PST’s 2020-21 Premier League season preview roundtable

League Cup
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

You know you’ve got big questions ahead of the Premier League season and a PL season preview roundtable is just the scratch for that particular itch.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]  

Join our staff in digging into the season ahead of Saturday’s kickoff between Fulham and Arsenal (Watch live at 7:30am ET on NBCSN and online via

1. Why will Liverpool repeat, or why will they not win a second consecutive PL title?

Joe Prince-Wright: They will be close, but I don’t think so. Saw enough during project restart and over the summer to suggest a few cracks are starting to show.

Nicholas Mendola: No and it’s more about what Man City will do than what Liverpool cannot. I’m not taking anything away from the ruthless Reds and how they ran away with the league last season, but so many numbers say that the 18-point gap between Liverpool and Man City was a very bridgeable one. City scored 17 more goals than Liverpool and allowed just two more than the champs. Five times City dropped points but had an xG advantage of between 2-3.

Andy Edwards: Make no mistake, City will be improved from what they were last season, but 18 points looks a virtually impossible gap to bridge without Liverpool falling off in a big way.

Premier League roundtable
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

2. Will Man City be improved this year in performances, results, both, or neither?

JPW: I’d say both. Pep will want a response and as long as they improve at the back, the general play is usually superb.

NM: Results for sure. Performances probably, as their defending depth is much improved. Consider this: City scored 79 of its 102 goals from open play. Only one team (Liverpool) scored more than 79 goals period. They had the ball 3 percent more than any other team (Liverpool) and passed nearly 4 percent better than anyone (Chelsea). They put 7 shots on target per game (Liverpool 6.1). All of those numbers are within percentage points of their 100-point season.

AE: For a squad such as theirs, it’s almost impossible to imagine they won’t be better in all areas. There’s only so much they can do to improve themselves, so it’s still a combination of Liverpool massively regressing and City massively improving required for Pep and Co., to reclaim the title.

3. Can Chelsea’s team come together quick enough to stay in the title race before the festive season?

JPW: Hmm, no, I don’t think so. I still worry about them at the back. Going forward they are phenomenal and will be a lot of fun to watch. Not title ready, yet.

NM: There are reasons to believe the Blues could make it a three-horse race if Mateo Kovacic continues his great performances and the side gets off to a good start. Chelsea only faces two top six contenders (Liverpool at home on Sept. 20 and Manchester United away on Oct. 24) in its first nine outings.

AE: Unlikely. They’ll probably find themselves somewhere around 4th or 5th — maybe even 15 points back — when the holidays roll around, but look for them to finish the season stronger than anyone else. Always be skeptical of the “spent a ton of money, brought in half a new team” club.

4. Alright, it’s time for the annual Christian Pulisic stats prediction for league games, goals, assists.

JPW: 32 games. 12 goals. 7 assists. Another brilliant season.

NM: 30 games, 9 goals, 12 assists. He’s got better finishers to feast on his playmaking this year.

AE: 29 appearances (injuries seem to be an unavoidable constant for him, sadly), with 8 goals and 9 assists. He might score quite as many with arguably “bigger” names around him, but that should also allow — if not force — him to become an assist machine.

Premier League roundtable
(Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

5. Manchester United, top three or not and why/why not?

JPW: Yes. So many attacking weapons and I think they will continue to improve at the back. That could mean Henderson taking over from David de Gea, though.

NM: I hate the phrasing of this question because it’s like a SportsBet line: designed to challenge! United’s defense gives me a lot of pause, but I think they’ll score a lot of goals. Ultimately I’m most worried about how they fare head-to-head tactically. I’m still not sold on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as a match director. Ego-handler? For sure. So, no. Just.

AE: Top-four, because Chelsea should be miles better than they were last season and United still have some massive holes in their squad to address. Now, if Sancho arrives between now and Oct. 5…

6. Who finishes higher, Spurs or Arsenal?

JPW: Arsenal. It will be very close, though.

