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Which Players Have Been Released From Each Premier League Club?

With the end of June fast approaching players across the country who haven’t reached an agreement to extend their contracts will be leaving their respective clubs and can sign for other sides on a free transfer.

Premier League clubs have already published their lists of players who will be released on the 30th June, here is a look at each of the twenty clubs and their departures this summer.

Arsenal

Only one players so far is set to leave the Gunners on the expiry of their contract and that is youngster Tobi Omole. The 20 year old defender has featured regularly for Arsenal’s U23 side but hasn’t made a senior appearance for the first team, despite signing his first professional contract in 2018.

Aston Villa

Relegation threatened Aston Villa will have a number of departures this summer, before their fate has even been decided. Fourteen players will leave the club, including James Chester, Andre Green and Callum O’Hare.

Chester and Green have taken up the option to extend their loan deals at Championship sides Stoke City and Charlton respectively. Academy graduate O’Hare meanwhile, who made nine appearances for the first team, played a staring role for Coventry in League One as they clinched promotion to the Championship.

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Borja Baston and Ross McCormack were other high profile stars exiting the club. Hepburn-Murphy spent 15 years at Villa in their various youth ranks whilst Spaniard Baston was a January deadline day signing from Swansea who made just two appearances for the side.

McCormack’s ill fated spell was finally brought to a close with the expiration of his contract, four years on from his £12 million move from Fulham.

Third choice goalkeeper Matija Sarkic has agreed an extension to see out the current campaign, but will be released after it is concluded.

A number of U23 players are also leaving the club with Jack Birch, Anton Hooper, Dutchman Colin Odutayo, striker Dimitri Sea and New Zealand goalkeeper Jamie Searle departing.

Bournemouth

Another club who are involved in a relegation dogfight, the Cherries will let eleven players leave at the end of their contracts, including a number of big names.

Jermain Defoe, who has been on loan at Rangers since January last year will exit the club along with £15 million winger Jordon Ibe, who has flattered to deceive on the South Coast.

Ryan Fraser, who has been linked with a number of other clubs, rejected the chance to sign a short term extension to see out the end of the season, and so will leave Eddie Howe’s side on June 30th after making over 200 appearances for the club.

Youngsters Charlie Seaman and Tyrell Hamilton, who were both playing non league football this term, will also be leaving the club. Australian Brad Smith has extended his loan stay at Cardiff City, and will leave Bournemouth once the Championship season ends.

Long-serving midfielder Andrew Surman, and full back Charlie Daniels alongside back-up goalkeeper Artur Boruc have all accepted an extension to keep them at the Vitality Stadium until the conclusion of the current Premier League season.

Brighton

Brighton, who have impressed since their return to action after the enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic, will let nine players leave the club, including a number from the youth team.

English trio Luca Cocoracchio, Archie Davies, Lewis Freestone, Welsh midfielder Jordan Davies and Finnish goalkeeper Hugo Keto have been released, alongside centre back Kacper Lopata and Serbian striker Bojan Samoukovic.

Beram Kayal who has been with the Seagulls since 2015, has signed a short term extension, having returned from his loan spell at Charlton in January following an injury. Ezequiel Schelotto has also signed an extension to keep him at the Amex until the end of this campaign having already played eight times for Brighton this term.

Burnley

Burnley, like Bournemouth, will allow a number of first team squad members to depart Turf Moor at the end of this month. Aaron Lennon and Joe Hart will move on, having played peripheral roles this term.

Irishman Jeff Hendrick, a key cog in the Burnley midfield, is also set to leave having rejected the offer to extend his contract for next season. Goalkeeper Adam Legzdins will also become a free agent, leaving Burnley having failed to make a single appearance in his three year spell at the club.

Tunde Bayode, Christian N’Guessan, Henri Ogunby (who signed a short term deal in January) and Joel Senior, all members of the U23 squad, will also be released.

Chelsea

Chelsea’s squad overall, which began last summer under Frank Lampard will continue, with big hitters Pedro and Willian set to leave the club having failed to reach an agreement to extend their contracts beyond the current campaign.

Pedro has already chosen to link up with Serie A side Roma for the 2020/21 season, whilst cult hero Willian has admitted he could yet extend his stay at Stamford Bridge despite interest from other Premier League clubs.

