Can Any Team in the Premier League Knock Off Manchester City in Upcoming Season?
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When you look at the title history of the Premier League in England, it is a select list of teams that have been able to lift the trophy.
Now you have to remember, the Premier League only came into existence for the 1992-93 campaign, so this will be the 30th season.
Only seven teams have seen their name inscribed on the big silver cup: Manchester United (13 times), Chelsea (five times), Manchester City (five times, including three of the last four), Arsenal (three times), Blackburn Rovers (one time), Leicester City (one time), and Liverpool (one time).
Blackburn is now in the EFL Championship, and will not be adding to its 1994-95 title any time soon. Arsenal is a mess, finishing eighth in the table last season. The good news for Gunners’ fans is, they sit at the top of the table currently, as the team first alphabetically before the new season begins.
I jest and the Gunners might get a chance to be at the top of the table for real once the 2021-22 season kicks off on Friday, August 13: they play Brentford to open the new campaign before the other teams are in action on Saturday and Sunday. But that will be the only time Arsenal will be near the top of the standings.
This new season is all about four teams that have the depth to compete on multiple fronts: the defending champion Manchester City, city rivals Manchester United, reigning UEFA Champions League victor Chelsea, and possibly Liverpool.
If you look at the preseason Premier League title odds by the British Gambler, Manchester City, which has won three of the last four titles (thanks in large part to a deep squad), comes in as an overwhelming favorite at odds right now of -160. Then, there are the other three teams that made up last season’s top four: Chelsea (+500), Liverpool (+500), and Manchester United (+650).
Chelsea is the second choice thanks to its three 1-0 wins over the Cityzens down the stretch, in three competitions: in the Premier League, in the F.A. Cup semifinals, and in the UEFA Champions League Final.
The way Thomas Tuchel sets up Chelsea, though, might not be conducive to winning a 38-game season: there are too many low-scoring draws. Manchester City scored 83 goals in the league, Manchester United 73, Liverpool 68, while Chelsea managed 58. Chelsea dropped points in half of its matches (10 draws, nine losses), while Manchester City only dropped points 11 times.
Can a rejuvenated Liverpool contend? Virgil van Dijk should return from an ACL injury, but he could take some time to get back to 100 percent. Plus, will the Reds bolster their squad enough to challenge City?
Which leaves us with Manchester United: the Red Devils are bolstering their squad, and are set up for the long run. But United might be a year away from contending for real, and this could be another season of growth.
It should be Manchester City once again, especially if the Cityzens add some quality. I will be betting them and also throwing a few bucks on Manchester United.
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