Premier League 2020-21 season previews

Burning questions for all 20 Premier League clubs

Premier League season preview
Photo by Visionhaus

Oh, the Premier League back. It is most definitely back, and we’re ready with a Premier League season preview for all 20 teams.

But that’s not all.

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ] 

We’re also asking one burning question that may determine each team’s chances of reaching or surpassing their season goals.

Click on the link next to your favorite club to see how we think the club will fare in the 2020-21 Premier League season.

1. Arsenal — Season preview 

We’ve seen that Mikel Arteta can improve a defense, so we’ll skip the part about Gabriel Magalhaes, William Saliba, and Co. adapting and ask how the coach can possibly keep so many attacking pieces happy?

2. Aston Villa — Season preview 

Is Ollie Watkins the answer at striker or worth $36 million is a single-entity two-part question, but here’s a bigger think piece: How much more can Jack Grealish give after his team-saving 8-goal, 6-assist PL season last year? How much higher is the ceiling for the new English international?

3. Brighton and Hove Albion — Season preview 

One of the unluckiest teams last season was one of the most fun to watch. Upgraded for a second full season with Graham Potter, can Adam Lallana be the missing piece of the midfield and help produce a top-half season?

4. Burnley — Season preview 

Sean Dyche is a marvel and stuck around after the club made a mess of contract expirations regarding the coronavirus pause. The team again looks like bottom-half fodder but has twice finished in the top ten with similar squads, and has never finished with a positive goal differential in the PL even when it finishes seventh (-16, -3, -23, -7 in four seasons). The question is this: Is Dyche’s system that much of an anomaly that it can again pass muster?

Premier League season preview
BURNLEY, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 22: Matej Vydra celebrates with teammates Jay Rodriguez and Ashley Westwood (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

5. Chelsea — Season preview 

Will Frank Lampard be able to find the right mix and stick with it if it means leaving out some of his favorites?

6. Crystal Palace — Season preview 

For better or worse, this is the same team that over-performed under Roy Hodgson last season and got career seasons out of veterans. Asking if they can keep it up is one thing, but how about this question: Can Palace possibly hope to meet its goals if Wilfried Zaha is a wet sock again? And can Michy Batshuayi be the player he’s been in terrific half-season loans to Palace and Borussia Dortmund?

7. Everton — Season preview 

The midfield is sorted in a big way and there’s an electric attacker in Richarlison. The center backs are set and the goalkeeper is who he is. So after doubling his career-high in goals last season with 13, is Dominic Calvert-Lewin able to tempt 20 with James Rodriguez and Richarlison forcing defenses into massive concern?

8. Fulham — Season preview 

Is continuity a bigger boon than big buys? Manager Scott Parker will hope a system-approach bodes better than the huge summer purchases of two seasons ago that saw the club sent down to the Championship.

9. Leeds United — Season preview 

Lots of talent and a top manager, but almost every player on the side is unproven at a level this high (shy of new capture Rodrigo and goalkeeper Kiko Casilla). So… is Marcelo Bielsa that good?

10. Leicester City — Season preview 

Will managing Europa League schedule congestion prove too much for another top-six push? Right now, the depth looks a bit thin for it.

Premier League season preview
LEICESTER, ENGLAND – MARCH 09: Jamie Vardy of Leicester City (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

11. Liverpool — Season preview 

Is enough left in the tank for the Mentality Monsters created by Jurgen Klopp to defend a title from at least two legit contenders (talent-wise)?

12. Manchester City — Season preview 

We know they’ll manufacture more chances than anyone else. We know they are fueled by both confidence in the system and a hearty anger that fellow clubs wanted them banned from European action. So… are they going to finish enough to win the PL, and how many trophies are in the offing for Pep Guardiola in Year No. 4 at the Etihad Stadium?

13. Manchester United — Season preview 

Is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer really good at this whole managerial thing? Mistakes happen but the pieces are there now and nothing short of a big injury stew should keep United out of the top four. Nothing except the fact that its boss may be ranked sixth of those managing a top-six club. Huge year for the Norwegian.

