Chelsea will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to eighteen in all competitions as they travel to an out of form Everton at Goodison Park. Jack Sivill offers his betting tips for the upcoming Saturday evening clash at Goodison Park.
Who is playing?
Everton vs Chelsea
What competition is it?
Premier League Match Week 12
What time is Everton vs Chelsea?
20:00 GMT, Saturday 12th December 2020
Which stadium is hosting Everton vs Chelsea?
Goodison Park, Liverpool, United Kingdom
What channel is Everton vs Chelsea on?
BT Sport 1
Everton vs Chelsea Summary
Everton have played fourteen games so far this season in Carlo Ancelotti’s first full season in charge. The first seven were perfect with the Toffee’s winning all seven, leaving them at the top of the table at the start of October. The seven since then have been quite the opposite with Everton only winning one and losing four leaving them in a mediocre 9th. With a tough run of fixtures coming up for Ancelotti’s men, December could prove pivotal come the end of the season.
It seems Chelsea’s season has been quite the opposite compared to Everton’s, as Frank Lampard’s men had a slow start with an early defeat to Premier League Champions Liverpool and some sloppy draws against the likes of West Brom and Southampton. Although since their bore 0-0 draw to Manchester United towards the end of October, Chelsea have won eight of their last ten in all competitions leaving them in a very healthy and slightly unexpected third at this stage of the competition.
Everton Team News and Form
With Ancelotti’s tactics not being to great as of late, there’s another blow as both fullbacks Seamus Coleman and Lucas Digne will be unavailable on Saturday with no adequate replacements being available. Former Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph filled in the role at left-wing back against Burnley, but only managed to play half an hour before having to come off due to an injury and is unlikely to be available this weekend.
With Olivier Giroud finding his form under Frank Lampard, Ancelotti may look to lean towards Yerry Mina because of Giroud’s arial presence meaning Mason Holgate might miss out on the starting eleven. Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be looking to extend his lead in the race for the golden boot. The Englishman is in unbelievable form this season averaging a goal a game in the Premier League and a brace in his fixture last year will only boost his confidence under the lights at Goodison.
Chelsea Team News and Form
Chelsea are flying at the minute, after a tactical 0-0 draw against rivals Spurs and a solid 3-1 win against Leeds leaves Frank Lampard in third just two points off the top spot. Olivier Giroud is likely to start on Saturday after momentarily leapfrogging Tammy Abraham in the starting eleven after a strong run of recent form. He also has six goals in his last eight appearances against Everton which will only boost his confidence if Lampard packs him at the weekend.
With Callum Hudson-Odoi ruled out and summer signing, Hakim Ziyech coming off against Leeds last weekend that leaves Timo Werner and Christian Pulisic to partner Giroud upfront. With no other injury concerns for Lampard the only other real decision is the midfield three as both Kovacic and Havertz are both battling for one spot with Kante and Mount most likely filling in the other two. Lampard may lean towards Kovacic as Havertz is still returning to full fitness after testing positive from COVID-19 and felling very ill.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (11 Premier League goals this season) – No one would’ve expected Calvert-Lewin to be top goalscorer of the Premier League at this point in the season but here he is in free-flowing scoring form even when Everton have not been playing at their best.
James Rodriguez (3 Premier League goals this season) – The Columbian has started well at his new club. Like most Everton players this season he has started well and then has seemed to drop off over the last few weeks although will be hoping to either add to his goals or assists tally on Saturday.
Chelsea’s Top Goalscorers
Timo Werner (4 Premier League goals this season) – Werner may be satisfied with the start he’s made at Chelsea. His main fault under Lampard may be his criticality; he may have scored four but has also missed a fair few decent opportunities over the last couple weeks. If he finds his range over the next few weeks I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s up their with Calvert-Lewin in the golden boot race come the New Year.
Kurt Zouma (4 Premier League goal this season) – Who would have expected this? Chelsea’s joint highest goalscorer in the Premier League so far this season is their centre back. He’ll be more happy with a clean sheet at the weekend but could also find himself on the scoresheet if his scoring form this season is anything to go by.
Everest is a slot race, so the slot holder pays for participation in the race.
When Everest was launched, it was promised that it would be a game-changer for racing in Sydney and an opportunity to showcase the best Australian sprinters against leading international competitors in one of the world’s most prestigious races, the Everest Races. Many horses competing in a race like Sydney Everest or New South Wales Everest may opt for the big prize money, but some horses competing in a race may prefer to target a more lucrative race like the Melbourne Cup, Sydney Derby, or Sydney Stakes.
Everest Day also features an open field of horses trained in the country and now also on display nationwide – trained horses from the United States and Canada, and from around the world. Everest Day is also known as the opening day of the US Horse Racing Association (USHRA).
The prize money for the race will be repaid to 12th place, giving each runner in the field a share of the stake. Another advantage of this race is that every horse that competes in an Everest field will receive a share of the prize money. Up to 12th place, the prize money will be paid to each horse in the field that is in the stakes and to the winner of that race.
