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Are Liverpool nonetheless favourites? Is this Mourinho’s 12 months?

After one of many craziest weekends within the historical past of the Premier League, this could be a season that defies prediction. Anyone who wagered that Manchester United would lose 6-1 at residence to Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool fall 7-2 at Aston Villa just a few hours later could be as wealthy as Lionel Messi.

So, sifting by way of some conflicting proof, listed here are my club-by-club first impressions by way of the opening weeks of the 2020-21 season.

Arsenal: Mikel Arteta has modified the temper music, already delivered two items of silverware and persuaded Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to remain. The Gunners proceed to point out extra metal and grit. The prime 4 will not be out of the query, particularly now that the skilled Thomas Partey has arrived for £45 million from Atletico Madrid to bolster the midfield.

Aston Villa: The sensational 7-2 win over the champions final weekend confirmed a newfound confidence and perception. The defence has improved significantly and the additions of Ollie Watkins and Ross Barkley take the inventive strain off Jack Grealish. There’s a top-half end of their sights.

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Brighton & Hove Albion: They have performed higher than a return of solely three factors would possibly counsel, and their fixtures have been robust. The dedication to play engaging, passing soccer typically results in them overplaying, and supervisor Graham Potter will fear about how they’re conceding extra simply nowadays.

Burnley: Beset by accidents and with out a level thus far, supervisor Sean Dyche has made it clear he isn’t precisely seeing eye to eye with the board. As lengthy as he is in cost, my hunch is they’ll avoid relegation as soon as key males return.

Chelsea: They’re a piece In progress as they mattress in £250m price of recent expertise. They will destroy just a few groups, however that 3-Three draw at West Bromwich Albion confirmed they’re nonetheless fragile on the again. The sky is the restrict if Thiago Silva can type out that downside.

Crystal Palace: Two wins adopted by two defeats, Palace are a handful on their day — as Manchester United found — and so they have sufficient high quality to maintain their heads nicely above water.

Everton: Their finest begin to a league season since 1969-70, after they received the title. James Rodriguez has sprinkled some stardust on Goodison Park and Dominic Calvert-Lewin has 9 objectives in six video games throughout all competitions. Carlo Ancelotti can lead this staff again into Europe, and so they could even problem for the highest 4.

Fulham: Simply don’t look ok, leaking objectives at each flip. Scott Parker can have carried out wonders if he retains them up.

Leeds United: It is nice to have this huge membership again within the prime flight. Marcelo Bielsa’s turbo-charged staff have ruffled the feathers of Liverpool and Manchester City already and supplied actual leisure in doing so. Easily ok to remain up, the one query is whether or not they run out of gasoline somewhat.

Leicester City: That 3-Zero residence defeat to West Ham United was a actuality examine after the 5-2 thumping of Manchester City. Often straightforward on the attention however susceptible to flat patches, the Foxes are top-six contenders once more.

Liverpool: Nobody noticed that seven-goal mauling at Villa coming, least of all Jurgen Klopp, a show that raises suspicions that the defence has change into shaky. They nonetheless look favourites to retain their crown, however now there’s much less certainty.

Manchester City: With the acquisition of Ruben Dias, they’ve now purchased 9 of the 20 costliest defenders in historical past, however Leicester put 5 previous them and Leeds created loads of possibilities. For all their brilliance in different areas, it’s arduous to see them reclaiming the title except they tighten up on the again.

Manchester United: A shambolic begin on and off the pitch. The defence is a large number, and it’s essential to marvel if Harry Maguire‘s court docket case in Greece is affecting his kind. The membership ought to have been pursuing a prime defender fairly than Jadon Sancho and Edinson Cavani. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants outcomes quick.

Newcastle United: Apart from a few poor shows towards Brighton and Spurs, Steve Bruce’s staff look energetic and Callum Wilson has clearly rediscovered the zest that received him England recognition. Top-half prospects beckon.

Southampton: Looked undercooked firstly of the season, however Saints are beginning to fireplace now. Danny Ings has to remain match for them to flourish. That high-line defence is open to exploitation if groups can beat their excessive press, as Spurs demonstrated.

Sheffield United: Are they affected by second-season syndrome? Manager Chris Wilder says no. They should hope the signing of younger striker Rhian Brewster from Liverpool improves their aim return. Looks like a tough 12 months forward, although there could also be three worse groups.

Tottenham Hotspur: Started with a stunning show towards Everton, however Spurs have been in great kind since, regardless of the crowded schedule. Gareth Bale would possibly give them much more. Is this the massive comeback 12 months for Jose Mourinho?

West Bromwich Albion: Despite a daring exhibiting in that 3-Three draw with Chelsea, they don’t look to have sufficient high quality to remain up. Certainly want to provide greater than they did at Southampton on Sunday.

West Ham United: The groans of the followers have been silenced by two terrific wins over Wolves and Leicester, all directed by David Moyes whereas self isolating at residence. Michail Antonio is just too sizzling to deal with for a lot of defenders proper now. They may very well be a shock bundle this season.

Wolverhampton Wanderers: Put in a worrying show within the 4-Zero reverse at West Ham lately, wanting somewhat flat and jaded after two wonderful years. More drive is required from central midfield.

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