14. Sheffield United — Season preview 

Last season was a perfect storm and the club took the next step by signing Sander Berge at midseason. But the Blades were also buoyed by a strong season from goalkeeper Dean Henderson. Is Aaron Ramsdale, who was up-and-down with Bournemouth, capable of doing enough to keep top ten an option?

15. Newcastle United — Season preview 

Taking key pieces off relegated sides has been the prescription to success for several teams, and players like Idrissa Gueye and Andy Robertson have taken good teams to better levels. Can Callum Wilson, Ryan Fraser, and Jamal Lewis take Newcastle from meh to mid-table?

16. Southampton — Season preview 

The only question is consistency. Saints have the talent to contend for cups and tease the spaces above 10th, but they have to deliver more often.

Premier League season preview
(Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)

17. Tottenham Hotspur — Season preview 

Will Mauricio Pochettino Jose Mourinho bring a trophy to North London? Don’t know why this question looks so family?

18. West Bromwich Albion — Season preview 

Can Matheus Pereira and Grady Diangana adapt quickly and drive the offense for Slaven Bilic?

19. West Ham United — Season preview 

The talent is there to beat a lot of teams but David Moyes hasn’t finished in the top ten with any team (Real Sociedad, Sunderland, West Ham) in five seasons since doing it eight-straight times between Everton and Manchester United. Does he have it?

20. Wolves — Season preview 

How high can Wolves climb without the Europa League to demand so much of their talents? Bonus question: Matt Doherty was an animal and popped up in so many key spots the past two seasons. How much will he be missed?

Season preview: Wolverhampton Wanderers

Leeds - Wolves
Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Wolverhampton Wanderers news, season preview: The 2020-21 Premier League season is almost here and our season previews will give you all of the information you need to know about each of the 20 PL clubs.

Let’s go!

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

This is our Wolverhampton Wanderers season preview, as you can click on the link above to find out exactly how you can watch every single Wolverhampton Wanderers game live in the USA across our platforms at NBC Sports.

[ PHOTOS: Ranking new kits for 2020-21 PL season ]

Okay, time to focus on Wolves…

Wolverhampton Wanderers

2019-20 finish: 7th (15W-14D-9L, 59 points)
Head coach: Nuno Espirito Santo
2019-20 PL top scorer: Raul Jimenez (17 PL goals)
Location: Wolverhampton, West Midlands

ProSoccerTalk’s key topic on Wolves: Welcome to the “So, What Now?” Zone

Wolves have been in the Premier League for only two seasons — you’d be forgiven for forgetting that fact due to the success they’ve had in such a short period of time — finishing seventh on both occasions. That’s beyond brilliant for any side just comping up from the EFL Championship, but it presents a tricky unknown looking forward: where do they go from here? Wolves amassed 57 points in season no. 1, followed by a small improvement to 59 points — while navigating the Europa League, no less — last time out. You might be tempted to look at last season’s final table and say, “They’re only seven points off the Champions League places, that’s not too far,” but consider this: last season was an anomaly for the top-four, a season in which a clearly defined top-four — let alone a top-five or -six — didn’t exactly come to fruition. Chelsea came fourth with just 66 points, but over the last four seasons — since Liverpool’s rebirth as one of the “big-six” sides — the average point total for the fourth-place side is 72. The difference between making up seven points and 13 points, going from the 50s and into the 70s, will be a massive undertaking. 59 to 72 is not the same as 39 to 52.

Wolverhampton Wanderers news
(Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

All of that is to ask, “Have Wolves hit their ceiling already?” Perhaps the best comparison to what Wolves have done thus far is Southampton following their promotion in 2012. After finishing 14th in season no. 1, Saints finished 8th, 7th, 6th and 8th the four ensuing seasons. Since then? A tumble to 17th and 16th — close run-ins with relegation — before stabilizing in 11th last season. Simply reaching the top-half does not guarantee a life-time stay in the top-half, nor does it mean you’re next in line to break into the top-six. Until proven otherwise, clubs like Wolves mostly just… exist.