Other plays exiting the club include defender Josh Grant, who spent the first half of this season on loan at Plymouth, Marcel Lavinier, who has been with the club since the age of seven and Richard Nartey who made 25 appearances for League One side Burton this campaign.

Crystal Palace

No first team player will leave Selhurst Park this summer, in a huge boost for Roy Hodgson, as five members of the development squad have being shown the exit door.

Dion-Curtis Henry who spent time playing in the National League South this season, Kian Flanagan, who was the U23 Young Player of the Year last season and Jason Lokilo, who made his senior bow for the club in an EFL Cup tie against Ipswich in August 2017 join Jacob Mensah and Joe Tupper in leaving the club.

Everton

Carlo Ancelotti’s Merseyside rebuild will begin in earnest this summer, and the club has started by releasing some dead wood from their squad.

Back-up goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg will depart once the current campaign is over to join his former side Ajax, whilst Cuco Martina, signed on a free transfer from Southampton in 2017, will also move on.

Luke Garbutt, who came through the Toffees’ academy system will also be allowed to leave once his contract expires, having spent the past four years on loan in League One and the Championship. Outcast Oumar Niasse, a £13.5 million signing from Lokomotiv Moscow four and a half years ago, is the fourth and final first team player to be released.

U23 players Morgan Feeny, Alex Denny, Matty Foulds, Manasse Mampala and Korede Adedoyin will all leave Everton along with Kieran Phillips, who will depart once he completes his loan spell at Huddersfield.

Leicester City

Long serving midfielder Andy King will leave the Foxes this summer, after 378 appearances during a 15 year spell with the club, which saw him win the Premier League in 2016. He has spent the past two seasons on loan in the Championship after falling out of favour but he will go down as a club hero among Leicester fans.

U23 captain George Thomas, first choice goalkeeper Viktor Johansson, Irish midfielder Conor Tee and Ryan Loft will also say their goodbyes at the end of this season. They join Rhys Davies, Ed Elewa-Ikpakwu, Justen Kranthove and Bruneian Faiq Bolkiah in leaving the club.

Liverpool

The Premier League champions will wave goodbye to Adam Lallana and Nathaniel Clyne this summer, two men who played a starring role in Klopp’s early years in charge of the Reds before injury derailed both their careers on Merseyside.

Lallana was offered a short term extension to his contract, to ensure that he can pick up a Premier League winners medal, although right back Clyne was not afforded the same luxury and will leave on the 30th June.

Third choice stopper Andy Lonergan has also been handed a short term extension to complete the season at Anfield.

Liverpool will also let Academy prospects Isaac Christie-Davies, who played against Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup earlier in the season, goalkeepers Shamal George, Daniel Atherton and Kai McKenzie-Lyle leave the club along with defender Jack Walls.

Manchester City

City’s big name departure is of course David Silva, who will bring the curtain down on his glorious ten year spell in Manchester once the current campaign ends, having signed a short term extension to see out the end of the season.

The Spaniard has won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups, five EFL Cups and Teo Community Shields during his time with the Citizens, as well as amassing over 300 appearances, scoring 58 goals in the process and going down as a true City legend.

His next destination remains to be seen as the 34 year old reportedly has offers from across the globe.

Claudio Bravo, City’s second choice goalkeeper is also set to depart the club this summer. After signing from Barcelona in 2016, the Chilean endured a difficult first season as the number one shot stopper at the club, before he was replaced by Ederson in 2017.

Since then the 37 year old has been playing second fiddle to the Brazilian, appearing predominantly in cup competitions. He has been linked with a host of clubs including Arsenal and Celtic, according to the Manchester Evening Standard.

Joining them in leaving the Etihad this summer are Ghanaian midfielder Ernest Agyiri and goalkeeper Thomas Scott.

Manchester United

United will wave goodbye to eight academy players at the end of the current season. Of those leaving, Cameron Borthwick- Jackson is the only player to have featured for the first team, making 10 appearances for the Red Devil’s. He has spent this campaign on loan with League One side Oldham Athletic.

Irish goalkeeper Kieran O’Hara will depart, after spending the majority of his United career on loan at lower league clubs. Nineteen year old Dion McGhee, Demetri Mitchell, who scooped the United Reserve Player of the Year in 2018, Englishmen Aidan Barlow and George Tanner, goalkeeper Alex Fojitcek and midfielder Ethan Hamilton have also been released.