The field has a capacity of 12 starters, but only the richest racehorse owners can buy their way into the event. There is only one way to secure a place in the gigantic Everest race, which costs a whopping $600,000.
The 1200-metre Randwick course offers an advantage to the locally trained contingent, with Australian horses dominating the Everest tips this season. It features horses that have dominated the autumn sprint races, including the TJ Smith Stakes.
Can I bet on The Everest 2020 in the UK?
With Mark Jarvis, you can back sprinters in this lucrative race down under. For International horse racing betting, including the Australia, US, Japan, France, South Africa, and Hong Kong, click here.
The Premier League Matchweek 2 Team of the Week features some huge names as the matchweek goes down in the history books as one of the most entertaining. We provide a rundown of the best players from the second week back in the English top-flight…
Premier League Matchweek 2 Results
19th September 2020
West Bromwich Albion
19th September 2020
19th September 2020
19th September 2020
West Ham United
20th September 2020
20th September 2020
Brighton & Hove Albion
20th September 2020
20th September 2020
21st September 2020
21st September 2020
Premier League Matchweek Manager of the Week – Graham Potter
After a valiant effort in their opening game against Chelsea, Brighton made another strong start in their second Premier League game against Newcastle. Potter’s side took an early two-goal lead thanks to French forward Neal Maupay, with former Chelsea full back and promising youngster Tariq Lamptey becoming the latest English star in the right back position.
Newcastle were limited to just six shots, with none finding the target, earning Mathew Ryan a quiet afternoon thanks to a strong defensive effort from another young star. Ben White, a player Leeds United desperately wanted to return to Elland Road this season, was a part of a solid back line against the Toon which also included countrymen Lewis Dunk and Adam Webster.
Premier League Matchweek Player of the Week – Heung Min Son
This could have gone to several players this week, as the standard for the best player in this matchweek was immense. However, you can’t score four goals and not be the best performer, and that is exactly what South Korea’s Heung Min Son did at Saint Mary’s Stadium against Southampton.
The forward took advantage of some below-par defending from the Saints and got on the end of passes from goalscorer-turn-provider, Harry Kane. His pace was electric and the Saints back line simply could not recover in time to stop the deadly finishing of the South Korean.
Kane broke a record in the league, becoming the first player to assist four times to the same player in a single Premier League match. The Englishman’s array of passing and vision makes him a very close second in the best player this week.
Goalkeeper: Emi Martinez (7.8 Player Rating)
After a somewhat surprising move away from the Gunners recently, despite his incredible form in an Arsenal shirt, the Argentine stopper proved once again why he is much more than a backup keeper. Despite Sheffield United going down to 10-men, they earned themselves a penalty in the first half. Up stepped Jon Lundstrum, but Martinez met his kick with a diving save to keep Aston Villa’s clean sheet and earn three points for his side. What a Premier League debut in a Villains shirt for Martinez.
Right Back: Trent Alexander-Arnold (7.8 Player Rating)
The quality of the Liverpool full back was on show once again, especially as the Englishman had more licence to get forward when Chelsea went down to 10-men. Alexander-Arnold was playing as a winger for most of the match, and that enabled him to attempt shots on goal and get plenty of crosses into the box, his speciality. With tremendous competition for the England right back spot, the 21-year-old knows he cannot afford to drop his performance levels in the next few weeks.
Centre Back: Ezri Konsa (8.1 Player Rating)
Another Villa player in the side is the goalscorer of the only goal of the game, and it came from an unlikely source in Ezri Konsa. The English centre back made four clearances, two interceptions, and won nearly all of his duels against the depleted Sheffield United frontline. With so many goals being scored this matchweek, it was certainly not a weekend to be a defender, and Konsa and co. helped Aston Villa to the only one of three clean sheets in the Premier League.
Centre Back: Tyrone Mings (7.7 Player Rating)
Konsa’s centre back parter Tyrone Mings joins to the TOTW as the England international in fact set up Konsa’s goal and earned himself a rare assist. Mings made three clearances and won 10 aerial duels as Villa saw off the Blades to earn a huge win and keep a clean sheet which could be invaluable later in the season. With Harry Maguire out of sorts, the centre back positions for England are up for grabs more than ever, and Mings will know he only needs a few more performances like this to claim a deserved spot in the Three Lions back line.
Left Back: Lucas Digne (7.7 Player Rating)
The Frenchman is back again for a second week running and showed his quality once again from the left back position of Carlo Ancelotti’s newly transformed Everton side. Digne made two tackles and one clearance, but it was his attacking contributions that caught the eye once again. He completed five crosses and four long balls as he advanced further up the left side of the Everton attack once Kieran Gibbs saw red for West Brom. You wouldn’t put it against the former Barcelona man to earn another spot in the Premier League TOTW next week.
