It's back. Did it ever go away? Who knows anymore. But the Premier League returns tomorrow without the comfort and familiarity of packed stadiums and the mid-August sun which usually accompanies it. One thing we can take comfort in is that Liverpool are champions, and we get to go on another adventure with Jürgen Klopp and his team. And here at we've given 15 predictions, some serious and some not so, on how we believe the Reds campaign might pan out:


Title winners

Ollie Connolly : Liverpool. It’s going to be a really, really tight race. Given the truncated schedule, I think points will be repressed at the top of the table. 90-points should be the target, a total that should be just about enough to sneak over the line.

Dan Morgan : Liverpool, and like Joel I think 90 points will do it. Top four to top two will be a lot closer I think in terms of totals, but I still back the Reds to have the hunger to go back-to-back.

Joel Rabinowitz : Liverpool, just about. It’ll be a lot tighter than last season and, I suspect, somewhere around 90 points will do the job. If the squad can stay clear of major injuries to key players, I think Liverpool are still in the strongest position despite others’ transfer business.

Kristian Walsh : Manchester City. Sorry, I know it isn’t what you want to read on, but I just think the 18-point gap (which in truth was more like 25, given that was the mark Liverpool hovered over when actually being confirmed champions) isn’t quite reflective of reality. Is it possible Liverpool are 10 points worse than last season? Absolutely. Is it inconceivable Manchester City are 10 points better than their 82-point haul in the previous campaign? Not at all. If both happen,, City win it.


OC : Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Manchester United

DM : Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Arsenal,

JR : Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea, Manchester United

KW : Manchester City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United. Shout out to Wolves, who probably push closer than they did last season.

Surprise Package team

OC : Southampton. What a turn around Ralph Hasenhüttl engineered last season. I love it all: the quirky pressing system, the free-roaming, 4-2-2-2 possession stylings, Hasenhüttl’s Hasenhüttll-ness. A full run under the Austrian with a couple of quality additions should see them push closer to the top-seven.

DM : Arsenal. I like Mikel Arteta, I think he’s the closest I’ve seen to generating an attitude and mentality around a team anywhere near what Klopp has done here. They need a lot of work, but I also think they’ve bought well defensively. I think they’ll finish top four.

JR : This could quite possibly come back to make me look completely stupid, but I have an inkling West Ham might actually be quite decent this season. Or, at least, better than most would expect.

KW : Brighton. It would have been Southampton, but I can’t be copying Ollie. I really like Neal Maupay -- expect a breakout season from him -- and Graham Potter knows what he’s doing. We’re all rooting for Adam Lallana too, aren’t we?

Best new arrival player

OC : It has to be Kai Havertz. Inside three years, I expect him to be firmly planted as one of the three best players on Earth. There could be some real Ronaldo-to-United type vibes here: An all-around, freakishly good attacking force who can drag the side up a couple of levels through sheer force of will and skill.

Havertz or Werner will grace the Premier League this season.

DM : I’m really intrigued by Ferran Torres. I have no idea where he fits into that City side or if he even does. City’s forwards play a lot more than people think. They never really have a 15-20 game a season striker.I thought they’d play Sterling a lot more through the middle, but Torres could well go on to shock a few people this term.

JR : As much as it pains me to say it, because I do still think he’d have been absolutely perfect for Liverpool, I fully expect Timo Werner to be a real hit for Chelsea. Quite how Frank Lampard fits him, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Mason Mount etc. into a cohesive system I’m not entirely sure, but they’ll be fun to watch for sure. I don’t see Werner as one who’ll need much time to settle in, really, and I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if he’s right up there in the running for the Golden Boot come the end of the season.

KW : Mohammed Salisu. So good, Liverpool will be getting linked by next summer.

First manager sacked

OC : Slavan Bilic, West Brom. I mean, come on? Not even Thanos is as inevitable as Bilic being on the job market by early November. It will be the same old, same old formula: A newly promoted manager loses his job after an up-and-down opening to the season wit ownership looking for someone from the classic merry-go-round. Prepare the Big Sam Phone!

DM : Frank Lampard - Which might not necessarily be a good thing.

JR : Steve Bruce, Newcastle. Their underlying numbers from last season were absolutely terrible, and suggested they’re much closer to being a relegation side than a mid-table one. They’ve made some reasonable signings this summer, but I can still see them struggling nonetheless.

KW : They were close to pulling the trigger after the restart, but a difficult start for Dean Smith will see him gone. Which makes no sense as they’ve just spent £25million+ on a new striker who played under him -- but when has the Premier League ever made sense?


OC : Fulham, West Brom, West Ham

DM : West Ham, Brighton, West Brom

JR : Fulham, West Brom, Aston Villa

KW : Fulham, West Brom, Aston Villa. Ugh.

Golden Boot

OC : Sadio Mané

DM : Roberto Firmino

JR : Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

KW : Mohamed Salah is going to bang in 35 in all competitions this season. He’s ready. Shout out to Diogo Jota and Dominic Calvert-Lewin who will positively regress to the mean and hit 15 or more.

Player of the season

OC: Sadio Mané

DM: Virgil van Dijk

JR: Raheem Sterling

KW: Mohamed Salah. See above. Just have the feeling he’s going to absolutely go 2017/18 on everybody. It would be nice.