Wolverhampton Wanderers news: The current situation

Nuno’s squad is quite small, Wolves’ 2020-21 campaign spanned 383 days and 59 games, and it ended less than a month ago. Recovery and rest could be an issue, whether at the start of the season or throughout the duration. Nuno’s thoughts on the matter: “It’s a small squad and we must be really proud, but now we need to make good decisions so we do not make mistakes like we did before. We need more players that can help us. It’s a short break, you cannot stop and start again. We now have to prepare well for this period, we have to rest.”

Key Wolverhampton Wanderers news, season objectives

  • Raul Jimenez remains at the club, for now. Though numerous reports linked the Mexican international with a move away from Molineux Stadium this summer, Jimenez (and his 30 PL goals in two seasons) remains.
  • Why not win a Cup? Given the challenges which stand between Wolves and Champions League qualification, perhaps the FA Cup or the League Cup will be given higher priority this season as Wolves chase something tangible to legitimize their success.

Transfers in

  • Fabio Silva: Signed from Porto for $47 million, Wolves have made their post-Jimenez investment in the form of one of Europe’s highest-rated teenagers. At only 18 years old, Silva is thus far untested at the top level, but he has some time (and the perfect role model) from which to learn.
  • Marcal: Signed from Lyon for a small, undisclosed fee, the 31-year-old Brazilian left back has a fair amount of experience in Portugal and France.

ProSoccerTalk’s prediction for Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2020-21

No top-four chase, but no relegation worries either. Such is life for a squad as talented as Wolves, but lacking a handful of global superstar talents to take the next step.

Wolverhampton Wanderers news
(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The real question is: who, if anyone, will make the leap from mid-table and reach the “Wolves tier,” thus pushing these darlings for their title as “best of the rest?”

Season preview: West Ham

West Ham news
Getty Images

West Ham news, season preview: The 2020-21 Premier League season is almost here and our season previews will give you all of the information you need to know about each of the 20 PL clubs.

Let’s go!

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

This is our West Ham season preview, as you can click on the link above to find out exactly how you can watch every single West Ham game live in the USA across our platforms at NBC Sports.

[ PHOTOS: Ranking new kits for 2020-21 PL season ]

Okay, time to focus on the Hammers…

West Ham United

2019-20 finish: 16th (10W-9D-19L, 39 points)
Head coach: David Moyes
2019-20 PL top scorer: Michail Antonio (10 PL goals)
Location: East London

ProSoccerTalk’s key topic on West Ham: Keeping a fan revolt at bay

Things are already starting to get ugly at West Ham and the season hasn’t even started. After selling young winger Grady Diangana to West Brom, fans were not happy and club captain and lifelong Hammer Mark Noble shared his displeasure with the decision too. West Ham’s owners have not been popular for a long time and we all saw that during a fan revolt during the season they moved from Upton Park to the London Stadium. The owners have said they did not want to sell Diangana but had to in order to provide transfer funds for Moyes. That shows the financial situation West Ham are in after plenty of heavy spending on poor signings in recent years is catching up with them. If West Ham do not start the season well, expect the fans to pile pressure on the owners and the team as another relegation battle seems likely. West Ham’s only hope is that Declan Rice can hold things together defensively alongside Tomas Soucek and Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen can score enough goals up top.

West Ham news: The current situation

West Ham are coming off a highly disappointing campaign, in which they finished just five points above the bottom three. With his contract set to expire next summer, is David Moyes really the right man for the east Londoners going forward? After replacing Manuel Pellegrini, Moyes once again steadied the ship in his second spell in charge of the Hammers in recent years. He kept them up, again, as they finished 16th but were in relegation trouble for much of the campaign. They spent close to $140 million on transfers last season (summer 2019 and January 2020 windows), but many of their new additions haven’t worked out as Sebastian Haller and Pablo Fornals struggled and the previous incomings under Manuel Pellegrini have hardly set the world alight. West Ham are looking at a midtable finish, at best, and Moyes will aim to do that with defensive play and hoping Antonio can hit teams on the counter. Hardly inspiring stuff.  