Centre Mid: Dani Ceballos (8.4 Player Rating)
The Real Madrid-loanee contributed strongly at both ends of the pitch to earn his side a narrow and ugly win against West Ham United at the Emirates. The Spanish midfielder made three clearances, four interceptions, blocked two shots and provided the assist for the winning goal scored by Eddie Nketiah. The 24-year-old had a 90% pass accuracy and his performance in the middle of the field was one of the main reasons for Arsenal eventually overcoming the Hammers and earning an important three points for Mikel Arteta’s men.
Centre Mid: Andre Zambo Anguissa (7.8 Player Rating)
Despite being on the losing end in a seven-goal thriller, Fulham’s Andre Zambo Anguissa stood out as one of, if not the best performer in the match that saw an abundance of chances at both ends. The Cameroon midfielder, who spent time at Villarreal last season on loan, has opted to play for the Cottagers this season. The 24-year-old showed a bit of everything as he completed eight successful dribbles, won 15 ground and aerial duels and assisted one of Fulham’s three goals. He could be a key man if Fulham are going to stay up this season.
Centre Mid: Kevin De Bruyne (9.6 Player Rating)
Arguably the best player in the league, Kevin De Bruyne is not saving his best performances for later in the season. The Belgium superstar was the key man for Manchester City against Wolves, earning and scoring a penalty and also assisting Gabriel Jesus late on. He made five tackles, seven key passes and won eight duels on the ground. The 29-year-old also tested Rui Patricio throughout the night, with all four of his shots going on target. If City are going to close the gap on Liverpool, De Bruyne’s performance could be the catalyst to carry them to the title.
Left Wing: Heung Min Son (10.0 Player Rating)
It’s the first 10 of the season, a potentially scarce occurrence for a player to have the perfect game, but Heung Min Son did against Southampton. The 28-year-old netted his first just before halftime to switch the momentum of the game completely. The high line of the Southampton defence played completely into the hands of Spurs in the second half as Harry Kane found his forward partner on three more occasions. Son made one successful dribble, two key passes, but was ruthless in front of goal, scoring all four of his shots on goal.
Striker: Harry Kane (9.9 Player Rating)
A rating so high is strange for a player that only scored one goal you might wonder, however with a record-breaking four assists to his name, Harry Kane was very close to earning himself the player of the week award. The sensational range of passing and vision to find Heung Min Son was outstanding as England’s number nine showed just how good he can put the ball on a plate for his teammates. Considering he only made 13 passes in the whole game shows that he made most of them count. The in-sync partnership now has Gareth Bale waiting to add to the deadly quality in attack and make Spurs a serious threat going forward.
Right Wing: James Rodriguez (9.1 Player Rating)
Building on his strong Premier League debut performance away at Spurs, James Rodriguez scored his first Premier League goal as Everton ran riot against West Brom at Goodison Park. The Colombian creative spark operated on the right but drifted inside and caused chaos with his left foot once again. The 29-year-old hit three key passes, seven long ball and assisted a second goal for Dominic Calvert-Lewin to make it 5-2. Considering the move to Merseyside from Real Madrid cost Everton nothing, Rodriguez could arguably be the buy of the summer so far.
Honourable Mentions for Premier League TOTW 2
Timothy Castagne: After scoring on his debut last week away at West Brom, Castagne proved what an astute signing he has been for the Foxes. The attacking full assisted Leicester’s first goal for Harvey Barnes and also crossed a ball which led to an own goal, so technically created two assists. Ricardo Pereira’s return may provide a good selection headache for Brendan Rodgers.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin: After a sensational headed goal scored last week, DCL netted three a Premier League hat-trick for Everton as they crushed WBA 5-2. Calvert-Lewin seems to relish the opportunities that are being created for him by his new teammates in Carlo Ancelotti’s system, and an England call up is on the cards for the 23-year-old with this form.
Alison Becker: The Brazilian shot stopper saved a penalty from Jorginho at a crucial point in Liverpool’s game against Chelsea. Had he conceded, the momentum swing could have seen the Reds drop points to big-spenders Chelsea so early into the new Premier League season.
Premier League Betting Markets
At Mark Jarvis, we have hundreds of different markets for each match in the Premier League. For Premier League markets, click here.
The Serie A returns for a brand new season in Italy. We provide a rundown of the state of play, schedule, players, teams and more.
When is Serie A season kicking off?
Serie A returns with all opening matches kicking off at 2pm on 20th September. Andrea Pirlo will make his managerial debut as Juventus boss against Sampdoria at home, whilst arguably the tie of the round is Lazio vs Atalanta. Serie A is the last of the big five leagues to kick off their new season.
How are games being scheduled in the league?
Everything is coming back to normal. Match weeks are scheduled one week apart from each other, mostly on the weekends and Mondays like we were accustomed to before the pandemic. There is no information yet about the mid-week and Friday fixtures.
What time do games usually kick off in Serie A?
Weekend games usually kick off at 2pm, 5pm or 7:45pm, however this can change once they announce the tv listings and kick off times.
Who won promotion to the Serie A for the 2020/21 season?