Most red cards

OC : Pierre-Emile Højbjerg. If you take nothing away from Amazon’s All-or-Nothing, take this: José Mourinho’s once bleeps. Not just regular bleeps; he wants the most serious bleeps possible. Enter: Højbjerg. Højbjerg has been given a funky reputation thanks to Pep Confidential, a book that traced Pep Guardiola’s first year at Bayern Munich. Højbjerg was billed as some kind of cross between Iniesta, Zico, and Peter Beardsley -- a once in a lifetime talent who could be anything. It turns out Højbjerg is a battering-ram who excels in breaking up play and shifting the ball forward to more gifted forward players. He will have a lot of ground to cover in Spurs’ lopsided system and will be specifically designated as Mourinho’s bleeper-in-chief.

DM : Eric Dier is being tipped to play centre-back for Tottenham, enough said.

JR : Abdoulaye Doucoure

KW : Eric Dier. Centre back. Under Jose Mourinho. Likes to enter the crowd and start fights. There’s no other answer.

Manager of the year

OC : Ralph Hasenhüttl.

DM : Mikel Arteta

JR : Jürgen Klopp

KW : Pep Guardiola when his oh-so-beleaguered Manchester City complete a true underdog story and wrestle the title from Liverpool’s grasp. However did he do it?

Liverpool’s Most Valuable Player

OC : Sadio Mané. I am all-in on this being the season Sadio Mané makes his Ballon d’Or push.

DM : James Milner. Yes you read that right. Off the pitch he will drive standards up and maintain hunger and desire throughout the squad.

JR : Roberto Firmino

KW : Trent Alexander-Arnold. You can bank this answer for the next ten years as well. He simply must continue a) creating as much as he does and b) work in the defence as well as he does, in order for Liverpool to maintain the level they hit last season. Take a look at Neco Williams -- who is only two years younger than Trent -- and see how he (understandably) has struggled with fulfilling that role both attacking and defending. Trent is a phenom. A glitch.

Liverpool’s Most Improved Player

OC : Takumi Minamino

DM : Curtis Jones

Curtis Jones will see a lot more minutes for Liverpool this term.

JR : Naby Keita.

KW : Roberto Firmino. He’ll even score at Anfield before July.

Surprising moment of the season

OC : Carlo Ancelotti walks out on Everton. I just have a feeling about this whole Everton situation. Abdoulaye Doucouré is a wonderful signing, but the rest is a big bowl of nothing to me: James Rodriguez is an oft-injured (or at least not playing) shadow of his former self; Allan would have been an excellent pick-up three seasons ago. And the team has still done little to re-shape its defence. I get that the whole idea of bringing in Ancelotti was that they could take a contacts-based approach to recruitment and land players of the ilk they were unable to before. But... really? A pair of 29-year-old, overcooked, little-to-no re-sale value midfielders? Yikes. The model is wrong. Meanwhile, PSG considered axing Thomas Tuhcel after he suffered the ignominy of only reaching the European Cup final in the midst of a global pandemic. And PSG’s top brass continue to insist that they wish they had Ancelotti at the apex of the Qatari era rather than the beginning. If things go wonky in Paris before Christmas, I can see Ancelotti being parachuted in for the knockout stages of the Champions League.

DM : Manchester United lose 10 away games in feeble fashion, look devoid for two thirds of a season and fail to reach the Champions League again - and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains in a job and nobody following the club says a thing.

JR : When Mohamed Salah wins an actual penalty for being fouled in the box.

KW : I’m going to say when everybody is... surprised Bruno Fernandes’ output massively goes down. Look, Manchester United can’t keep getting as many penalties as they do. So Bruno Fernandes is not going to score as many goals as he does. He’ll be an above average Premier League midfielder, and people will wonder why he’s no longer elite.

The Luis Suarez’s memorial something-mad-that-will-happen award

OC : Amazon buys the Premier League. The Premier League, reeling from the failed Chinese fights deal, the beIN debacle, and the Newcastle takeover goes on bended knee to the man with more money than is physically available on Planet Earth. The pitch: please buy Newcastle or take-on our crumbling rights packages. But that’s small potatoes to Bezos. He doesn’t want to broadcast more of the Premier League; he wants to own the thing. But isn’t that how this grand experiment is supposed to end?

DM : Bernardo Silva walks into Anfield on the next Liverpool vs City game dressed like he’s in the WWE and starts ripping things off the wall before walking the streets of L4 asking people if they want a fight - unsuccessfully.

JR : Joe Gomez will score an actual goal for the first time in his professional career.

KW : On the pitch, I fancy a punch-up. Off it, UEFA cancels European competitions due to COVID. They should already be doing that.

Pick a headline you will definitely read this season

OC : Official: Thiago Alcantara signs for Liverpool. I believe!

DM : James Rodriguez’ amazing 50-yard sprint and slide tackle tracking back on a January night in Burnley... Maybe not

JR : Mourinho piles more misery on sinking Spurs, after inevitably falling out with one of his best and most important players like he usually does. Probably Dele Alli.

KW : Jurgen Flopp up for Kop chop. After dropping four points behind Manchester City in the title race at some point in February.