Key West Ham news, season objectives

  • Keep Declan Rice: Chelsea continue to chase their former academy star but West Ham want over $110 million for the England international who is one of the best holding midfielders in the PL. If West Ham sold Rice then the fans would go bonkers. They have to build their team around him, and Moyes will. Rice will hold everything together for the Hammers.
  • Haller, Felipe Anderson, Pablo Fornals all need to deliver: They all came in for big money and all three just haven’t delivered consistency. There has been flashes of brilliance but just no consistency whatsoever. Moyes will give them a few more chances because he doesn’t have that many options, but he’s more likely to trust experienced heads like Robert Snodgrass and Yarmolenko.
  • Is Moyes the right man, long-term, for the Hammers? This is the $200 million (price of staying in the PL) question. Moyes will turn West Ham into a tough team to beat but it won’t be great to watch. The Hammers won’t be the ‘sexy team’ they wanted to become but they will probably sit just above the relegation zone. Moyes is only in charge until the end of the 2020-21 season but giving him a long-term contract is probably the smart, if slightly boring, decision.

Transfers in

  • Tomas Soucek from Slavia Prague for $19.5 million

ProSoccerTalk’s prediction for West Ham in 2020-21

This season has already started off on the wrong foot and it seems like being a season of struggle for West Ham. Look, David Moyes seems like a nice bloke and he’s done well on two occasions now to keep West Ham up when taking over in a dire situation. The Hammers won’t win any awards for style points but they should just be clear of a prolonged relegation battle. That said, a poor start and we know this underachieving team packed with talented individual has a tendency to nosedive. Fast. 

Season preview: West Bromwich Albion

West Brom news
Photo by Adam Fradgley - AMA/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images

West Bromwich Albion news, season preview: The 2020-21 Premier League season is almost here and our season previews will give you all of the information you need to know about each of the 20 PL clubs.

Let’s go!

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

This is our West Bromwich Albion season preview, and you can click on the link above to find out exactly how you can watch every single Baggies game live in the USA across our platforms at NBC Sports.

[ PHOTOS: Ranking new kits for 2020-21 PL season ]

Okay, time to focus on West Bromwich Albion’s renewal of acquaintances with the top flight.

West Bromwich Albion

2019-20 finish: 2nd in Championship (22W-17D-7L, 83 points) – promoted to Premier League
Head coach: Slaven Bilic
2019-20 top scorer: Charlie Austin (11 goals)
Location: West Bromwich, West Midlands

ProSoccerTalk’s key topic on West Bromwich Albion: Matheus Pereira

Look up and down West Brom’s roster and you see a tough group of scrappers. There’s guile. There’s experience. There’s youth and hope.

Then there’s Matheus Pereira.

The Brazilian was dynamite last season as the Baggies earned promotion to the PL thanks in large part to his 8-goal, 16-assist production.

The former Sporting Lisbon man has produced offense on non-powers in both Portugal and the German Bundesliga but the Baggies will need him to be a star this season.

He’s capable but how long will it take him to find his footing in the top flight of top flights? We’ll find out in a hurry, as West Brom opens with Leicester City, Everton, and Chelsea.

West Bromwich Albion news: The current situation

According to most oddsmakers, only Fulham has a higher expectation to be relegated than the Baggies.

That said, the club has a hard-nosed manager in Bilic and some savvy veterans in Matty Phillips and Jake Livermore. The PL won’t be new to several in the bunch, and that’s good.

West Brom is going to have to feast on the teams around it on the table. That means collecting at least four of six points from the Fulhams, Newcastles, and Crystal Palaces of the world.

It’s not more complicated than that.

Key West Bromwich Albion news, season objectives

  • Johnstone-wall: Two years removed from his status as a serial Manchester United loanee, Sam Johnstone is coming off a strong season playing all 46 Championship matches at the back for Bilic after playing every match for the Baggies in his first year at the Hawthorns.
  • Loanees become key pieces: Pereira, Grady Diangana, Filip Krovinovic, and Callum Robinson all played significant roles in the promotion season and Pereira and Diangana are the only ones back as of press time.
  • Stay up: By any means necessary.

Transfers in

  • Matheus Pereira (Sporting Lisbon)
  • Cedric Kipre (Wigan)
  • Grady Diangana (West Ham)
  • David Button (Brighton)

ProSoccerTalk’s prediction for West Bromwich Albion in 2020-21

The Baggies’ tough schedule start means it seems likely they’ll be in the bottom half of the table for much of the season. Staying up would be a significant victory but not stunning: Bilic is an experienced hand and there’s enough young promise and veteran savvy to pull off a run to safety. Still, we’re ticketing West Brom for a space just below 17th.

