The 2021/22 Premier League season commenced with a bang last month. With already a month worth of fixtures being played prior to the international break, the days until the end of August witnessed a frenzied transfer window that saw some of the biggest names in world football move to England from abroad. Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo returned back to the Premier League with the clubs – Chelsea and Manchester United respectively – that first provided them with the platform for future glory. Both aforementioned clubs possess strong squads that have a realistic chance of going all the way and winning the championship title.
The goal, since forever, has always been to secure a top-six spot (or seven) that ensures playing in European continental championships – with the top four heading to the UEFA Champions League & the rest two (or three) settling for the Europa League.
Here we look at the contenders to finish in the top four positions this season –
- Manchester City
Last year’s title winners Manchester City are favourites to contest for their second successive Premier League title win. The Manchester club took strides in the transfer market with the onboarding of Jack Grealish but however failed to replace legendary striker Sergio Aguero after he moved to Barcelona on a free transfer. Harry Kane never came along after a long transfer saga-filled summer but nonetheless, they possess a strong squad with stars such as Kevin De Bruyne, Grealish, Ruben Dias, and Raheem Sterling. Under Pep Guardiola, City will always be a team to consider for top honors and this season is no different.
Champions League winners Chelsea endured a tough start to last year’s campaign under Frank Lampard but came to life midway through the season after German tactician Thomas Tuchel was brought in. Chelsea showed in the Champions League last season that they can upset the biggest of clubs in an unorthodox manner and it won’t be any different against English clubs. They boast a strong defensive lineup led by veteran Thiago Silva, a midfield run by talisman N’Golo Kante and the forward line boosted by the arrival of Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan. The Londoners are a capable team on every front. It will be surprising to see the Blues struggle this season, especially with the depth in the squad they possess.
- Manchester United
Arguably the biggest news of the summer – along with Messi’s transfer to Paris Saint-Germain, of course – Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the club that developed him into the monster of a player he is today. Manchester United-operated their most memorable transfer season in a while after enduring a disappointing decade in the 2010s, especially with the onboarding of English talent Jadon Sancho, World Cup winner Raphael Varane and of course their biggest signing so far, Ronaldo. The Red Devils have an impeccable squad on their hands with Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and David De Gea, among other names.
- Tottenham Hotspur
One would have been hoping to see Liverpool here, but it cannot be denied how much of an improvement we have witnessed in Tottenham’s playing style after the hiring of Nuno Espirito Santo. The Portuguese football manager is a master tactician who is bound to have an impact in the long run for Spurs. Although the club lost Gareth Bale and Erik Lamela at the end of last season, they still look like a side that can do damage to top clubs. During the transfer window, they brought in Spanish talent Bryan Gil and defenders Cristian Romero and Emerson Royal from Atalanta and Barcelona respectively, to boost their squad depth. Led by Harry Kane and Son Heung-min upfront and guarded in goal by club legend Hugo Lloris, they have a realistic chance of taking a top four spot.
According to data by betting providers, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United are the four clubs best placed for an odds-on-favorites finish in the top four of the Premier League table. Soccer is one of the fastest-growing sports in the USA, along with combat sports such as mixed martial arts, which according to Bleacher Report, is said to be the fastest-growing sport in the country. Asiabet.org provides MMA & UFC betting tips access to a huge directory of guidance material and resource for people interested in investing in the sport. Audiences and players – old or new – from the world over can benefit from a whole range of bonuses such as VIP programs, loyalty points, and cashback schemes, among other rewards. Betting sites play out all kinds of sports and cater to different geographic locations, by which acquiring first-hand strategies, tips on odds,and pointers in one’s favorhave never been easier.
Liverpool and Leicester City are honorable mentions who can well upset the predicted top four contenders and it won’t be surprising to see either club tussle for a top finish all the way until the final match of the season. West Ham United, led by England midfield ace Declan Rice, are contenders for a top-six finish. Arsenal on the other hand has fallen greatly, having endured their worst ever start to a Premier League season.
The four teams listed as contenders for a top-four finish have been deduced based on the strength and depths of their respective squads, transfer market impact, style of play, and pre-season form. It will undoubtedly be a close call for the title and the season is expected to go down the wire until the final minute of the final matchday.