NM: I like Spurs for this because Hojbjerg gives them a steadier, steely midfield. Steven Bergwijn has PL experience under his belt, too. Defensive concerns are real but Jose Mourinho can be trusted to handle that part. Arsenal will be as entertaining as anyone and will be a real force once the defenders gel. I just can’t imagine that happens early given the relative young ages of William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Pablo Mari.

AE: Spurs. As much as some might dislike — or, you know, worse — Jose Mourinho, he gets the necessary results that only just get him over the finish line. Also, where are the handful of midfielders and defenders Arsenal so badly need to be signing this window? There might not be a more unbalanced squad in the entire league.

7. What’s stopping Everton from being a bonafide top six contender?

JPW: Defensive issues. Midfield will be more solid this season and James and Richardson will be superb. Michael Keane can’t do it all.

NM: The midfield upgrade is incredible but needs to come together quickly, which is not impossible but worth mentioning. I like Mason Holgate and Dominic Calvert-Lewin to keep improving, but I’m not sure the leaps needed from them — DCL more than Holgate — to join the top six discussion are reasonable. I don’t think goalkeeper is going to kill them, but I’m surprised to see no competition for Jordan Pickford.

AE: Please, don’t take this wrong way, okay, Everton fans? But the answer is: they’re Everton. And let’s just say, in some strange universe, they’re the surprise of the league and finish top-six — it’s only going to be for a season before falling back to mid-table. Ancelotti is the best manager they’ve had this millennium, and he’ll get the most out of the prime-age stars he now has at his disposal, but where’s the core of the future top-six side coming through? They’re spending a lot of money in all the wrong places, in my opinion.

8. Who will drop off further: Wolves, Sheffield United, or Leicester City? Who will stay a top six contender?

JPW: All three will have down years. I think Sheffield United will struggle. I like the way they play a lot but there’s no doubt they massively punched above their weight last season. With no European action this season, Wolves will remain a top six contender and Leicester just below them.

NM: The biggest fall will come from Blades, who will still be okay but fail to catch anyone off guard this go-round (though I love Sander Berge, the finishing and goalkeeping will be questions). Leicester City doesn’t look deep enough to contend with Europa League and will take a hit. Wolves will have the opposite luck and stay in the same basic table area as last season.

AE: Brendan Rodgers is the least inspiring of those three clubs’ respective managers, so I’ll go with Leicester with total and complete confidence. Wolves will again be the closest to top-six contention, without actually contending for it.

9. Who will win the Golden Boot?

JPW: Aubameyang.

NM: Aubameyang.

AE: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, because Arsenal have to score three in every game. He then leaves next summer after Arsenal fail to qualify for Champions League for the fifth straight season. Five years — that’s a half-decade!

Premier League roundtable
(Photo by Nick Potts/PA Images via Getty Images)

10. Who will be in the Team of the Year?

JPW: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Laporte, Chilwell; De Bruyne, Fernandes, Kante; Sterling, Kane, Werner

NM: Leno; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Laporte, Digne; Kovacic, De Bruyne, Fernandes; Sterling, Aubameyang, Werner

AE: Alisson; Cancelo, Van Dijk, Boly, Digne; Pogba, Bernardo Silva, Fernandes; Mane, Aubameyang, Sterling

11. Who will get relegated?

JPW: Fulham, West Brom, Crystal Palace.

NM: Fulham, Burnley, West Brom

AE: West Brom, Crystal Palace and Leeds United. Tough time to be a newly promoted side, given the financial ramifications of COVID-19.

12. Who is coming up from the Championship?

JPW: Bournemouth, Watford, and Brentford.

NM: Swansea City, Nottingham Forest, Watford

AE: Watford, Brentford, and Cardiff City

Reports: Tottenham Hotspur to hire Celtic’s Ange Postecoglou as next manager


Multiple reports say that Ange Postecoglou will be leaving Celtic to become the next manager of Tottenham Hotspur.