Benevento are back in the Serie A after a solo campaign back in 2017/18. They finished top of Serie B comfortably, with 86 points from 38 games played. The Sorcerers only lost four league games and their defence played a huge role, conceding just 27 goals. With automatic promotion back into Serie A, Benevento will hope that they do not have a repeat of their 2017/18 campaign. They set the record for the longest consecutive number of defeats (13) at the start of the season across the ‘big five’ European leagues.
Crotone are another side returning to the Serie A after suffering relegation in 2018. Unlike Benevento, they were able to stay up for their first campaign in the top flight in 2016/17. The Pythagoreans finished just above the drop after a final day victory was enough to stay in the division and send Empoli down instead. This will be just their third top flight campaign in their history, and they will need to hope that striker “Simy” can help them score enough goals to stay up this season.
Established in 1906, it will be the first time in the club’s history that they compete in Serie A. The historic campaign will start off with a trip to Udinese for Vincenzo Italiano’s men. After finishing 3rd and missing out on automatic promotion from Serie B last season, Spezia had to settle for the playoffs. They overturned Chievo Verona in the play off semi finals before facing Frosinone, who were unfortunate to miss out on promotion over two-legs despite the aggregate score being 1-1.
Which teams were relegated from Serie A last season?
After back-to-back successive survival campaigns, including an impressive 13th place finish in 2018/19, SPAL finished bottom of the Serie A. The side relied on a lot of loan players joining the squad this season, and have now made another managerial change after Leonardo Semplici and Luigi Di Biagio were removed from the role. Unsurprisingly, they had the least amount of wins during the season with just five.
The club Mario Balotteli represented last season and the club he started his career out did not stay in the division. Just six wins throughout the season was not enough to stay in the division. In their last two promotions to the top flight, they have gone back down, finishing 19th in both campaigns. They could however receive a fair amount of money for the sought-after Sandro Tonali and offload Balotteli and push to bounce back to the top flight in their first attempt.
The Salentians, despite a valiant effort, fell just short of staying in Serie A after they suffered a last day defeat to the hands of Parma in a crazy 4-3 game. Had they won that game, however, they would have still needed Genoa to drop points, but their survival rivals won 3-0 against Hellas Verona to keep their points gap intact. After potent form at the start of February, Lecce’s survival chances were significantly damaged in a seven-game losing run which they conceded a whopping 25 goals.
Who won the Serie A title last season?
Juventus, despite having a below-par and somewhat underwhelming season, came out on top once again as the Turin giants overcame any title challenges from the likes of Inter Milan, Atalanta and Lazio. It was the club’s ninth successive Scudetto, however they did only just win by a single point and record their lowest points total since 2010/11.
Juventus continue to add to their dominant and decorative history, having now become champion 36 times in their history. However, Maurizio Sarri could not keep his job for this season, with the former Chelsea manager axed by the club. In steps Andrea Pirlo, a rather shock appointment just days after they announced him coach of the Juve U23 side. The trend of hiring ex-players with little experience seems to be the new long-term thinking of clubs across Europe and not just in England.
What were the talking points from the 2019/20 Serie A season?
For talking points from the 2019/2020 Serie A season, click here
Who were the top players last season?
For top players from the 2019/20 Premier League season, click here
Atalanta (19/20 – 3rd in Serie A)
The team on everyone’s lips last season across Europe as one of the most exciting, entertaining and ruthless sides in Serie A and the Champions League. Managed by Gian Piero Gasperini, Atalanta finished 3rd last season, ahead of the likes of Napoli, Lazio and Roma, and scored a staggering 98 league goals.
The question is how many key first team players can they hold on to, with wide men Timothy Castagne and Robert Gosens heavily linked with moves away.
Benevento (19/20 – 1st in Serie B)
Benevento’s 2017/18 Serie A season was memorable for two reasons. They broke the record across Europe’s top five leagues for the longest streak of defeats at the start of the season with 13. However, more people might remember goalkeeper Alberto Brignoli scored in injury time to give Sorcerers their first Serie A point against AC Milan.
Managed by Italian legend Filippo Inzaghi, Benevento have impressively signed former AS Monaco defender Kamil Glik, who provides both quality and experience in a key area if they are to stay up.
Bologna (19/20 – 12th in Serie A)
With a mid-table finish last season, it will frustrate Bologna and manager Siniša Mihajlović that they could not shore up their defence and finish much higher. Musa Barrow, Nicolas Domínguez, and Takehiro Tomiyasu are just some young stars coming through the Bologna side.
However, the team has to improve defensively if they want to aspire to challenge the top half. Clean sheets are a must, having only kept clean sheets in 5% of their league games last season, a league low.
Cagliari (19/20 – 13th in Serie A)
Similarly to Bologna, Cagliari finished mid-table in 13th, however were better defensively and just could never quite see out enough games. They now have former Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco at the helm to help guide them further up the table this year.