Newcastle

Goalkeeper Rob Elliot will bring his nine year stay on Tyneside to an end this summer. The Englishman last made an appearance for the Magpies in 2017 having fallen down the pecking order at the club.

Jack Colback will also leave Newcastle at the end of the campaign, having spent the entirety of last season on loan at Nottingham Forest. Academy graduate Jamie Sterry joins him in departing, having made three appearances for his boyhood club.

Youth players Luke Charman, Victor Fernandez, Liam Gibson and Nathan Harker have been released after their contracts expired.

Norwich

Basement side Norwich will allow seven players to leave the club upon the expiring of their contracts this summer.

They are all members of the U23 squad, with the majority having spent this campaign out on loan. Diallang Jaiyesimi, Mason Bloomfield, Timi Odusina, Saavas Mourgos, Alfie Payne and Billy Johnson played their football away from Carrow Road, whilst Tom Scully remained at Norwich in the U23 squad this term.

Sheffield United

The Blades, who have enjoyed a fairytale first season back in the Premier League, will see a raft of players leave the club this summer.

First team squad players Leon Clarke, Jack Rodwell, Phil Jagielka, Kieron Freeman, who have made a combined seven Premier League appearances this season have all signed short term extensions but are still likely to exit the club once those expire.

January signing Connor Leak-Blunt has also signed a short term extension, after impressing with the U23 side.

Mark Duffy, who has been at Bramall Lane since 2016, playing over 100 games for the club will depart this summer, along with Ricky Holmes, who has announced his retirement from football after a back injury.

They join youngsters Ta’Shae Andall-Gibbons, Keenan Ferguson, Oliver Greaves, Callum Gribbin (formerly of Manchester United), Harry Sheppeard, Samuel Ompreon, Reece York and Jake Young I’m waving their goodbyes to Bramall Lane.

Ben Heneghan and Nathan Thomas will also be released having spent this campaign on loan at Blackpool and Carlisle respectively.

Southampton

The Saints will allow long serving defender Maya Yoshida to leave Saint Mary’s, once his contract expires. The Japanese international has not been offered a short term extension and so will leave the club on 30th June.

Cedric Soares, has also left the Saints, joining Arsenal on a permanent deal, despite having failed to register a single appearance since his loan move to the Gunners in January.

Twenty-three year old Marcus Barnes, who made his first, and only appearance for Southampton in an FA Cup tie against Derby in January 2019 will leave along with U23 goalkeeper Alex Cull, defender Simon Kozak, midfielder Harlem Hale, Irishman Aaron O’Driscoll and forward Christian Norton. Goalkeeper Jack Rose, who spent time on loan at Walsall this year, will also be released.

Tottenham

Jan Vertonghen has signed a short term extension, to keep him at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium until the end of the current campaign, although his future at the club after that remains to be seen.

Third choice goalkeeper Michel Vorm has also penned an extension to see out the season at Spurs, but he is set to depart after it expires.

U23 quartet Rayan Clarke, Phoenix Patterson, Maxwell Stratham and Jonathan Dinzeyi have had their contracts extended until the end of the current Premier League campaign, with their long term futures still to be decided. Twenty year old defender Tariq Hinds has been released.

Watford

The Hornets, who are hovering dangerously over the drop zone, will allow up to eleven players leave Vicarage Road this summer.

Defensive stalwarts Adrian Mariappa and Jose Cholevas, along with back up goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes have signed short term extensions to help Watford in their fight to escape relegation.

Twenty-one year old midfielder Callum Whelan, who made his Watford debut as a substitute in the FA Cup game with Tranmere in January, before starting the replay a week later, has also renewed his contract until the end of the current campaign.

U23 captain Jamal Balogun, Jayden Bennetts, who also made his Hornets’ debut in the replay defeat to Tranmere, Kaylen Hinds, who scored Watford’s equaliser in that game, forward Micheal Folivi, defenders Lewis Gordon and Cameron Green and have all been released.

West Ham

Defenders Pablo Zabaleta and Carlos Sanchez, who have played 16 Premier League games between them this season, will leave the Hammers once their contract expires, with Zabaleta rejecting a short term extension.