Season preview: Tottenham Hotspur


Tottenham Hotspur news, season preview: The 2020-21 Premier League season is almost here and our season previews will give you all of the information you need to know about each of the 20 PL clubs.

Let’s go!

[ MORE: How to watch PL in the USA ]

This is our Tottenham Hotspur season preview, and you can click on the link above to find out exactly how you can watch every single Spurs game live in the USA across our platforms at NBC Sports.

[ PHOTOS: Ranking new kits for 2020-21 PL season ]

Okay, time to focus on Tottenham Hotspur’s hopeful resurgence.

Tottenham Hotspur

2019-20 finish: 6th in Premier League (16W-11D-11L, 59 points) – qualified for Europa League
Head coach: Jose Mourinho
2019-20 top scorer: Harry Kane (18 goals)
Location: North London

ProSoccerTalk’s key topic on Tottenham Hotspur: Mou are you?

Jose Mourinho is one of the great minds in the game but is he capable of harnessing Spurs’ talent and returning them to the top four.

The manager has a wealth of attacking options and got through his first season at Spurs by finding a new role for Eric Dier and making the best of Serge Aurier. What he’s done with Tanguy Ndombele is an ongoing joke, but Mourinho also introduced the world to Japhet Tanganga in a classic Mou move that recalls introducing Scott McTominay into the Manchester United first team.

But as he adds two underappreciated Premier League talents in Wolves’ Matt Doherty and Saints’ Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, there can be no excuses if he doesn’t turn on better offensive performances from the cast of Harry Kane, Heung-min Son, Steven Bergwijn, and his pal Dele Alli.

It simply has to be better. A healthy Kane is the biggest part and losing both the center forward, Son, and Bergwijn before the pandemic break was a big part of what pegged Spurs back outside the top four.

Tottenham Hotspur news: The current situation

Would you bet against Mourinho putting a better product on the field in his first full season at Spurs, having added Doherty and Hojbjerg and surely more in the offing?

No, you wouldn’t. Or perhaps you shouldn’t.

Kane is a beast and Son his right-hand man. Bergwijn may be the piece that makes the three-headed attack too much for most Premier League defenses. You know Mourinho will have the defense organized and it would be surprising if he didn’t find a use for Ndombele more in-line with the expectations of last summer’s big signing.

Key Tottenham Hotspur news, season objectives

  • Healthy Harry: Not news to Spurs fans and it’s hard to promise the health of anyone, but when Kane’s ankle is okay Spurs are very much the real deal. Is the team much more than one player? Of course. Is there any player more valuable to the side than Kane? Let’s say it this way: Kane has missed eight-or-more PL matches in three of the last four seasons. Tottenham is 4W-4D-7L in its last 15 league matches without him and 13-8-8 when he hits the pitch.
  • Find an alternative at center forward: Everyone outside of Spurs’ top four rivals is hoping for a 38-game feature run from Kane, but who is going to back up the big man when the minutes get heavy? Troy Parrott is on loan to Millwall, so this objective needs to be settled by the end of the transfer window.
  • Europa and the cups: Spurs need a trophy. Mourinho wins trophies. Whether the UEL, FA Cup, or League Cup, one has to come through the door.

Transfers in

  • Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Southampton)
  • Joe Hart (Burnley) Free
  • Matt Doherty (Wolves)

ProSoccerTalk’s prediction for Tottenham Hotspur in 2020-21

More than last season’s 16 wins seems a given unless another bizarre run of injuries hits North London. The top three seems well-established in Man City, Liverpool, and Chelsea. Perhaps the Blues are in that “second group” with Manchester United, Arsenal, and Spurs, but a return to the top four and some silverware seem the better aims for Mourinho. We bet Tottenham is in the discussion for fourth down to the wire. Whether they get there is another story but Mourinho has more guile and experience than all of the managers outside of the top two. Spurs fourth? We’ll only say it with the inclusion of that particular punctuation mark (They did, after all, burn me on a second-place prediction last season –NM).