The side has a strong South American spine, particularly in the central areas with Joao Pedro, Nahitan Nandez and Gaston Pereiro. Ahead of the new season, they have also strengthened with the loan signing of Ajax midfielder, Razvan Marin, and secure Marko Rog and Diego Simeone on permanent deals.
Crotone (19/20 – 2nd in Serie B)
This is just Crotone’s second top flight campaign after a two-year stay from 2016 to 2018. The Calabria-based club finished as runners up behind Benevento in the Serie B last season to secure automatic promotion.
Interestingly, Libya international and Manchester-born Ahmad Benali is one of their key players. Another key man will be crucial is 6 foot 6 inch tall Simeon Nwankwo, known as “Simy” who scored 20 Serie B goals last season.
Fiorentina (19/20 – 9th in Serie A)
Unfortunately Fiorentina seem to sit in between tiers of the top end teams and the mid-table teams. Their campaign last season was once again underwhelming despite bringing in the likes of Franck Ribery to the side which already has quality players such as Federico Chiesa.
What was particularly frustrating, and a common trait for a mid-table side, is a large amount of drawn matches. In fact, ACF drew 13 times, more than any other side in the division last season. They will need to turn draws into wins if they aspire to play in Europe.
Genoa (19/20 – 17th in Serie A)
Four wins from the restart was enough to keep Genoa in Serie A for the upcoming season, after Lecce took them to a final day survival showdown. The nine-time Serie A champions and historic Italian club got the better of Lecce in a huge home match near the end of the season.
They are going to need to start their campaign much better if they want to avoid another relegation battle this season. Before the turn of the year, Genoa won just two games from their opening 17 Serie A games. They also have a squad predominantly of players over 30 and will need to look to the future.
Hellas Verona (19/20 – 9th in Serie A)
Hellas Verona had a very solid campaign, finishing in the top half on head-to-head record and never really went on a bad run of games. They picked a lot of their points up in draws and turning just a few of those draws into wins could have projected them to a much higher and more impressive league finish.
The Veneto-based side were a team that are always competitive in games last season and only suffered one heavy defeat last season at the hands of Lazio. This was their first season back in the Italian top flight after a playoff promotion win in Serie B in 2018/19, making their league finish even more impressive. It will be interesting if they can replicate their solid form once again.
Inter (19/20 – 2nd in Serie A)
It has been quite a season for Antonio Conte in charge of the blue side of Milan. The former Chelsea boss guided his side to a second place finish and proved to many how good of a coach he is. With a frontline of Romelu Lukaku and Latauro Martinez, Inter made the Europa League Final but eventually fell short.
The Nerazzurri could have stopped the dominance of a disappointing Juventus this season if they had not dropped so many points against struggling sides last season. 10 draws in Serie A was the most of any team in the top eight, meaning they would have only needed to turn one of their draws into a win to secure their first Scudetto since 2009/10, a decade ago.
Juventus (19/20 – 1st in Serie A)
The Champions League exit at the hands of Lyon was arguably the final straw for Maurizio Sarri in a strange yet successful campaign for Juventus. They won the league once again, albeit by a single point, and held off any title challenges from Lazio, Atalanta and Inter Milan throughout the season.
However, the Sarri style of play and underwhelming results and performances so Juve head into a new and exciting direction. Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates will now report to Andrea Pirlo, and in line with the vision of some Premier League clubs hiring new managers who are ex-players, will most likely get the time to implement his ideas and be successful.
Lazio (19/20 – 4th in Serie A)
One team were in and out of the title race, Lazio and the goal-scoring exploits of Ciro Immobile helped The Eagles to push Juve throughout but particularly in the second half of the season. A late season fall off during the restart meant Lazio settled for 4th, however it is still their highest finish since the 2014/15 season.
Immobile smashed the goal-scoring charts this season, with 36 goals in 37 appearances, and he would have been an outside choice in the Balon d’Or had it gone ahead this year. Whether they can replicate their strong season and also do well in the Champions League remains to be seen, especially when they failed to get out of their Europa League group last season.
Milan (19/20 – 6th in Serie A)
A late revival in their season meant that AC Milan will compete in the Europa League next season. The return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a welcomed one, and despite his age the Swede has contributed massively and will play for the Rossoneri in this upcoming season.
At the start of the season, Milan lost seven of their opening 11 games and another underwhelming and frustrating season was on the cards for the sleeping giant of the club. However, since the turn of the year, they only lost two games, winning 13 games and drawing six in 21 Serie A games.
Napoli (19/20 – 7th in Serie A)
It was quite a chaotic season in Naples as troubles off the pitch meant Carlo Ancelotti said goodbye and headed for the Premier League during the season. In came former AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso, and results improved during the start of 2020, including a run of nine wins in 11 games.
They settled for the final Europa League spot in 7th, a competition they did not play in last season after progressing to the Champions League Round of 16 against Barcelona. Napoli have kept Dries Mertens, however they could lose out to interested parties after Kalidou Koulibaly, whilst Ancelotti has poached Brazilian midfielder Allan from the Azzuri.
