English Premier League 2020/21
Having passed the halfway mark of the season, the English Premier League (EPL) is lining itself up for an exciting conclusion. With fans having essentially waited an extra month for the league to start, one thing they cannot complain about is a lack of excitement. From the opening game on September 12th, there has been action aplenty. While the title race rightly receives most of the attention, the battle to avoid the ‘drop’ is just as exciting. Can Liverpool go back-to-back, who will round out the top four, can the promoted teams from the Championship avoid relegation? These are relevant questions for all the EPL fans out there.
EPL 2019/20 tournament
Following their near miss of the previous English Premier League season, Liverpool finally won the EPL title. Having last tasted success in the now defunct English Football League in the 1989/90 season, Liverpool and their fans had waited long and hard for this moment. The most successful team in the past decade, Man City had to settle for second place after winning the competition the year before. Man United and Chelsea rounded out the remainder of the top four, and thus automatically booked their place into the UEFA Champions League for 2020/21. In the bottom half of the table, Aston Villa narrowly missed finishing in the bottom three. Subsequently Bournemouth, Watford and Norwich City were all relegated. Conversely Leeds United, West Bromwich Albion and Fulham were promoted from the Championship.
Current English Premier League season
With 10 games remaining and the English Premier League Live again, one could say the winner for the 2020/2 season has already been crowned. Man City hold a commanding 11-point lead over second placed Man United. For any other team to realistically challenge for the title, it would require City to drop points. Having only lost three games so far, this does not seem likely. However, stranger things have happened, and so only time will tell. The 2015/16 champions Leicester City are currently third, with Chelsea rounding out the top four. Ten points separate Chelsea from ninth placed Aston Villa, so the battle for the Champions League spots is still firmly up for grabs. Last year’s winners, Liverpool have had a poor run recently, with four losses out of their last five games. The form team over the past few seasons will have to turn things around if they want to remain in the top half of the table.
The bottom half of the table is a story on its own. Fulham, West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United find themselves in the bottom three spots. West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield United will struggle to move up in the table. They have only won three and four games respectively thus far. Fulham and the seven other teams ahead of them on the table are all within ten points of one another. This means that realistically there can be quite a few changes before the season concludes in ten games time. At this stage nobody can afford to rest on their laurels.
It is hard to look past Man City as favourites to take the title this year. They have won four of their past five games and have a healthy lead over second spot. The remaining three places in the battle for the top four will be a tight affair. Of Man United, Leicester City and Chelsea- all of whom are within four points of one another. However Chelsea seem to be the team on the best streak. They have been a different team since manager Frank Lampard left mid-season. West Ham United, Everton, Tottenham United and Liverpool are the next teams down the order in the table. These four teams are within five points of one another. West Ham United are enjoying some time in the top half of the table, after finishing 16th last season. 12th place finishers last year, Everton are also having a good season so far. The question is how well can these two teams finish?
While Liverpool are having a torrid time, one could say Tottenham United are on the opposite end of the spectrum. With three wins in their last four games, they may be the biggest threat for the teams above them. Don’t count them out for a top four spot. Aston Villa and Arsenal round out the top ten. Aston Villa, having only just missed being relegated last season are one of the surprise teams in this edition. They have slipped a bit in their last five games. Thus they will need to have a change of fortune should they wish to remain in the top half of the table. Arsenal, last year’s FA Cup Champions have had a mixed season with too many inconsistent performances. A top four will be unlikely for them, but they will want to finish strong nonetheless.
Who will be relegated?
It is always hard to call who will be relegated, even with ten games remaining. With only nine points separating 11th and 18th spots respectively none of these teams can afford to drop points at this stage. As exciting as it will be to watch how the top half of the table plays out, the relegation battle has a drama of its own.
This seasons live Football, like the last, will go down as one of the stranger editions due to the Corona Virus pandemic. With no fans filling the stadiums and cheering them on, teams have had to come to terms with the new normal. By the time the season concludes on Sunday the 23rd of May, the world will know who the champions will be. The real success, however, is the fact that such a great sporting event has managed to proceed in such challenging times.
South Africa has its own South African Soccer Premier League (PSL), read our article based on last years PSL.