Celtic had reportedly granted permission for Spurs to speak with their trophy-collecting boss, and things apparently progressed quickly as the 57-year-old looks set to oversee the club’s big rebuild.

[ MORE: Recalling Zlatan’s “unicorn” career ]

Spurs suffered through an inconsistent 2022-23 season with Antonio Conte at the helm, followed by Cristian Stellini and Ryan Mason in interim stints.

Tottenham will not have European football this season and is at risk of losing legendary center forward Harry Kane. The club has eight players including Kane going into the final year of their contracts, including Ivan Perisic, Davinson Sanchez, Eric Dier, and Hugo Lloris.

Spurs finished eighth last season, 15 points off the top four despite spending much of the season inside of it. The club’s finished fourth just once in the past four seasons despite qualifying for the Champions League the previous four seasons.

Ironically, Celtic is being linked with pursuit of Brendan Rodgers and Jesse Marsch if Postecoglou departs this week.

Who is Ange Postecoglou?

Postecoglou, 57, was born in Greece and moved to Australia at a young age, starring for South Melbourne as a player and earning for caps for the Socceroos.

He is coming off a domestic treble with Celtic and won five of six trophies available to him in his two seasons with the Bhoys.

At Celtic, Postecoglou played with a 4-3-3 for much of the first half of his tenure but played a lot of this campaign in a 4-2-3-1.

Postecoglou won trophies as a manager with South Melbourne, Brisbane Roar, and Yokohama F. Marinos, claiming the Asian Cup during his stint as Australia national team coach.

He said he expects tricky early times wherever he goes.

“Wherever I’ve been, the initial part is always rocky, because my ideas are… well they’re not extreme to me but I can see how they can be seen as extreme from the outside. It takes a while. Usually it can take me six months, it can take me a year to really bed them in, depending on how many opportunities I have to change the playing squad and the staff and all those kinds of things.”

Five players to watch in the Premier League’s summer transfer window


There’s going to be turnover in the Premier League this offseason, and it seems likely the big boys will again be looking to the top young talents in other leagues to get in when the getting is good.

There will be big price tags attached to some players this summer, but in the case of the players below we may be talking about players just a window away from having unattainably high price tags for most clubs.

[ TRANSFER NEWS: Arsenal | Liverpool | Chelsea | Tottenham | Man City | Man United ] 

Most of these names have danced through ProSoccerTalk‘s transfer rumor mill at least once during the past season or two, and in one case have been on the radar for a half-decade or so.

Here’s a look at five players who may well find their way to the Premier League in the very near future, and could move somewhere this summer.

Xavi Simons, PSV Eindhoven

At times the teen hype around Xavi Simons coming out of Barcelona’s academy was akin to the recruitment of Martin Odegaard out of Norway so many years ago. But Simons couldn’t break through at Barca and his move to Paris Saint-Germain didn’t take off as expected. So Simons, who just turned 20 in April, landed at PSV Eindhoven. All he did was lead the Eredivisie in goals. PSG has a buyback clause but Simons would have to want to go there… and there are plenty of rumored suitors for the playmaker. Simons chipped in eight assists and was Fotmob’s highest-rated Eredivisie player.

Possible fits: Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool

Jurrien Timber, Ajax

Still 21 for a couple more weeks, Timber got Mancunian tongues wagging when he attended the FA Cup Final between Manchester United and Manchester City. The star center back played under United boss Erik ten Hag at Ajax and now has 15 caps for the Netherlands senior team. He has a ridiculous passing and ball progression profile for his position, and has showed enough attacking acumen to get any team excited about him.

Possible fits: Manchester United, Manchester City

Randal Kolo Muani, Eintracht Frankfurt

The 24-year-old has acknowledged dreams of playing in the Premier League following a blockbuster first season at Eintracht, where he scored 23 goals with 17 assists amongst all competitions. Moving to a new country did not slow him at all after his time at Nantes, and he was linked with a number of PL sides even before he admitted his interest in the league.