Parma (19/20 – 11th in Serie A)
Despite two promotions and an 11th place finish last season, Roberto D’Aversa will not be in charge of Parma next season. The decision to move on from their hugely successful coach raises some eyebrows. It was only a few years ago that the club was on its financial knees and forced to play in the fourth tier in Italy.
Former Premier League players Andreas Cornelius and Gervinho starred for I Gialloblu last season, with 19 league goals between them. It will be interesting if they can have another solid mid-table season with new management in charge.
Roma (19/20 – 5th in Serie A)
Paulo Fonseca is part of an exciting rebuild project with Roma that is headlined by the highly talented Nicolo Zaniolo. The attacking fluid football is reaping some rewards and, whilst they missed out on Champions League football, Roma will be optimistic about where this team is going.
Sandwiched in between solid starts and a very solid end to last season was a run of eight defeats in 13 games which damaged their chances at clinching top four. If they can bring in Chris Smalling on a permanent, that would be a firm statement of intent. They are however set to lose Aleksandar Kolarov to Inter Milan. Roma should finish in and around the top five or six again.
Sampdoria (19/20 – 15th in Serie A)
The front line of Manolo Gabbiadini, formerly of Southampton, and the veteran Fabio Quagliarella, who finished as one of the top scorers in 2018/19, provided a threat for Sampdoria last season. They have another former Saints man in Gaston Ramirez as the creative spark, but will be glad that their second half of the season form dragged them to safety after a very poor start to the season.
They lost out on a lot of points by failing to draw games, only drawing six times last season. Only Juventus and SPAL drew fewer games in Serie A. They need to improve defensively or find the net more than they did last season if they want to avoid a relegation battle.
Sassuolo (19/20 – 8th in Serie A)
This team was an exciting one to watch last season, and one that performing very well and caused trouble to the very best teams in the league. Sassuolo have their midfield to thank for some of the best counter-attacking play in the Serie A, thanks to the excellent seasons from the likes of Jeremie Boga and Manuel Locatelli.
The latter is proving why AC Milan should not have sold him and is being linked with another move again. The Neroverdi could lose Rogerio to Newcastle, but if they can keep hold of top scorers Francesco Caputo and Domenico Berardi, they should be set for another solid season.
Spezia (19/20 – 3rd in Serie B)
It will be the first time in the club’s history that they compete in Serie A. The historic campaign will start off with a trip to Udinese for Vincenzo Italiano’s men. After finishing 3rd and missing out on automatic promotion from Serie B last season, Spezia had to settle for the playoffs.
They overturned Chievo Verona in the play off semi finals before facing Frosinone, who were unfortunate to miss out on promotion over two-legs despite the aggregate score being 1-1. Survival will be on the cards, and it will be a monumental effort to avoid the drop this season for the minnows from Liguria.
Torino (19/20 – 16th in Serie A)
This side were very underwhelming last season, and star man Andrea Belotti still scored 16 league goals. Outside of him, the goals were not coming consistently from anyone else, and Torino scored just 46 league goals last season. Defensively, this side struggled, especially in January when a six-game losing streak saw them concede 19 goals including one of Atalanta’s ruthless seven-nil handouts.
They have gained a solid defender in the transfer window in former AC Milan full back Ricardo Rodriguez. Bringing back Simone Verdi again could help with the lack of goals, however they are rumoured to lose Ola Aina to Fulham. It would be surprising if they were to struggle as much as they did last season.
Udinese (19/20 – 13th in Serie A)
Luca Gotti is still trying to establish himself and help build this team who ended up safely in 13th after strong form at the end of the season. Udinese had their defence to thank for and the high number of clean sheets kept through the Serie A season. In fact, the Bianconeri kept the joint-most amount of clean sheets alongside the defensive-sound Inter Milan.
If they can improve their goal-scoring record whilst maintaining a similar defensive record, Udinese could easily push for a top/mid table finish. However, they scored just 37 goals last season, and could lose the highly sought after Rodrigo De Paul who scored seven of those goals. The lack of transfer activity coming in could affect them if they cannot bring in reinforcements.
Who are the favourites to win the 2020/21 Serie A?
Inter Milan 15/8*
AC Milan 18/1*
*Odds as of time of writing (Thursday 3rd September 2020) and subject to change
Serie A Betting Markets
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Only a few weeks since the end of ‘Project Restart’, the new season is shortly upon us. Ahead of the 2020/21 Premier League season, each of our writers run through their full Premier League table predictions.
Sam Bettany’s Premier League Table Prediction
Sam’s Premier League 20/21 Winner
It would have hurt City and Pep Guardiola what happened in the league and Champions League last season. I expect them to strengthen in numbers and quality, and with the best squad depth in the league, I think they will close a points total that I cannot see Liverpool maintaining for a third successive season.