Also departing the London Stadium are U23 players Anouar El Mhassani, Reece Hannam and Louie Watson.

Wolves

High flying Wolves will allow five players to leave the club once their contracts expire.

Jordan Graham, who has had five separate loan spells during his five years at Wolves has already left the club and is joined by Phil Ofosu-Ayeh who failed to make a single appearance in his three years with the club, young defender Connor Johnson, Irish winger Callum Thompson and Swiss midfielder Ming-Yang Yang.

Premier League TABLE scores and fixtures

PosTeamPlayedGDPoints
1Liverpool (C)334789
2Manchester City334766
3Leicester City3332

58

4Chelsea331657
5Manchester United332355
6Wolves33952
7Arsenal33849
8Tottenham33 848
9Sheffield United33148
10Burnley33-945
11Everton33-844
12Newcastle33-1043
13Southampton33-1343
14Crystal Palace33-1242
15Brighton33-936
16West Ham United33-1831
17Watford33-2328
18Aston Villa33-2627
19Bournemouth33-2727
20Norwich33-3221

Latest Results

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Upcoming Fixtures

  • Crystal Palace vs Chelsea Tuesday 7th July 6pm
  • Watford vs Norwich City Tuesday 7th July 6pm
  • Arsenal vs Leicester City Tuesday 7th July 8:15pm
  • Manchester City vs Newcastle United Wednesday 8th July 6pm
  • Sheffield United vs Wolves Wednesday 8th July 6pm
  • West Ham United vs Burnley Wednesday 8th July 6pm
  • Brighton vs Liverpool Wednesday 8th July 8:15pm
  • Bournemouth vs Tottenham Hotspur Thursday 9th July 6pm
  • Everton vs Southampton Thursday 9th July 6pm
  • Aston Villa vs Manchester United Thursday 9th July 8:15pm

 

 

Wolves vs Bournemouth: Match Preview

Bournemouth travel to Molineux on the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Crystal Palace, which leaves them marred in the relegation scrap. The home side enjoyed a much more successful return to the campaign, brushing aside West Ham United 2-0 at the London Stadium.

Eddie Howe’s side have been inconsistent this season and have struggled for goals with injuries keeping out key players such as David Brooks, and Callum Wilson and with Ryan Fraser not wanting to play due to contract issues.

Wolves on the other hand have enjoyed another stellar season and are pushing for the Champions League places. Favourable results have put them right into contention and against an underperforming Bournemouth side it would be difficult to see them drop points. Subsequently, both sides are desperate to compete in their own battles, so, this could provide an entertaining contest.

Team News

Wolves come into this game with no injury issues to worry about. Despite having such a small squad they seem to have coped magnificently with the commitments they’ve had this season and the enforced break has given them time to relax and recover. Adama Traore was brought off the bench in the last game to great effect and you wonder whether that strong performance will warrant him a place in the starting 11. Pedro Neto also proved to be a productive substitute with that stunning volley he scored last time out.

Nuno Espirito Santo stated after the West Ham game:

“In the first half, we were organised. We didn’t finish too many actions but we kept West Ham – a good team with good players – away from our goal.

“In the second half, we started and introduced some speed. We were more accurate and were able to create more danger.”

You would expect the back three to remain the same having put in a solid display and depending on whether Nuno goes with the 3-4-3, the midfield could see Leander Dendoncker drop out. Daniel Podence was an unused substitute and so he could get some game time as Wolves look to rotate and utilise their squad in this packed schedule.

Bournemouth are of course without their star winger Fraser after Howe announced last Friday that he wouldn’t take part in any of their remaining games due to his ongoing contract issues. Brooks has of course made a welcome return to the squad after a long time out with an ACL injury and he will be crucial in the Cherries’ survival bid.

However, defensive issues have plagued Bournemouth for some time now, and despite them having key men fit like Nathan Ake and Steve Cook, they still seem to struggle keeping a compact shape.

Howe also seem displeased with his team’s performance last time out as he stated:

“We know now we have one game less to achieve our objective.

“The table is still so tight, the difference is so tight and we could look at back-to-back wins as being the difference for us. We have to believe that is going to happen but we have to play better than we did in the first half an hour in this game.”

