Premier League Table: 90min 'Experts' Predict 2020/21 Finishing Positions

Sep 11, 2020, 2:15 PM GMT+1
Jordan Henderson
2019/20 was Liverpool's. Now Man City are gunning for them again | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
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The Premier League is back.

Before we take a big swig on that socially distanced pint of premium-strength Barclays, we're doing a round of shots of hubris. We're predicting the Premier League table, just like we did in 2019/20 (with mixed success), 2018/19 (we got the champions and two relegated teams right!) and 2017/18 (top two right! Bottom three all wrong!)

This year though, it's different. We've got our smartest cast of experts yet, and another season of experience behind us. What could go wrong?

Chris Deeley: 1) Liverpool, 2) Man City, 3) Chelsea, 4) Man Utd, 5) Arsenal, 6) Wolves, 7) Tottenham, 8) Leicester, 9) Southampton, 10) Everton, 11) Burnley, 12) Newcastle, 13) Sheffield United, 14) West Ham, 15) Aston Villa, 16) Brighton, 17) West Brom, 18) Crystal Palace, 19) Leeds, 20) Fulham

The only thing that will stop Liverpool winning the league is some injuries to key players at the wrong times. What do you want from me? They're still the best team in the country, and they will be until City sort out their weird lapses in not-so-big games. The rest of the top seven's a crapshoot.

Speaking of crapshoots...anyone from 14-20th could do down and I wouldn't blink, but here we go: Fulham's squad construction is baffling again, Palace have been living on borrowed time for a while (insert Roy Hodgson is old joke) and Leeds feel like they're being given way too comfortable a ride because people are happy to see them back. There are not many goals in that football team. That's a bad sign.

Bonus – Love Everton's signings, but you want to integrate a whole new midfield without a pre-season? That's a recipe for being 16th in November and recovering after Christmas.

Scott Saunders: 1) Liverpool, 2) Man City, 3) Chelsea, 4) Man Utd, 5) Arsenal, 6) Tottenham, 7) Leicester, 8) Everton, 9) Wolves, 10) Southampton, 11) Leeds, 12) Newcastle, 13) Sheffield United, 14) Burnley, 15) Brighton, 16) West Ham, 17) Crystal Palace, 18) Aston Villa, 19) West Brom, 20) Fulham

I've gone for Liverpool because I think they're probably best equipped, but I don't think they'll hit the standards of last season - that dream of winning the title after 30 years has been achieved and it's only natural to see a drop off. I think teams have figured out how to beat City, and Pep won't change his ways so we'll see similar results, and Chelsea and United will be closer to them than last season (I'm banking on United actually signing players before the deadline).

Arteta's Arsenal and a functional Spurs will be in the top four running too, I wouldn't be surprised if one of them made it, but there's stronger squads out there.

Fulham and West Brom look surefire relegation candidates and they could be joined by any one of about eight teams - not Leeds though, because they're probably a better footballing team already than at least half of the division.

Sean Dyche
Sean, what are you... | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Andy Headspeath: 1) Man City, 2) Liverpool, 3) Chelsea, 4) Man Utd, 5) Arsenal, 6) Tottenham, 7) Leicester, 8) Wolves, 9) Everton, 10) Southampton, 11) Leeds, 12) Newcastle, 13) Brighton, 14) West Ham, 15) Sheffield United, 16) Aston Villa, 17) Crystal Palace, 18) Burnley, 19) Fulham, 20) West Brom

Liverpool and City still appear to be the best two teams in the league, though their order might change. Chelsea could run them close but may need the superstar manager to match their freshly enhanced squad. Arsenal are on the up but may just fall short of the all-important top four, while the rest of the top half writes itself. Maybe.

The bottom half, however, is essentially impossible to predict. Managerial changes will likely define who stays and who goes. Aston Villa might just have the backing to survive in spite of their deficiencies. Ditto West Ham. If Sean Dyche leaves Burnley, for whatever reason, they could be in enormous trouble, however.

West Brom and Fulham, meanwhile, just don't look like Premier League standard teams.

