Here’s Glen with his article on the Fantasy English Premier League and the winners & losers of the 19/20 Season
Fantasy English Premier League: The Winners & Losers of the 19/20 Season
The first half of the 2019/2020 English Premier League has already proved that Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp’s second-place finish last season was no fluke, the difference being that Manchester City can’t keep up with them thus far.
Can Anybody Put a Stop to Liverpool?
Plain and simple: no. Last season Klopp and his squad were within one-point of claiming the Premier League title before Manchester City put an end that dream. This term the boys in red have been on an unstoppable hot-streak.
Critics expected the heavy schedule during November & January to crush the will of Liverpool at least once or twice but yet again, Liverpool sailed through their fixtures without a single loss. 13 games were played across an excruciating 40 day period and now that was a month out heading into the winter break, Liverpool sits comfortably in first place with zero losses, a 22 point lead on second place and is just seven wins away from lifting the league title.
After what seemed to be easy victories over second-place Manchester City and close rivals in third Leicester City, the competition is tough but Liverpool continues to remain two steps ahead. To believe there is any chance of Liverpool giving up the league title this season would be foolish, the battle for a top-four finish will be the only remaining season goal for any club other than Liverpool; who wouldn’t surprise me if they remained undefeated and lifted the trophy in 7 fixtures time.
— Liverpool FC (Premier League Champions 🏆) (@LFC) February 3, 2020
I have no doubt in my mind, much like many others; Liverpool will lift the EPL Trophy and theirs a good chance they’ll lift another two or three pieces of silverware to go with it
Top Four Finish 19/20 Season
With first place and league champions almost decided 4 months away from the final fixtures, It’s going to be an interesting battle at the top for the remaining important places. A lot of teams are within 3-5 points of each other which will make for a drama-filled end to the season and one as fans, we love to watch.
Leicester and Manchester City continue battling it out for 2nd position which if current form suggests, will remain that way towards the end of the season. I think the key attributes for both City and Leicester would be their defence; the back four of both teams are more than capable holding themselves at the top whilst teams slightly below them, have been too inconsistent to believe in snatching a top spot.
The fourth position would seemingly come down to Tottenham, Man United, Wolverhampton and Chelsea. This position would Chelsea’s to lose, as they currently sit in 4th with a gap of four points between themselves and 5th place Tottenham. A weekend victory for Tottenham over Manchester City could invigorate a depleted Spurs side but with so much inconsistency in the defences of the top four battle clubs, it’s hard to put trust into any of them based on current form.
Sheffield United could shock the world and deserve an honourable mention in this category. Their defence has outclassed that of their peers. Besides Liverpool, Sheffield has the second-best defence in the league with just 23 goals conceded. They’ve sat in 6th place just five points outside of the top 4. With the arrival of record signing midfielder Sander Berge for £22 million, don’t be surprised if Sheffield continues with their solid defensive form and snatch a place in the top four. If I were to put confidence in any side, it would be this Sheffield side.
Let me take you back to one the beautiful moments in football.
This is not Barcelona, not even Man City, not Real Madrid, not Arsenal, not even a big football club in football but Sheffield United.
They did Tottenham dirty😂😂 pic.twitter.com/UVipaQGo9G
— Boda shina (@boda_shina) January 11, 2020
Mid-Table & Relegation Worries
This time last season Brighton were 10 points clear of the relegation zone happily sitting mid-table, the last thing they expected during the month of May was a drop-down to the English Championship. So, let this be a lesson for any team believing they have avoided the dreaded relegation zone.
From the current mid-tier teams, I’d give Newcastle or Crystal Palace the biggest chance at regression. Both sides have given questionable and at times, vulnerable performances. West Ham,
Villa and Bournemouth have all shown signs of life in recent fixtures which could cause some worry for the teams that think safety has been achieved.
Arsenal fans are not happy with their London side sitting in 10th place; draws have plagued the Gunners this season even with the appointment of new manager Mikel Arteta. And although relegation shouldn’t be a worry for Arsenal, any hope of European qualification will need to be earnt sooner rather than later. I expect Arsenal to fight back into the top six before the season is out, there’s plenty of time to work with and their talent is evident. The return of Aubameyang will be crucial and we can’t neglect the fact that 5th and 14th place in the EPL are currently separated by just seven points.
Back with a bang? 🤔
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) February 2, 2020
Goodbye Premier League, Hello Championship
Statistically, and when taking a look at the historical trend of the Premier League… Norwich is doomed. Since the Premier League began, just three teams who were bottom of the league at Christmas have avoided relegation. Through 25 games this season Norwich have picked up a miserable 4 wins and just 18 points, their season isn’t finished but it’s going to take a lot for them to avoid relegation.
Callum Wilson has been keeping Bournemouth in the Premier League, let’s be honest. Without his goal-scoring ability, they’d be in serious trouble and would’ve been relegated years ago. He’s been injury-prone and only has 6 goals this season, if any team were to slip-up I think Bournemouth is the side to back to go down.
Formulating Premier League picks halfway through the season isn’t an easy task and at this point, was just be throwing darts. That said and with everything considered, here are my final predictions and fantasy for the top and bottom positions of the EPL 19/20 final season standings.
1st place – Liverpool
2nd place – Manchester City
3rd place – Leicester City
4th place – Chelsea
5th place – Sheffield United
16th – Aston Villa
17th – Crystal Palace
18th – Bournemouth [relegated]
19th – Watford [relegated]
20th – Norwich [relegated]