Predicting the 2021/22 final Premier League table
2021/22 Premier League season
The Premier League will be back on our screens very soon.
Euro 2020 now seems like a distant memory with the focus now all on pre-season and the transfer window.
Along with the start of a new season, of course, comes a whole host of predictions. Who will win the league? Who is going down? Who will earn that coveted Europa Conference League spot?
Now, 101 have outlined their predicted Premier League table for the forthcoming season below.
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2020/21 will be Brentford’s first season in the Premier League, but do not expect them to be here next year as well.
The Bees will no doubt offer some eye-catching football this season and will certainly create some big moments.
But they are a fairly inexperienced group of players who are not the most solid defensively and have virtually no Premier League experience.
Their recruitment this summer has also not been overly exciting as of yet, so a bottom-three finish does seem likely this time around.
Whereas Brentford may struggle at the back this campaign, Watford look set for issues at the other end.
The Hornets scored 63 goals in the Championship in 2020/21 – a fairly low total for a side who finished in an automatic promotion spot.
And their top-scorer, Ismaila Sarr, only finished on 13 goals. Their highest scoring centre-forward – 19-year-old Joao Pedro – only netted nine last term.
Joshua King has since been brought in, but it still looks as though Watford will not be an overly prolific side in 2021/22.
Norwich’s previous stint in the top-flight ended in disaster. They scored just 26 and conceded 75, finishing dead bottom of the Premier League.
It is clear Daniel Farke has since learned a lot from this, with the Canaries now a much more defensively sound unit. They would concede 36 as they won promotion in 2020/21, whereas they let in 57 back in 2018/19.
However, though they may now be better defensively, they still may not have enough to stave off relegation again, especially since they have lost their creative talisman, Emi Buendia.
17) Crystal Palace
Under Roy Hodgson, Crystal Palace were always a shoo-in for a midtable finish.
However, the veteran boss has now departed at a time when Palace are in serious need of a squad refreshment.
They have a number of ageing players whilst several, including Andros Townsend, have now left after their contracts expired.
Patrick Viera is the man tasked with ushering in a new area at Selhurst Park, and things have got off to a decent start with the additions of promising young talents likes Michael Olise and Marc Guehi. However, Viera does not have the experience of Hodgson and there is a good chance Palace will be much closer to the drop this year, especially when key man Eberechi Eze could be out till December.
Southampton probably have too much quality in their side to go down at the moment. But the Saints can be somewhat inconsistent under Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Their backline, despite having solid defenders, can also be quite shaky and they may struggle even more if they sell Danny Ings.
However, even without Ings, Southampton should have enough to finish higher than our current bottom three clubs.
Brighton do play some eye-catching football under Graham Potter and should once again avoid relegation with him at the helm.
However, it is hard to see them pushing into the top half of the Premier League unless they sign a better striker.
They have also lost Ben White to Arsenal, which will of course weaken their fairly solid backline to some extent.
202/21 will probably be much of the same from Sean Dyche and his Burnley side.
They will have a bad run, they will go on an unbeaten run at some point in the season, but ultimately, they are unlikely to ever get much higher than 10th with their current team and manager.
Newcastle finished 12th in the league last season and a similar outcome should be expected in 2020/21.
Steve Bruce will never get the Magpies playing eye-catching football and Mike Ashley’s ownership means there is little chance of a European push anytime soon.
But the North East outfit are pretty much nailed on for a midtable finish as long as Callum Wilson and Alan Saint-Maximin can stay fit.
Wolves are one of the harder sides to predict a finish for this year due to the fact they are now under new management.
They do have talisman Raul Jimenez back and have signed promising winger Francisco Triancao on loan from Barcelona.
And Bruno Lage should have them playing some attacking football, but the former Benfica bosses’ sides can also be left vulnerable defensively.
11) West Ham
West Ham finished 6th last campaign, so them being down in 11th may seem like an odd prediction.
But the Hammers now have to contend with Europa League football for 2021/22.
This can often lead to smaller squads then suffering in the league due to the amount of football they need to play.
And David Moyes’ side is currently lacking in depth, especially up top where Michail Antonio is their only really viable centre-forward option.
Rafa Benitez is now at the helm at Everton. The Spaniard has a solid record in the Premier League with both Liverpool and Newcastle.