You could expect him to make some changes and potentially match Wolves with a back five.  Due to the amount of pace and creative flair Wolves possess, particularly on the counter attack, you would think Bournemouth would need to utilise a lower defensive block. This change could enforce Howe into switching around his defence.

Score Prediction: Wolves 2-0 Bournemouth

The form of both these sides makes it tough to look past Wolves and with their attacking players starting well with the return. I could see them closing out another 2-0 victory.

What have we learnt since the Premier League resumption?

After the return of Premiership football to our screens, have we really learnt much about the League since the resumption?

Well, the wait has certainly been worth it some pundits have said but has it really been worth the build-up of over 100 days?

What we have learned already is that Liverpool are a step closer to their title dream. We are all having to get used to the sight of very few people inside stadiums. VAR certainly won’t go away and even technology has the odd blip, which leads to more controversy up and down the land.

As we are all getting used to viewing football as we have never seen before. One good talking point has been welcomed around the country. The sight of both sets of players, officials and team personal taking the knee in solidarity together. Such a welcome sight and fully applauded. It’s is so good to see the Premier League sending out a message to the rest of the footballing and sporting world that Black Lifes Matter.

Aside from Liverpool edging towards lifting the title, on just the first day back since the resumption, controversy reared its ugly head once again when Sheffield United were denied a certain goal when technology failed. Admittedly it’s the first time this has unfortunately happened for over 9,000 times the system has been in place. What a time for this to happen, as the Premiership was taking centre stage.

One has to feel sorry for Michael Oliver- England’s top referee- as he was trying to explaining to surrounding players that his watch didn’t make a noise to indicate that the ball had crossed the line. Not his fault but wouldn’t it have been more sensible that somebody in the truck watching pictures of the match would have seen that clearly the ball was over the line? That person in the VAR room could then have communicated with Oliver to say to him to check the monitor at the ground and make his own mind up about the decision. If he was allowed to do this, then make no mistakes Sheffield Utd would have been awarded the goal.

We also learnt since the resumption that Arsenal players are certainly struggling with fitness levels, having already seen a handful of players taken off through picking up injuries. Clearly the three-month break has affected them, which is a big concern of their fitness levels. Yes, every team has looked leggy at times which is understandable due to not playing competitive football for over three months but for some sides including Arsenal it begs the question, what instructions were the players given to do for training during lockdown and resuming back into training? Something definitely isn’t right there.

However, nothing has changed with the Gunners defence, which still looks as fragile as before the enforced break. Arsenal need leaders, now they haven’t got any. Oh, for the leadership chiefs such as Tony Adams and Martin Keown- who must be shaking their heads every time they watch Arsenal play- who must begin to wonder will this problem ever be rectified.

We also learn in the past few days how good a player Bruno Fernandes is and the return of a hungry Paul Pogba. I didn’t think I would ever be saying that for a long time.

Despite appearing to not be worrying about a haircut- Yes Roy there are mobile hairdressers around who will be queuing up to cut your hair- Hodgson is building a very dogged and tenacious side in Crystal Palace. Looking a very well-oiled unit, especially at the back, having not conceded a goal in almost six hours of football. Palace could be outsiders to possibly sneak into a Europa League spot come the end of the campaign.

The two W’s after the restart, Wolves and West Ham appear to be going in different directions. The Hammers are in a relegation dogfight, while Wolves are flying thanks to the brilliant duo of Adama Traore and Raul Jimenez – 23 goals this season and counting.

Another interesting point would be that since the resumption the sides struggling at the bottom of the table have really struggled since the restart. A fact that could be put down to playing home games with no crowd behind them to raise morale. However, you would have felt that with eight games to go, crowd or no crowd wouldn’t need to lift players, who know they have a massive battle on their hands to stay up.

To finish, although in most games playing with no fans present it is no material advantage to both sides, over the weekend in both Premiership and Championship games there were only five home wins out of 22 games played. When it comes to a derby match, it clearly will benefit both teams to have fans in the stadium. Take the weekend’s Merseyside derby between Everton and Liverpool. A game that was played with no passion and at times looked similar to a practice game. A lukewarm encounter which hardly got going. Not much commitment from both sides aside from a couple of late chances. This game desperately needed a full house at Goodison Park, which I’m sure would have given the game more of a feisty contest that normally happens in derby matches.

