Premier League Mid-Season Previews: Part 1

As the Premier League returns to our lives after a nearly 3 month hiatus, it is important that we fully re-contextualise ourselves with the state of the league. We aim to do exactly that through our 4 part mid-season preview of all 20 teams. Ranging from the fore-gone conclusion of the title race to the highly contested race for survival.

Liverpool

One of the strongest competitor in the league, and had already won the champions league, beating Pochettino’s sorry side in the finals. Liverpool was not as competitive going in the transfer market as other top clubs, as Jurgen Klopp was happy with the squad he had at his disposal and will only add if something comes up which they can’t refuse.

The start for the reds in the premier league was very smooth scoring 20 goals and conceding only 6 goals. They had won all the games until they met Manchester United in the 9th gameweek at Old Trafford dropping the first points in the premier league. After the North-West derby the reds had gone on to win 18 games in a row until Watford humiliated them at Vicarage road beating them 3 goals to nil.

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Since January it has been a one-horse race for Liverpool to win the premier league title as many clubs had fallen behind as there was a significant points difference between the reds and the foxes in December. Finally, Liverpool are going to end their title drought after 30 years and would win the title with a huge margin of victory over the second placed Man City.

Everton

Everton opened their transfer window by signing Andre Gomes from Barcelona for a reported fee of 22 million. The Toffees signed a few big names like Moise Kean from Juventus, and Alex Iwobi from Arsenal and Fabian Delph from Man City reportedly paying 8.5 million to Man City.

Their main aim was to break into the top 6 since the start of the new season, but Everton’s start in the premier league was not a good one. Marco Silva’s team was not stable while their defence had already conceded 20 goals till December. Until December the toffees had only won 4 matches out of 14 matches, Everton sacked Marco Silva after 18 months since his appointment with the club being in the relegation zone after their Merseyside derby humiliation. Following the sacking of Marco Silva, Former striker Duncan Ferguson was put in temporary charge and managed the side against Chelsea on Saturday and won 3-1 against them.

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Carlo Ancelotti was appointed as the new manager after the win against Chelsea which led to increasing expectations by the fans that they could finish within the top 10. Carlo Ancelotti brought changes to the formation playing 4-4-2 while Richarlison and Calvert Lewin upfront, also brought stability in the defence. The appointment of Carlo Ancelotti leads to an increase in the position towards the top 10 before the Covid-19 pandemic. They had won 5 games, lost 4 and drew 3 games until the premier league was suspended indefinitely. The final expectation for the remainder of the season was to finish in the top 10. We can expect Everton to give a better performance against their renowned rivals Liverpool and look forward to better results against the mid-table teams.

Norwich City

The Canaries(Norwich City) had sealed promotion back to the English top flight when they were able to beat Blackburn Rovers back then. Norwich City had quite an open and an offensive playing style going into the premier league and the results were able to prove it back then. If a team had to succeed in the premier league the team should be stable both defensively and offensively.

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Norwich City having an exceptional attack scoring 9 goals by Teemu Pukki, Todd Cantwell, and Emiliano Buendia in 5 games and sensationally beating Manchester City. They were not able to maintain a good run of form as they went on to suffer 7 humiliating defeats in a row. Norwich City never were able to revamp their bad run of form and remained on the bottom of the table.

A bland summer window, trusting the old squad and following the old structure might send them back to the championship until they pull off a miracle being at the bottom of the table having 21 points, as the premier league has released the set of remaining fixtures.

Aston Villa

Going in the premier league Villa were not messing when it had come to dig deep into the wallets. Tyrone Mings’ brow-furrowing ‘up to’ £26.5m fee grabbed plenty of attention, but their guaranteed outlay for Wesley is yet to be topped. There were a lot of rumors regarding Villa’s key player Jack Grealish, had Villa not won the play-off final, he wouldn’t be likely to have remained at Villa after a stunning run of form inspired his side the showpiece game at Wembley. Grealish has since matured, he’s developed. He’s happy to sit in one of the two central midfielder slots and drive forward.

People did predict that Villa could’ve been the surprise package in the premier league but as the premier league started Villa were not able to sustain the premier league’s intensity in the midfield. Thus Villa suffered back to back defeats and landed up in the relegation zone. When Villa were trying to get back on track the poor run of fixtures made them stay in the relegation zone .

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One of the most influential players of Villa has to be none other than Jack Grealish when he was moved further upfront scoring 7 goals and assisting 6. Now, as the premier league is around the corner Villa has to maintain a good run in the remainder of the season to stay in the premier league.

Newcastle United

The departure of Benitez in June was still particularly painful for those, if not at board level then certainly by the fans. The Spaniard’s name was still being sung by supporters during the pre-season match at Hibernian, with new manager Steve Bruce awkwardly looking on. The signing of Steve Bruce was considered to be a controversial one as 10000 of the 42000 of the season tickets remained unsold.

Some suggested that signing of Joelinton at a hefty price of 40 million was a waste of money as he was much more of a classic centre forward and was particularly good in the air, coming sixth in Germany’s top-flight last year for duels won. The Magpies(Newcastle United) particularly stood rock solid in front of the top teams of the premier league, beating the likes of Tottenham Hotspurs, Manchester United, Chelsea and drawing against Man City.

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Newcastle United remain to be the lowest scoring team in the premier league mainly due to the selling of Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon. Newcastle are struggling to get into the top half of the premier league table with the likes of Crystal Palace, Everton and Southampton challenging them.

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