However, he does not seem like the man who will propel Everton into a battle for the top-six.
Instead, Benitez will likely oversee a solid, if unspectacular, 2021/22 at Goodison Park, with Everton a hard team to break down that also doesn’t offer that much going forward.
Leeds United were one of the most entertaining sides to watch for neutral fans in 2020/21.
Marcelo Bielsa’s brand of football ensured that The Whites could cause issues for any PL side when they were on it.
However, it is hard to see Leeds progressing much further than their 9th place finish last year due to their fairly weak backline and lack of transfers made this summer so far.
8) Aston Villa
After a bright start, Aston Villa fell off somewhat at the back end of 2020/21.
However, Villa have since signed Emi Buendia and, if Jack Grealish stays fit, Dean Smith’s side should have a great chance of potentially challenging for a European place next season.
Of course, Grealish leaving may dampen those hopes somewhat. But Villa would likely get a sizable sum for their star man, which they should reinvest back into their every improving side. They have also already signed Leon Bailey from Bayer Leverkusen, who could be a decent replacement for Grealish.
Aston Villa and Bayer Leverkusen have reached an agreement for the transfer of Leon Bailey subject to the player completing a medical and finalising personal terms.
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) July 31, 2021
Tottenham fans will be hoping that Nuno Santo is the man to get them back fighting for a top-four spot.
And whilst Nuno may improve Spurs, the teams above them have already spent the last few seasons investing in their squads and hiring top managers.
So, given the poor and lack of recruitment at Tottenham over the last few years, it is hard to see them finishing higher than 6th or 7th this season, especially if Harry Kane departs.
Despite 2020/21 overall being considered somewhat of a failure for Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, they should fair much better in this campaign.
Arsenal started off last season pretty poorly, but if the season began at Christmas, they actually would have finished in 3rd place.
The Gunners have also been doing some smart business in the market, with a creative midfielder now perhaps their only real essential ahead of 2021/22.
And, as they finished 8th last term, they now have no European football to contend with, unlike Tottenham and West Ham.
Do they have enough to challenge for a top-four place? Probably not. But they should now be back in contention for a top-six finish this time around.
Leicester City have finished 5th in the previous two seasons and a similar outcome should be expected this year as well.
The Foxes are a solid side and have once again been making some smart decisions in the transfer market with Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumare their latest promising, young additions.
However, it is still hard to see Brendan Rodgers and co. finishing higher than Manchester City, a rejuvenated Liverpool, Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea or a Manchester United side spending big in the market this summer.
4) Manchester United
As already discussed, Man United have had a promising summer window so far.
Jadon Sancho’s arrival will solve United’s lack of a proper right-winger, whilst Raphael Varane helps fix another of the Red Devils’ main problem areas, centre-back.
Even with these two additions, though, will Ole Gunnar Solskjaer be able to guide his side to a better finish than Chelsea – who have improved greatly under Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool and Manchester City?
Chelsea were one of the most improved sides in the second half of 2020/21 under Thomas Tuchel.
The German made the Blues an incredibly hard outfit to break down and was able to take them to just their 2nd Champions League title, seeing off some top sides along the way.
However, Chelsea really struggled for goals and unless they sign a big name like Erling Haaland, it is hard to see them actually winning the league.
Liverpool’s Premier League title defence was marred by injury issues across the campaign.
However, now Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are returning to full fitness, as well as the addition of Konate, Liverpool should once again be title challengers this season.
But, it is hard to see the Reds being able to dethrone Manchester City. Partly because they have lost Georginio Wijnaldum, and partly because Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane’s form over the last year or so has not been great.
1) Manchester City
Liverpool finishing 2nd, of course, would mean Manchester City take top spot.
Pep Guardiola’s side are currently the best in the league by some way, with the likes of Phil Foden, Ruben Dias and Ferran Torres only expected to improve even further in the coming campaigns.
Kevin De Bruyne is the best creative midfielder in the world, John Stones is back to his best, they have managed to keep hold of Fernandinho for another year and City’s depth across their squad is insane.
Raheem Sterling, who had a patchy 2020/21, also looks much improved after rediscovering his best form at Euro 2020.
And, if Man City do end up signing Harry Kane or Jack Grealish this summer, as they reportedly wish to, it is really hard to see anyone coming close to them next year.