to one of the craziest campaigns in English football history.
As part of that exercise, your humble GIVEMESPORT writer has been looking back on the predictions they made before a single ball had been kicked in the 2020/21 campaign.
2020/21 Premier League season
I have already rifled through my forecast for the final Premier League table and even the Team of the Season, but now we’ve reached the final boss: 13 completely random predictions for 2020/21.
Whether it was the title winner or what would be trending on Twitter, I couldn’t resist throwing out the rule book and well, simply racking my brains as to what could happen over the course of the year.
And if I do say so myself, it could have gone much, much worse because of the 13 predictions I made – check out the original article here – no less than seven of them came to pass.
Konate to Liverpool Reaction (Football Terrace)
2020/21 Premier League predictions
Considering how predictably unpredictable the Premier League proves to be, I think that’s a pretty good return but fear not, ladies and gentlemen, because I also dropped a fair share of clangers, too.
So, be sure to check out the good, the bad and the ugly of my predictions for the 2020/21 Premier League season down below:
1. Manchester City will regain the title
Key line: “You really get the feeling that Pep Guardiola is out for revenge this season and there were enough wobbles from Liverpool after the restart to give them hope.”
Ok, ok, so lots of people foresaw that City would regain the title but come on, how could I have truly called this Premier League predictions if I didn’t try to forecast the winner? I’m off to a flyer.
2. Harry Kane will win the Golden Boot
Key line: “The fact he scored 18 Premier League goals last season despite his injury problems make me feel confident that the England man will top the standings with 27-ish strikes this time around.”
Now, wouldn’t you look at this. Ok, granted, most of my reasoning was down to Jose Mourinho’s stunning record in second seasons and 27-ish goals was a little ambitious, but it still came true…
3. Slaven Bilic will be the first manager to go
Key line: “I think the Baggies will make a really slow start to their top flight return, causing them to panic just like they did in the 2017/18 campaign and therefore bring the axe down on Bilic.”
Sorry, Baggies fans, but I saw your 2020/21 plight coming a mile off and I just knew that switching managers would become the plan of attack at some point.
4. Liverpool will lose at Anfield
Key line: “It’s got to happen some day, hasn’t it?”
Trust me, this was a controversial prediction at the time because Liverpool had gone over three years unbeaten at Anfield, but a staggering six defeats at home proved me well and truly right.
Well, that’s not wholly true because I did think that it would be Manchester City who ended their perfect streak at home but in my defence, the Citizens did indeed win 4-1 on Merseyside.
5. Timo Werner will score more than 20 goals
Key line: “I don’t expect Werner to follow the same path and although he won’t score enough to catch Kane, I back him to do well enough in the Premier League to surpass 20 goals again.”
Well, it was always going to fall apart at some point, wasn’t it? It’s fair to say this prediction was about ten million lightyears wide of the mark with Werner limping to just six Premier League goals.
6. Trent Alexander-Arnold will win the PFA award
Key line: “Give or take De Bruyne, I’m not sure there’s a better player pound-for-pound in the Premier League than Alexander-Arnold and I expect him to establish himself as Liverpool’s star man this year.”
Now, it’s worth saying that Alexander-Arnold hasn’t been anywhere near as poor as some fans have made out this season but sure, he’s nowhere near the race for the PFA Player of the Year award.
7. Dean Smith will be sacked before Christmas
Key line: “Even though it seems certain that Jack Grealish will stick around, I’m backing them to suffer from second-season-syndrome and come crashing back down to the Championship.”
I like to call this the prediction ‘The Nightmare before Christmas’. This is the worst forecast of the bunch, in my opinion, because if anything, Smith was a contender for Manager of the Season.
8. James Rodriguez will be an expensive flop
Key line: “Expect the Colombian to score an absolute screamer during one of his first five games, before completely falling off the radar, getting bullied in midfield and providing merely three or four assists.
Did he score a screamer in his first five games? Yes. Did he only provide three or four assists? Yes. Was he an expensive flop? I think that would be harsh, but there was still a lot of truth in this call…
9. Ederson will retain the Golden Glove award
Key line: “Ederson can feel pretty safe about freeing up some space in his trophy cabinet ahead of time.”
Pretty pedestrian, this, because I was darn convinced that City would sign Kalidou Koulibaly and although they actually plumped for Ruben Dias, the result remained the same: the most clean sheets in the league.
10. Roy Hodgson will retire
Key line: “I think he’ll do a decent enough job for the Eagles this season that their collaboration will last until next summer, but suspect that they’ll agree to go their separate ways when his contract expires.”
The writing was on the wall, wasn’t it? Hodgson’s contract was expiring in the summer and at 76 years old, it’s the understatement of the century to say that he deserves to put his feet up.
11. Leeds United will win at Old Trafford
Key line: “As a result, sod it, let’s forecast Leeds to replicate their 2010 FA Cup heroics by snatching an upset victory against Manchester United who, for the record, I suspect will finish in third.”
Ah. Yeh, they got walloped 6-2. Moving swiftly on…
12. ‘#ArtetaOut’ will trend on Twitter
Key line: “However, I anticipate that Arsenal will go through a winless streak of five or six games at some point during the season, leading to genuine suggestions from a minority of fans that Arteta should go.”
On the back of Arteta leading Arsenal to FA Cup and Community Shield glory, I got no end of pelters for suggesting the Gunners would go through a rough patch, but who’s laughing now?
13. Newcastle finish in the top half
Key line: “As much as it feels like the Magpies are airlifting Bournemouth’s attack right now, Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser are shrewd signings nonetheless and Allan Saint-Maximin will only get better and better.”
Ugh, what a duff note to finish on. I actually wasn’t a million miles away because Newcastle finished all the way up in 12th but make no mistake about it, the Toon were woeful for large parts of 2020/21.
Bring on 2021/22
And that nicely concludes my full revisitation of 2020/21 Premier League predictions.
Truth be told, I’m fairly happy with correctly predicting the entire top four, foreseeing that Luke Shaw would be in Team of the Season contention and seven out of the 13 forecasts I’ve listed above.
However, that does mean that the pressure is on for me to repeat the feat next season, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for my inevitably whacky and whimsical 2021/22 predictions. Stay tuned.