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This is the Irish portion of proceedings | NIALL CARSON/Getty Images

Jack Gallagher: 1) Liverpool, 2) Man City, 3) Man Utd, 4) Arsenal, 5) Chelsea, 6) Tottenham, 7) Everton, 8) Leicester, 9) Wolves, 10) Southampton, 11) Newcastle, 12) Brighton, 13) Burnley, 14) Sheffield United, 15) Crystal Palace, 16) Aston Villa, 17) Leeds, 18) West Ham, 19) West Brom, 20) Fulham

Player of the season: Matt Doherty
Young player of the season: Aaron Connolly
Manager of the season: Stephen Kenny

Jude Summerfield: 1) Liverpool, 2) Man City, 3) Chelsea, 4) Man Utd, 5) Tottenham, 6) Arsenal, 7) Leicester, 8) Wolves, 9) Everton, 10) Southampton, 11) Burnley, 12) Sheffield United, 13) Newcastle, 14) Brighton, 15) Leeds, 16) Aston Villa, 17) Crystal Palace, 18) West Ham, 19) West Brom, 20) Fulham.

Glenn McGrath always tips Australia to win the Ashes 5-0. I had basically been doing the same thing with Tottenham finishing in the top three in recent years, but that seems just a little too optimistic nowadays. There's no doubt they can finish in the top four, but they'd have to be unbelievably ruthless and fix up sharpish at the back.

But yeah. Liverpool top, City second. This selection really wrote itself.

FBL-ENG-PR-LIVERPOOL-BRITAIN-MURAL
Do we, in fact, go again? | PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Toby Cudworth: 1) Liverpool, 2) Man City, 3) Man Utd, 4) Chelsea, 5) Arsenal, 6) Tottenham, 7) Wolves, 8) Everton, 9) Leicester, 10) Southampton, 11) Newcastle, 12) Burnley, 13) Sheffield United, 14) Leeds, 15) Brighton, 16) West Ham, 17) Crystal Palace, 18) Aston Villa, 19) West Brom, 20) Fulham

I expect Liverpool to retain their Premier League crown, but don't anticipate the margin over City to be quite as emphatic. Also can't see United or Chelsea being toppled in the top four race, but I do expect the Blues' new signings to need time to gel.

Arsenal will be best of the rest, just, and the rest of the top ten should be made up of the usual suspects. At the bottom, Fulham and West Brom will need to work bloody hard to dodge another relegation bullet, while Villa, Palace, West Ham, Brighton and Leeds will be scrapping for their lives all season. For me, could be second time unlucky for Villa.

Krishan Davis: 1) Man City, 2) Liverpool, 3) Chelsea, 4) Man Utd, 5) Arsenal, 6) Wolves, 7) Tottenham, 8) Everton, 9) Leicester, 10) Leeds, 11) Sheffield United, 12) Southampton, 13) Newcastle, 14) Burnley, 15) West Ham, 16) Brighton, 17) Crystal Palace, 18) Aston Villa, 19) Fulham, 20) West Brom

While I am sure I will have mugged myself off come the end of the season, this is how I see it going. Man City will be back with a vengeance, while Liverpool's late season malaise will continue into early 2020/21. Chelsea's haul of new stars will take a while to gel but will surely be good enough for third, while Solskjaer will haul United over the line ahead of Arteta's Arsenal.

Expect Tottenham and Everton to flatter to deceive once again, but a good season for Leeds back in the big time. Don't see Villa surviving this time around, but Palace will have to improve drastically to stay clear of the drop.

Sean Walsh: 1) Liverpool, 2) Man City, 3) Man Utd, 4) Chelsea, 5) Tottenham, 6) Arsenal, 7) Southampton, 8) Wolves, 9) Everton, 10) Leicester, 11) Sheffield United, 12) Burnley, 13) Brighton, 14) Crystal Palace, 15) Newcastle, 16) Aston Villa, 17) West Ham, 18) Leeds, 19) Fulham, 20) West Brom

There’s no point doing vanilla predictions (besides the big six) anymore because they always turn out wrong, so I may as well just completely flip the scale and explain why I think some teams will bottom out and some will thrive.

- The transfer window remaining open means some of these predictions would change, but I think Liverpool getting Thiago would be bigger than Manchester City getting Kalidou Koulibaly.
- Tottenham will start slow but finish above Arsenal (who I think will become a pure cup team).
- I really like what Southampton and Ralph Hasenhuttl are doing.
- Everton won’t click straight away and James Rodriguez will probably be injured or unfit a lot.
- Aston Villa will sack Dean Smith if they start poorly and replace him with a competent manager to get the most out of Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins.
- West Ham will make changes just before it’s too late, but Leeds will stand by Marcelo Bielsa and go down - unless they make some serious purchases late In the window, I think they’re in trouble.