We must, however, remember that for the foreseeable future this is the way that football will be for a while. We will get used to it, with fan noise or not, carboard cut outs or not and drink breaks, which so far are amounting to a managers team talk on the pitch.

It is either this or nothing. I know what alternative I would rather have. Even if it means watching Mike Dean with that amazing grey beard and listening to Roy Keane bemoaning about Manchester United’s crop of current players. Welcome back Premiership, we really have missed you!

 

Premier League return: who is in the race for europe?

With the Premier League set to return it’s time to analyse the all-important race for the Europa League and Champions League places. Of course with Manchester City’s ban still yet to be decided there is the tantalising prospect of 5th place meaning CL qualification, which would open up the door for a variety of clubs. In this article I’ll take a look at the clubs with the most realistic chances at European football as well as offering my personal predictions – starting with 9th placed Arsenal (yes the race is that wide open) moving up to 4th placed Chelsea. Both the Gunners and the Blues are only separated by eight points, which has the potential of offering up an interesting conclusion to the season.

Arsenal

It’s fair to say Arsenal are very much an enigma, having just lost 3-2 to Brentford in a pre-season friendly (to the amusement of many) it’s hard to tell what sort of shape they will be in. The defensive clips from the game circulating on Twitter were certainly a huge concern and it will be interesting to see how they will cope against hopefully better opposition in Manchester City.

While many flocked to Twitter to mock the North London side we have to remember they are under an inexperienced but promising manager in Mikel Arteta, who in fairness got them playing some tidy football before the abrupt break to the campaign. They currently sit on 40 points, five point behind Manchester United, who currently hold that potentially golden 5th place. If Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette can recapture some form while the team stay solid at the back they certainly have the chance to make waves in their last 10 games – however the Arsenal of recent years have flattered to deceive so you wouldn’t be surprised to see them struggle compared to some of the other teams in this list. In fact I’m not so sure they’ll make it to Europe, it will be close but I do not see them climbing the table.

Predicted Finish: 9th

Tottenham

Jose Mourinho has seen a mixed start to his Spurs tenure, but he is a born winner and that experience could be crucial as they look to hunt down United and maybe even Chelsea. Spurs currently sit on 41 points having played a game more than Arsenal, but a few wins on the bounce could see them close that four point gap to United quickly should they drop a few points. With such a quick turnaround momentum will be key, and with Harry Kane set to return they now have the potential for a strong frontline that could make a huge difference.

Mourinho did cause controversy by training one on one with some players during lockdown, while this is reckless you can see the sort of mentality he has. If Spurs can capture that winning spirit then you can expect them to be a strong side. They’re certainly a team you could label as ‘ones to watch’. Spurs, however, do have a tough start playing away to Manchester United first,  followed by games against West ham, Sheff Utd and Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton. If they can start well though then you could see them easily push for top four – they do have a very talented squad. However, despite this they have been inconsistent and this could ultimately cost them in the end.  Realistically I can’t envisage them scrapping out win after win.

Predicted Finish: 7th

Sheffield United

Now on to one of the two ‘breakthrough’ sides in this race alongside Wolves. Sheffield United have been simply marvellous since their promotion to the top division with their system of overlapping centre-halves receiving much attention and praise from fans and pundits alike. Chris Wilder has worked wonders on a small budget and a team of players he has brought through League 1 and the Championship. They even recruited a big name in Sander Berge in January – a player wanted by Manchester United among other big clubs. With a rock solid defense and efficient front-line you could see them enjoying this return where many teams could struggle fitness wise and leave gaps defensively.

It must be pointed out that they don’t always have those match winners so they could drop more points than some of the ‘bigger clubs’. Having said that it hasn’t stopped their success so far. Aston Villa and Newcastle offer decent opponents to start to start off with before that huge game against the Red Devils on the 24th June. They are only two points off United with a game in hand so the chance of success is very much for the taking. We have still yet to see whether they can go all the way and get that prestigious Champions League spot.  Without the support of their fans  you could seem them potentially drop off  They will fight for every point but I think they’ll just falter at the final stages.

