EPL Schedule 2019-20: Predicting Every Club's Record

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2019

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Vincent Kompany of Manchester City with the premier league trophy during the celebrations of becoming 2019 Champions after the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester City at American Express Community Stadium on May 12, 2019 in Brighton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

In the Premier League era, only Manchester United have won the title in three consecutive seasons. 

Under Sir Alex Ferguson, the Red Devils did it twice: between 1999 and 2001 and from 2007 to 2009.

In 2019-20, Manchester City could match their local rivals.

Liverpool will likely be their main challengers again, but Pep Guardiola's Sky Blues look deserved favourites to win the Premier League for a third season running.

Here's a predicted table for the upcoming Premier League season, following the release of the fixtures on Thursday.

                  

Predicted Premier League Table (Points)

1. Manchester City (92)

2. Liverpool (86)

3. Tottenham Hotspur (75)

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4. Arsenal (70)

5. Chelsea (68)

6. Manchester United (62)

7. Everton (60)

8. Leicester City (59)

9. Wolverhampton Wanderers (54)

10. Southampton (50)

11. Burnley (48)

12. Watford (48)

13. Bournemouth (46) 

14. West Ham United (43) 

15. Norwich City  (39)

16. Aston Villa (38)

17. Newcastle United (38)

18. Brighton & Hove Albion (36)

19. Crystal Palace (34)

20. Sheffield United (22)

                

City and Liverpool on Their Own Again

In the wake of the 2017-18 season, when City's record-breaking side won the title by 19 points, it looked as though things would be much the same in 2018-19.

As it was, Liverpool pushed them every step of the way, falling short by a single point as they looked to win their first title since 1990:

Given they had finished the previous season 25 points behind City, it was quite the improvement from Jurgen Klopp's side.

Klopp has slowly been building a team capable of challenging for the title, and he crucially added the final pieces of the puzzle in 2018 with the signings of centre-back Virgil van Dijk and goalkeeper Alisson.

The Reds will likely run City close again in 2019-20, but they still do not look to have quite the strength in depth to knock the Sky Blues off their perch.

Perhaps more importantly, though, none of the Premier League's other top six clubs look ready to join in on the challenge.

While the sides that finished in the top six in the English top flight in 2018-19 were regularly lumped together, there were two distinct groups.

City and Liverpool were on their own at the summit, while Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal and United were fighting for UEFA Champions League spots, not titles. And that does not look like changing.

The Red Devils finished as close to the relegation zone in 2018-19 as they did to the top of the table, and the best they can hope for next term is a return to the top four.

Even if manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer flourishes and makes some good additions to the squad, United are several transfer windows away from again having a side capable of winning the Premier League:

Arsenal made improvements in Unai Emery's debut campaign in charge at the club, as they finished with seven more points last term than they did under Arsene Wenger in 2017-18.

The Gunners are on an upward trajectory, and with some astute purchases, they could add another seven points next term.

But that will still leave them a long way off the top, and their away struggles—the Gunners won three of their last 13 games on the road in the league in 2018-19—need to be resolved before they can even consider another title.

Chelsea, meanwhile, enjoyed quite a good season as they returned to the top four after a year out of the Champions League.

Manager Maurizio Sarri is not popular with the club's fans, and his future is far from clear. While their transfer ban may force Chelsea to finally start using their talented youngsters, it will likely restrict their chances of improving much in 2018-19.

Then there's Tottenham. Mauricio Pochettino's side were still outsiders for the title in late February, but they then won just three of their final 12 league games and only avoided slipping out the top four because of Arsenal and United's poor end-of-season form:

Recruitment is the key for Spurs. They have the raw materials to become title challengers, and they have the manager. However, they lack the financial clout.

Liverpool were, remarkably, treated like underdogs for much of 2018-19 because they do not have the spending power of City.

They were, though, able to spend £67 million on Alisson, £75 million on Van Dijk, £53 million on Naby Keita and £39 million on Fabinho.

Spurs do not have that spending power, so they cannot build the kind of squad necessary to compete with City and Liverpool over a 38-game season.