The curtains may be drawing on yet another pulsating Premier League season but it won’t be long before England’s top division is back center stage.
The interrupted 2019/20 season means a shorter than usual off-season with the new 2020/21 campaign penciled in for September 12. One team who wouldn’t mind an extended period to bask in the glory of achievements this year is league winners, Liverpool.
After winning a first-ever Premier League title and, with it, a first league championship in thirty years, Jurgen Klopp’s team would enjoy nothing more than three months of well-earned rest to soak it all up.
Yet, even though the taste of champagne is still fresh, the quick six-week turnaround means the newly crowned champions must put celebrations to one side and quickly turn the attention to how they intend to repeat the feat next year.
Ahead of the new season, leading US bookmakers, many of whom feature on this list of sports betting sites, have deposed champions, Manchester City, as favorites (+105) to reclaim the trophy they failed to defend this term.
And it’s clear to see why given the form of Pep Guardiola’s side since the league restarted in mid-June.
The Citizens have won seven of their nine games scoring a heap of goals doing so. But it’s not so much the victories racked up but the manner in which they’ve steamrollered teams – including champions, Liverpool, no less – which remind us how devastating City can be on any given day and suggests how the focus, for them, is already on next year’s title.
For Liverpool, +185 second favorites, the added challenge of being that side every team wants to beat and handling the pressure that comes with being the reigning champions will be intriguing. Particularly when you consider The Reds are the fourth club in five seasons to finish top of the pile after Man City, Chelsea, and Leicester. Of those, only Manchester City managed back-to-back titles (2018, 2019). The last team to win in consecutive years before City was Man United in 2009.
What’s clear in this era of the Premier League is the high level of competition, which is only set to intensify. Significant investment is expected from the likes of City, United, and Chelsea who will be all seeking to close the gap and make a better fight of the race which quickly developed into a one-horse affair early on in the campaign.
Whether Liverpool can withstand the pressure, hold off the challenge of rivals, and sustain the same level of intensity and sheer relentlessness remains to be seen. As good as Klopp and his title winners have been, you can bet on a closer race next time around. And the best part is, there’s not long to wait.