They have already signed Ferran Torres and Nathan Ake, with the latter being an underrated signing who could massively improve a City back line that was underwhelming last season and featured Fernandinho and at time Rodri having to fill in ahead of John Stones.
Losing David Silva and Leroy Sane is a blow, but I expect Phil Foden to take the next step in his development this season and play regularly in the City lineup. They are likely to fare much better in the Champions League when it returns to two-leg ties, so I think their priority focus should be on stopping their Merseyside title rivals from winning back-to-back.
Sam’s Premier League 20/21 Top Four
Manchester City and Liverpool should clinch top four once again, so it is a case of several teams fighting it out for the remaining spots for Champions League football. Whilst Chelsea have bought well and have an exciting project going on under Frank Lampard, I question their consistency and poor record from defending set-pieces.
Pipping Chelsea to a top four spot I think will be Manchester United who will continue to perform well with Bruno Fernandes at the centre of things. The potential front line of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho is exciting, but like Chelsea will need to improve defensively.
Arsenal are on the up with Mikel Arteta and I think the Spaniard will get the best out of his squad in his first full season as Arsenal manager in what could be a manager of the season candidate leader. Defensively, Arsenal look much stronger, and the structure of the team regardless of the player’s quality could be what finally gets them a top four finish for the first time since 2015/16 season.
Sam’s Premier League 20/21 Relegation Zone
Scott Parker’s Fulham side face another uphill battle to stay up on their Premier League return. I don’t think they will have enough quality to keep their Premier League status, especially if they have a similarly woeful defensive record to their 2018/19 Premier League campaign where they conceded 81 goals. That is six more goals than Norwich City from last season. They are one of the favourites to go down, priced at Evs* with Mark Jarvis.
Crystal Palace returned from the lockdown and looked very underwhelming. No wins since ‘Project Restart’ and the continuous rumours surrounding Wilfried Zaha makes next season an interesting one for the Eagles. If they lose Zaha, and bring their abysmal form from last season into this season, I can see them going down, and they are 2/1* to avoid safety with Mark Jarvis.
Sam’s Premier League 20/21 Wildcard
Most people probably expect Leeds United to finish around 12th-15th and have a fairly solid debut season back in the Premier League. However, Marcelo Bielsa has been working miracles at the Yorkshire club and his tactical approach could see him pick up some huge points against some bigger teams this season. I expect them to beat one or two of the title chasing sides and have a sound record at Elland Road this season. An 8th place finish is ambitious, but very possible and realistic.
Wolverhampton Wanderers achieved 7th in their debut season back in the Premier League in 2018/19, whilst Sheffield United settled for 9th but were on course to finish much higher before Project Restart. I cannot see them in a relegation battle this season and you can get Leeds United to finish in the Top 10 at 11/5* with Mark Jarvis.
Ryan Fitzgerald-Nolan’s Premier League Table Prediction
Ryan’s Premier League 20/21 Winner
Many have tipped the Blue side of Manchester to take the Premier League crown this season. Bruised. Angry. Wealthy. The case for Pep Guardiola and co. is most undoubtedly a strong one, nonetheless I favour Liverpool to ‘walk on’ with the momentum built over the past three seasons. Some would argue that it is the last three seasons of fantastic runs that will lead to a burnout, but Klopp has struck gold with squad harmony and player development.
Almost every starting 11 member is coming into or in the peak of their powers, and with the addition of Thiago Alcantara, the Spaniard brings a new dynamic to Klopp’s famed pressing style. It will be close, an awful lot closer than the campaign just past, but the Reds will do it.
Ryan’s Premier League 20/21 Top Four
City will play second fiddle to Liverpool, but the title race on paper may have had a new candidate enter the chase over the past few weeks. Chelsea cannot afford anything less than a third, almost literally. Roman Abramovich’s expenditure over the summer has seen the west London side win the transfer window at a canter.
The question remains whether Frank Lampard can translate spending onto the pitch, as the jury is out on the ex-Blue’s performance last time out. Mikel Arteta is moulding the club in his own image, and as long as they can tie-down talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal will enter the fray- but there’s more on that later.
Ryan’s Premier League 20/21 Relegation Zone
It may seem harsh to send two of the three promoted sides back the other way. West Brom however inspire little confidence, having stumbled to automatic promotion last term with the help of a Brentford capitulation. Lack of investment may also undo the Baggies, along with Slaven Bilic unable to nail down certain starters in positions like centre half and striker.
Villa cannot rely on surviving in the season’s home stretch again, and it’s the club’s incomings and outgoings that could define their season. Starlets such as Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Douglas Luiz must stay at Villa Park.
They require all the while more reinforcements up top, with only 6 of the Birmingham outfit’s 41 goals coming from strikers last season. Scott Parker has done more than a respectable job in the dugout at Craven Cottage, and will need to strike the balance between not repeating the club’s ills off last time out in the top flight (over £100 million spent) and maintaining the chemistry that brought them through the playoffs.
