Premier League Title Favourites 2021/22
The Premier League returns next week after a two-month absence. All 20 teams will begin their respective campaigns hopeful of big wins, upsets, and possible silverware.
There are some familiar names among the early title favourites for the 2021/22 Premier League. Last year’s champions, Man City are currently the overwhelming favourites to lift their fourth Premier League title in five seasons. Pep Guardiola will be confident of bringing the title back to the Etihad once more due to the strength in depth at the club.
But he will face tough competitions from rejuvenated sides like Liverpool, Chelsea, and Man United. Liverpool endured a challenging 2020/21 with injuries and a fixture pile-up damaging their chances of a successful title challenge early on in the season. Chelsea will be in their first season under Thomas Tuchel and already showed last season that they will be a domestic force to be reckoned with. Man United have been one of the busiest title challengers in the transfer market, and Ole Gunnar Solskjær will be desperate to bring some silverware to Old Trafford after signing a new contract with the club.
All odds are from bet365 and subject to change.
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Manchester City – 4/6
Pep Guardiola is a proven title winner. Last season was proof that he and his side have the quality to challenge on all fronts. But they were particularly emphatic for most of the 2020/21 Premier League season.
City’s title win was epitomised by their 19-match unbeaten run between late November and early March. It was this spell that effectively won the title for City. They defeated potential challengers Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham and Arsenal during this run.
The Citizen’s Premier League campaign last season also showcased their strength in depth. Club legend Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia are the only first-team players to depart the club, and Guardiola will feel comfortable with his options across the pitch.
Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden, Ilkay Gündoğan, Riyad Mahrez, Kevin De Bruyne and Fernan Torres contributed to City’s success last season. The club also looks likely to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, which will add another string to Guardiola’s attacking bow for 2021/22.
The only concern that could knock City’s title defence is replacing Garcia in the heart of their defence. But Guardiola still has great depth here with John Stones, Nathan Ake, Aymeric Laporte and Ruben Dias all viable options.
Liverpool – 5/1
Liverpool couldn’t mount a successful title defence last season after lifting the Premier League title in 2019/20. Injuries to multiple key players (Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Diogo Jota, and Jordan Henderson) and poor form built up early in the season, and a run of three wins in 14 league matches between December and February eliminated the Reds from the title race.
A saving grace for Jurgen Klopp’s side to prevent a completely disastrous 2020/21 campaign was their positive finish to the season. Liverpool went unbeaten in their last 10 matches, and they made the Champions League places. The Reds also recorded big wins against Arsenal (3-0) and Man United (4-2) during this run to showcase their potential for the coming season.
Liverpool have been quiet in the transfer window so far with centre back Ibrahima Konaté the Reds’ only signing. However, with several first-team players returning, this could be Klopp’s only piece of business this summer. After Shipping 42 goals in the Premier League last season and relying on youth players throughout the campaign, bringing in Konaté for cover is good business.
Getting Liverpool’s top performers back to peak form will be a priority for Klopp. He has an advantage here as Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, and Trent Alexander Arnold weren’t involved in international duty over the summer. Jordan Henderson and Thiago Alcântara also featured little at the Euros, which could work in the Reds’ favour early in the season.
Chelsea – 5/1
Thomas Tuchel revolutionised Chelsea’s campaign last season. He turned the Blues from a team of underperforming stars to an efficient, counter-attacking machine.
In his 19 Premier League matches last season, Tuchel lost just three and guided Chelsea to a fourth-place finish. The German coach also showed a knack for producing in knockout football, winning the Champions League, and reaching the FA Cup final.
During his half-season in West London, Tuchel’s side also played Man City three times and defeated them three times. Wins in the FA Cup, Premier League, and in the Champions League final highlighted Tuchel’s tactical knowledge, which could play a significant role in building a title-challenging Chelsea this season.
Concern for Chelsea last season came from their lack of goalscorer. Midfielder Jorginho was the club’s top scorer with seven in all competitions. The Blues have set their sights on former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, with a bid rejected recently. The Belgian striker could be the missing piece of the puzzle in Tuchel’s Chelsea.
Manchester United 8/1
Man United put up the best attempt of a title challenge last season. Although, the Red Devils finished 12 points behind their Manchester rivals at the end of the season. Draws and dropped points across the campaign prevented United from ever getting close to City, but it was Solskjær’s best campaign in terms of position, leading to a new contract for the Norwegian.
The United hierarchy has backed Solskjær in the transfer market this summer, and they see him as the manager to lead them to success. Jadon Sancho arrived from Borussia Dortmund earlier in the window, and former Real Madrid defender Raphaël Varane is set to join the club.
Marquee signings like Sancho and Varane are likely to bolster Solskjær’s options. They are world-class players with proven talent and ability on the biggest European stages. In addition to the likes of Harry Maguire, Bruno Fernandes, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, and United’s raft of young talent, Sancho and Varane could prove to be United’s best squad for years.
The question will be whether Solskjær can get his best players consistently playing at their best level, an issue which led to dropped points and some cagey matches in the Premier League last season.
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