After one of many wildest weekends within the historical past of the Premier League, this could be a season that defies prediction. Anybody who wagered that Manchester United would lose 6-1 at residence to Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool fall 7-2 at Aston Villa just a few hours later could be as wealthy as Lionel Messi.
So, sifting via some conflicting proof, listed here are my club-by-club first impressions via the opening weeks of the 2020-21 season.
Arsenal: Mikel Arteta has modified the temper music, already delivered two items of silverware and persuaded Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to remain. The Gunners proceed to indicate extra metal and grit. The highest 4 just isn’t out of the query, particularly now that the skilled Thomas Partey has arrived for £45 million from Atletico Madrid to bolster the midfield.
Aston Villa: The sensational 7-2 win over the champions final weekend confirmed a newfound confidence and perception. The defence has improved enormously and the additions of Ollie Watkins and Ross Barkley take the artistic stress off Jack Grealish. There is a top-half end of their sights.
Brighton & Hove Albion: They’ve performed higher than a return of solely three factors may counsel, and their fixtures have been powerful. The dedication to play engaging, passing soccer typically results in them overplaying, and supervisor Graham Potter will fear about how they’re conceding extra simply today.
Burnley: Beset by accidents and with out a level thus far, supervisor Sean Dyche has made it clear he isn’t precisely seeing eye to eye with the board. So long as he is in cost, my hunch is they may avoid relegation as soon as key males return.
Chelsea: They seem to be a work In progress as they mattress in £250m value of latest expertise. They’ll destroy just a few groups, however that 3-3 draw at West Bromwich Albion confirmed they’re nonetheless fragile on the again. The sky is the restrict if Thiago Silva can type out that downside.
Crystal Palace: Two wins adopted by two defeats, Palace are a handful on their day — as Manchester United found — and so they have sufficient high quality to maintain their heads nicely above water.
Everton: Their finest begin to a league season since 1969-70, after they received the title. James Rodriguez has sprinkled some stardust on Goodison Park and Dominic Calvert-Lewin has 9 targets in six video games throughout all competitions. Carlo Ancelotti can lead this group again into Europe, and so they might even problem for the highest 4.
Fulham: Merely don’t look ok, leaking targets at each flip. Scott Parker can have carried out wonders if he retains them up.
Leeds United: It’s nice to have this massive membership again within the prime flight. Marcelo Bielsa’s turbocharged group have ruffled the feathers of Liverpool and Manchester Metropolis already and offered actual leisure in doing so. Simply ok to remain up, the one query is whether or not they run out of gasoline a bit of.
Leicester Metropolis: That 3-0 residence defeat to West Ham United was a actuality verify after the 5-2 thumping of Manchester Metropolis. Typically straightforward on the attention however vulnerable to flat patches, the Foxes are top-six contenders once more.
Liverpool: No person noticed that seven-goal mauling at Villa coming, least of all Jurgen Klopp, a show that raises suspicions that the defence has change into shaky. They nonetheless look to be favourites to retain their crown, however now there’s much less certainty.
Manchester Metropolis: With the acquisition of Ruben Dias, they’ve now purchased 9 of the 20 most costly defenders in historical past, however Leicester put 5 previous them and Leeds created loads of possibilities. For all their brilliance in different areas, it’s exhausting to see them reclaiming the title except they tighten up on the again.
Manchester United: A shambolic begin on and off the pitch. The defence is a large number, and you need to marvel if Harry Maguire‘s court docket case in Greece is affecting his type. The membership ought to have been pursuing a prime defender relatively than Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants outcomes quick.
Newcastle United: Aside from a few poor shows towards Brighton and Spurs, Steve Bruce’s group look vigorous and Callum Wilson has clearly rediscovered the zest that received him England recognition. High-half prospects beckon.
Southampton: Appeared undercooked firstly of the season, however Saints are beginning to fireplace now. Danny Ings has to remain match for them to flourish. That top-line defence is open to exploitation if groups can beat their excessive press, as Spurs demonstrated.
Sheffield United: Are they affected by second-season syndrome? Supervisor Chris Wilder says no. They have to hope the signing of younger striker Rhian Brewster from Liverpool improves their aim return. Appears like a tough yr forward, although there could also be three worse groups.
Tottenham Hotspur: Began with a stunning show towards Everton, however Spurs have been in great type since, regardless of the crowded schedule. Gareth Bale may give them much more. Is that this the large comeback yr for Jose Mourinho?
West Bromwich Albion: Regardless of a daring exhibiting in that 3-3 draw with Chelsea, they don’t look to have sufficient high quality to remain up. Actually want to provide greater than they did at Southampton on Sunday.
West Ham United: The groans of the followers have been silenced by two terrific wins over Wolves and Leicester, all directed by David Moyes whereas self-isolating at residence. Michail Antonio is just too scorching to deal with for a lot of defenders proper now. They could possibly be a shock package deal this season.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Put in a worrying show within the 4-0 reverse at West Ham not too long ago, wanting a bit of flat and jaded after two wonderful years. Extra drive is required from central midfield.