Ryan’s Premier League 20/21 Wildcard
Mikel Arteta has already bagged two trophies in under a year in the job. The young Spaniard’s holistic approach has seen fans and many a neutral buy in to what he’s doing at Arsenal, and the brand of football introduced at the Emirates is as easy on the eye has been sorely missing over the years. Arteta has a clear vision and on the warpath to doing so, boldly claiming they will be European champions within three years recently.
Such talk can go on pause for now, at least until the Gunners reach the Champions League. This season could be different. The Lamborghini-style attacking prowess on display over recent seasons has been undone by car-crash defending. Acquisitions of Gabriel, William Saliba and Kieran Tierney have gone a long way in the eyes of fans to address such issues.
Alas, Aubameyang is key. The Gabon international accounted for 39% of all Premier League goals for Arsenal last season. Get that contract done, and Gooners may have their top four wish.
Matthew Hill’s Premier League Table Prediction
Matthew’s Premier League 20/21 Winner
I’m going to go for Liverpool to win the league. I have seen many people going for Manchester City to win the league and I haven’t seen many people if any going for Liverpool, which has surprised me a little bit. I think this is because of the slight drop in form at the end of the season after the Premier League confirmed them as champions and a mixed start to their preseason.
I think the 18 point gap will be too big for Manchester City to close although it will be closer and if Liverpool lose a key player to a long-term injury, then they could struggle, especially against the stronger teams.
Matthew’s Premier League 20/21 Top Four
Roman Abramovich will expect Chelsea to close the gap on the top two and will ideally want them to be challenging for the title, the 33 point gap to Liverpool will be one step too far for this season. It is still unknown how the new players will adapt to the Premier League and the goalkeeper position is still unknown. Arsenal look and are performing like a stronger side under Mikel Arteta.
They beat Liverpool at the end of last season (albeit after Liverpool had won the league) and won three important games at Wembley against Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool to win both the FA Cup and the Community Shield. I’m going for Arsenal to just beat Manchester United and Tottenham to a top four place. Manchester United have had a quiet transfer window compared to their competitors and they still look vulnerable at the back, but there is still time to change this.
Matthew’s Premier League 20/21 Relegation Zone
Newly promoted have struggled in the Premier League in the last few years. Norwich went straight back down last season with Aston Villa only just staying up on the final day. In the 18/19 season, Cardiff and Fulham both went straight back down and Huddersfield suffered the drop after just two seasons in the Premier League. I think West Brom and Fulham will both struggle.
West Brom have done well to have re-signed Pereira and could sign Diangana permanently, which are both great signings, as both players were important for The Baggies last season. However, Norwich had much of the same squad they did well in the Championship with but finished rock bottom of the Premier League last season. Fulham need to keep Mitrovic fit if they are to have a realistic chance of surviving, but I think they will finish just short of survival.
However, Scott Parker is a very good young manager and I think they will do better than they did the last time they were in the Premier League. The third spot will go to Aston Villa. I feel as though it may be between Aston Villa and West Ham again for the last spot. Villa have signed Matty Cash but they need to strengthen further, especially up front.
Matthew’s Premier League 20/21 Wildcard
However, although one or two newly promoted clubs struggle, there is usually one a surprise package that is usually a promoted club. Recently, it has been Wolves and Sheffield United or a little further back it was Reading in 2006/07. I think the dark horses next season will be Leeds United.
They did very well last season and even in games where they weren’t at their best they got a result such as at home to Barnsley. Bielsa has looked to strengthen as Leeds have broken their transfer record on Rodrigo. Where Leeds may struggle is when they play at home with no fans, as they are used to playing in front of a large and passionate crowd at Elland Road.
Jake Perry’s Premier League Table Prediction
Matthew’s Premier League 20/21 Winner
Matthew’s Premier League 20/21 Top Four
Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United
Matthew’s Premier League 20/21 Relegation Zone
West Brom, Fulham, Aston Villa
Matthew’s Premier League 20/21 Wildcard
Okan Iskin’s Premier League Table Prediction
Okan’s Premier League 20/21 Winner
Okan’s Premier League 20/21 Top Four
Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea
Okan’s Premier League 20/21 Relegation Zone
Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Fulham
Okan’s Premier League 20/21 Wildcard
Premier League Winner Markets
Manchester City 4/6*
Manchester United 12/1*
Tottenham Hotspur 50/1*
Leicester City 150/1*
Leeds United 150/1*
Premier League Relegation Markets
West Bromwich Albion 19/20*
Aston Villa 13/8*
Crystal Palace 15/8*
Newcastle United 21/10*
Sheffield United 16/5*
Leeds United 16/5*
Brighton & Hove Albion 16/5*
West Ham United 17/4*
Premier League Top Four Markets
Manchester City 1/33*
Manchester United 4/9*
Tottenham Hotspur 14/5*
Wolverhampton Wanderers 6/1*
Leicester City 8/1*
Leeds United 22/1*
West Ham United 28/1*
*Odds as of time of writing (Thursday 3rd September 2020) and subject to change