Kevin De Bruyne
The difference-maker? | Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images

Jamie Spencer: 1) Man City, 2) Liverpool, 3) Chelsea, 4) Man Utd, 5) Arsenal, 6) Wolves, 7) Tottenham, 8) Leicester, 9) Everton, 10) Newcastle, 11) Southampton, 12) Leeds, 13) Burnley, 14) Sheffield United, 15) Brighton, 16) Aston Villa, 17) West Ham, 18) Crystal Palace, 19) West Brom, 20) Fulham

It is difficult to envisage Liverpool having a third successive season with so few injuries, especially given the constricted fixture list. They don’t have the depth to match Manchester City and so will drop back below them. Chelsea and Manchester United are too far away for now.

Expect Arsenal and Wolves to improve on last season, although it could be Premier League curtains for a fairly stagnant Crystal Palace.

Ross Kennerley: 1) Liverpool, 2) Man City, 3) Man Utd, 4) Chelsea, 5) Arsenal, 6) Tottenham, 7) Wolves, 8) Leicester, 9) Southampton, 10) Sheffield United, 11) Everton, 12) Burnley, 13) Leeds, 14) Newcastle, 15) Brighton, 16) Crystal Palace, 17) West Ham, 18) Aston Villa, 19) West Brom, 20) Fulham

The 2020/21 Premier League. Proper Barclays. A table full of England's more eminent names, but with the caveat being that the disparity between top and bottom remains grossly untouched. Liverpool are still the best, and if Fulham finish anything other than rock bottom I'll eat my keyboard. All of this, of course, before each team goes to town on player investments and leaves me looking utterly foolish. Can't wait.

Jordan Henderson
It was a long wait last time, it might not be second time around | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Matt O'Connor Simpson: 1) Liverpool, 2) Man City, 3) Man Utd, 4) Chelsea, 5) Tottenham, 6) Arsenal, 7) Everton, 8) Wolves, 9) Leicester, 10) Southampton, 11) Sheffield United, 12) Burnley, 13) Leeds, 14) Newcastle, 15) Brighton, 16) Crystal Palace, 17) West Ham, 18) West Brom, 19) Fulham, 20) Aston Villa.

Liverpool’s will not win the Premier League by 18 points again, but they will still lift the trophy in May. Hopefully in front of fans and without Coldplay playing in the background this time. Manchester City should run them close, Chelsea and Manchester United probably won’t though. At the bottom, Eddie Howe will take Fulham down after replacing Scott Parker at the helm in November and Aston Villa will accrue about 20 points...unless they somehow keep hold of Jack Grealish. 

Robbie Copeland: 1) Liverpool, 2) Man City, 3) Man Utd, 4) Chelsea, 5) Tottenham, 6) Arsenal, 7) Wolves, 8) Leicester, 9) Southampton, 10) Everton, 11) Newcastle, 12) Leeds, 13) Brighton, 14) West Ham, 15) Crystal Palace, 16) Sheffield United, 17) Burnley, 18) Fulham, 19) Aston Villa, 20) West Brom

Tough one this year. I've been talking myself into betting against Liverpool for years now but I'm finally kicking that habit. Top eight, I think, write themselves, but beyond that it's a lottery. Think Sheffield United were being found out towards the tail end of last season but should have enough about them to avoid a complete disaster, though I'm not convinced by Fulham or West Brom.

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Talk about a title race. Eh? EH? | LAURENCE GRIFFITHS/Getty Images

Ali Rampling: 1) Man City, 2) Liverpool, 3) Chelsea, 4) Man Utd, 5) Arsenal, 6) Wolves, 7) Tottenham, 8) Everton, 9) Leeds, 10) Southampton, 11) Leicester, 12) Burnley, 13) Newcastle, 14) Sheffield United, 15) Brighton, 16) West Ham, 17) Aston Villa, 18) Crystal Palace, 19) Fulham, 20) West Brom

Liverpool’s title win last season was such an exhaustive, inhuman effort and they won’t be able to repeat it. City will come out on top (but will also suffer an outrageous Champions League exit). Missing out on Europe will be a blessing in disguise for Wolves, while Leicester will struggle to reproduce last season’s antics. Palace will pick up from where they left off post-lockdown and join Fulham and West Brom in the drop zone.

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