Just lately, as we do yearly, 90min‘s editorial group compiled our predictions for the 2021/22 Premier League season.
Our consensus desk had Manchester Metropolis retaining their Premier League title – however that didn’t inform the entire story. Out of 90min’s 12 ‘consultants’ solely two had anybody aside from Metropolis ending first. The 2 that broke rank opted for Champions League holders Chelsea.
This appears to recommend that we’re as soon as once more in for a considerably sterile Premier League title race this season.
Nonetheless, after simply 10 video games out of 380, our prediction already seems shaky. On the opening gameweek, three different sides – none of them Metropolis – laid down a marker for his or her title ambitions.
The primary to take action have been Manchester United, who put a midfield-less Leeds United to the sword on Saturday lunchtime. Matching the Whites’ vitality and displaying a ruthlessness in entrance of purpose that each one champions want, it was one of the crucial memorable Previous Trafford events in current reminiscence.
Bruno Fernandes appeared significantly ravenous, taking the match ball house after a terrific hat-trick. Paul Pogba was wonderful too, working off of the left flank. His one-touch move to arrange Fernandes’ opener was the very best off his 4 (sure, 4) assists, even when it was not sufficient to earn any reward from Graeme Souness within the studio.
Quickly after United had set their stall out, Chelsea additionally placed on a showcase. Their 3-0 victory over Crystal Palace was as snug as they arrive.
The win additionally shined a lightweight on their unimaginable energy in depth. Amongst those that didn’t characteristic in any respect towards the Eagles have been Thiago Silva, Ben Chilwell, Callum Hudson-Odoi, N’Golo Kante and Hakim Ziyech. Getting the job carried out with such ease regardless of these absentees means that Chelsea could have zero issues finishing on a number of fronts this season.
There was no place within the squad for Chelsea’s latest signing, Romelu Lukaku, both. His imminent arrival means there is not going to be a repeat of final time period, when no Blues participant bought into double figures for targets within the Premier League.
Chelsea weren’t the one elite Premier League membership with points final season. Liverpool have been stung by an harm disaster the dimensions of which might have been unimaginable originally of the marketing campaign.
The absence that had the most important impression was Virgil van Dijk. He made a wonderful return throughout Liverpool’s complete 3-0 away victory over Norwich Metropolis within the Saturday teatime kick off. The Reds could have sterner checks, however there have been loads of indicators that they may be able to a title problem too.
In addition to Van Dijk’s return, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Roberto Firmino and Diogo Jota – who all had underwhelming seasons on account of poor kind and/or harm – put in excellent shows. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s efficiency was one other huge plus level.
These three outcomes set issues up properly forward of the fourth real title contenders’ Premier League curtain raiser on Sunday.
Surprisingly, although, Metropolis didn’t put in their very own assertion efficiency, falling to a shock 1-0 defeat towards Tottenham in north London. The narrative going into the sport centred round Harry Kane. In the long run Spurs didn’t want him, with Son Heung-min starring as a central ahead in a trendy counter-attacking show.
Metropolis appeared shaky when defending in transition all through – an issue that has plagued them for a while. Issues weren’t clicking within the last third both. After some early promise, Jack Grealish and Raheem Sterling gave the impression to be getting in one another’s approach within the left half-space. Japhet Tanganga’s splendidly violent show additional dimmed their affect. In the meantime, Riyad Mahrez was slowing issues to a ponderous crawl on the alternative flank.
Whereas Metropolis should stay favourites – they nonetheless have Kevin De Bruyne and Oleksandr Zinchenko to return and will but splash the money on Kane, who topped the Premier League purpose and help charts final season – Guardiola’s expenses slipping up so early is an interesting improvement.
Maybe we have been mistaken. Maybe we could have a correct title race this season in spite of everything.