Possible fits: Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United

Sepe Elye Wahi, Montpellier

The 20-year-old nearly scored as many goals as his age in his third season with Montpellier’s first team, and has attracted interest from Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal, and Chelsea amongst others. Wahi is still very raw when it comes to passing the ball but part of his statistical deficiencies could have to do with his club’s relative struggles. A eager presser, his best traits are finishing and that’s the stat that drives the bus for him.

Possible fits: Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal

Gabriel Veiga, Celta Vigo

Here’s another playmaker linked with Arsenal, but you can see why he could fit in Mikel Arteta’s system. His 11 goals were 13th in La Liga this season and his four assists means he had a goal contribution on 15 of Celta’s 43 league goals. An eager dribbler, he delivered 80 shot creating actions this season and ranked in the 99th percentile for midfielders when it came to non-penalty goals.

Possible fits: Newcastle, Arsenal, Man CIty

How many times has a team won the treble? Man City goes for history


There’s been a lot of treble talk these days, talk that’s found a new level of buzz since Manchester City moved within one win of joining the club.

It’s an elite club, by the way, of teams that have won their domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Nine times in history has a team won the treble, and only once has it been done by a Premier League club.

[ MORE: Recalling Zlatan’s “unicorn” career ]

That’s why Man City’s defeat of Manchester United earlier this month in the FA Cup Final rings so true for the Citizens; The blue side of Manchester would join the red side as treble supporters, as United won the treble in 1998-99.

Man City goes for the third jewel of its treble crown on Saturday versus Inter Milan in Istanbul when it kicks off the UEFA Champions League Final.

For more treble trivia, head below the jump.

How many times has the treble been won?

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.


Manchester City vs Inter Milan: How to watch Champions League Final, odds, predictions


Manchester City is on the chase for a historic treble and standing in the way is Inter Milan, one of Europe’s precious few clubs to claim such an honor.

[ LIVE: Manchester City vs Inter Milan ]

The Premier League winners three times running have an FA Cup under their belt after beating Manchester United on June 3 and the final jewel in their treble crown awaits with a win in Istanbul on June 10.

[ MORE: How to watch Premier League in USA ]

Pep Guardiola could lead a second club to a treble after he did it with Barcelona in 2008-09, and they would give heated rivals United domestic company on the treble stage right down the road.

Guardiola says it’s now okay to talk about the treble. We agree, and we’ve laid out why the achievement is so special after the jump.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Manchester City vs Inter Milan.

How to watch Manchester City vs Inter Milan live, stream link and start time

Dates: 3pm ET June 10, 2023
Online: Live updates via
How to watch: TUDN, Paramount+

What Premier League clubs have won the treble?

Manchester United won the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League in 1998-99.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils are the lone Premier League club to win it.

That’s it. For now.

How many times has the treble been won?

Nine times in history has a team won its domestic league, top domestic cup, and the European Cup.

Bayern Munich and Barcelona have each done it twice, with Bayern doing it in 2012-13 and 2019-20 and Barca pulling it off in 2008-09 and 2014-15.

Celtic was the first to win a treble, doing it in 1966-67, while Ajax was the next in 1971-72.

PSV Eindhoven then won it in 1987-88 before Man United made it happen 11 years later. Inter Milan is the only Italian team to pull it off, winning in 2009-10.


Champions League Final odds (Betting odds provided by our partner, BetMGM )

BetMGM is our Official Sports Betting Partner and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on BetMGM for the first time after clicking our links. 

Man City (-250) vs Inter Milan (+625) | Draw over 120 mins (+380)

Over 2.5 goals (-160). Under 2.5 goals (+110)

Champions League Final predictions

Joe Prince-Wright: Man City 2-1 Inter Milan
Andy Edwards: Man City 3-1 Inter Milan
Nick Mendola: Man City 2-0 Inter Milan

Manchester City team news, injuries, lineup options


Inter Milan team news, injuries, lineup options

QUESTIONABLE: Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Joaquin Correa. OUT: Dalbert.