Predicted Finish: 8th

Wolves

The club in old gold and black have continued their meteoric rise.  They are very much in the mix for the Champions League. Despite a very poor start to the season they managed to turn it around and were in fine form before the break. It is worth noting that they also lost their pre season friendly 2-0 against Nottingham Forest.  So, similarly to Arsenal it’s tough to call what sort of form they will be in at the restart.

Their fans have played a huge part in helping the team push on this season with many fans hailing Molineux as having one of the best atmospheres in the league. Without those fans you have to question if Wolves can produce those same comeback performances like the one against Manchester City. They do arguably have the easiest fixture list out of the teams around them but having no support can harm a side. Despite those doubts they still have a squad filled with quality and if they recapture their form from before the break they are a huge danger to the top four or five sides. Signings like Daniel Podence and Leonardo Campana could help them kick on and add some extra elements to the team.   I think they will have a solid return despite the lack of fans, they have some winnable fixtures and if the new signings bed in I can see them reaching potential Champions League football.

Predicted Finish: 5th

Manchester United

Manchester United are another hard team to pin down. They are a squad full of quality but they have been inconsistent with a ‘two steps forward one step back’ approach. The Red Devils managed to keep  Odion Ighalo, which is a huge boost (who would’ve thought we’d be saying that?) as his link up play and tidy finishing have helped the team grind out results. If Pogba and Fernandes can gel in midfield they could genuinely blow teams away, however, Pogba has rarely featured this season and it’d be tough to seem him making an explosive return with all the speculation surrounding him – albeit a lot of it unjustified. Marcus Rashford has gained plenty of positive press for his actions during lockdown but his performances in this campaign can’t go unnoticed. He’s having the best season of his career and if he can fire again, United could be well placed for qualification.

There’s no doubt United have the talent to make the Champions League but they also have a tough fixture list with a decent amount of potential banana skins, with the amount of pressure that comes with playing for the club you could see some similar mistakes cropping up, which could swing their season either way. Defensively they have seen improvements with Wan-Bissaka proving to be an inspired purchase, this will prove crucial for them coming up against Sheffield United and Leicester City who can both defend very well. Whether they can maintain a solid backline is yet to be seen and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still has a lot of work to do to get them close to being the finished article.

I do think United will drop a few points here and there, particularly against Spurs, and for that reason I have them finishing just outside the Champions League places.

Predicted Finish: 6th

Chelsea

This Chelsea team have been a breath of fresh air this season!  Not being allowed to make big money signings in the transfer market has allowed their young talents to flourish. Similarly to a lot of these teams they have been very inconsistent at times and we could very much see that again after having such a long break. However with having a youthful and exuberant squad mixed with experienced pros such as Willian, Pedro, Mateo Kovacic and even N’Golo Kante I think they have enough to carry on their impressive first season under Frank Lampard.

Lampard knows how much this competition means to the club and that has to transfer to the players. His legendary status carries weights but alongside that he’s shown himself to be tactically astute. They need to be more consistent than the teams around them and so far they have been, a common theme with the race for Europe this season is that, like last season, clubs are almost saying ‘after you’ each week with an odd amount of dropped points and poor runs. You only have to look at the gap between Chelsea and the teams above them to see that. There is a lot of positivity at Stamford Bridge at the moment with the confirmed purchase of Hakim Ziyech and the potentially Timo Werner. With the team driven by the success they could have next season, the Champions League is something they will place under the utmost importance.

I do feel that Chelsea have a bit more balance to their squad and with the energy their style of play brings, I think they will adapt well to this restart and maintain their position in the top four.

Predicted finish: 4th

My Predicted Finished Table:

4Chelsea FCChelsea FC381981166:501665
5Wolverhampton WanderersWolverhampton Wanderers381517656:431362
6Manchester UnitedManchester United3817101157:391861
7Tottenham HotspurTottenham Hotspur3816121064:511360
8Sheffield UnitedSheffield United381316942:36655
9Arsenal FCArsenal FC381217953:50353
Made using https://www.worldfootball.net/table_calculator/eng-premier-league/

So there we have it, while putting Wolves in 5th seems controversial, with my predicted results and the fixtures for each team I believe this to be very much a realistic outcome. The race will remain close for the rest of the season and it would be unfair on any of these teams to miss out.

Feel free to drop your predictions in the comments below and we look forward to seeing how the league will turn out. Of course I’ll be hoping these come true!