They say the Premier League table never lies, but we’re going to take a stab at predicting what it will eventually read once May rolls around.
The 2021/22 season has arrived and 20 teams are battling to achieve a range of different ambitions, from the title race to the relegation battle.
A cluster of teams will feel they have a shot at dislodging Manchester City from the summit, while a couple of dark horses will surprise everyone to challenge for honours above their station.
A number of teams will simply see Premier League survival as the ultimate mark of success, while others will be forced to endure the sheer apathy of the upper bottom half.
RadioTimes.com brings you our full predicted table for the 2021/22 Premier League season.
Check out all the games you can watch live using our Premier League TV schedule.
Premier League table predicted 2021/22
- Man City
- Man Utd
- West Ham
- Aston Villa
- Crystal Palace
1. Man City
Pep Guardiola has crafted the strongest defence in the league, and boasts some of the finest creative players in the world. If Harry Kane arrives, it’s hard to see them not lifting the Premier League trophy again.
The Reds are fit again. The importance of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Jordan Henderson returning simply cannot be overstated. Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane will be very well rested after a full summer off. Expect a fresh Liverpool side to start the season with a bang.
3. Man Utd
Some people will never be sold on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but the work he is doing at United is positive and progressive. His strongest XI will trouble every side in the league. If Edinson Cavani can stay fit and Jadon Sancho adapts to the rigours of the Premier League, they could be in for a very strong year.
Chelsea are built for knockout tournaments. Thomas Tuchel has a Jose Mourinho-esque ability to dig out results on the night when required, but do they boast the stomach and consistency to go through a whole season? Romelu Lukaku has essentially ‘completed’ a talented squad but the Blues need polishing up if they are to challenge for the title.
Leicester are a settled part of the furniture at the top of the league these days. Jannik Vestergaard and Patson Daka represent smart additions to a smart squad under the stewardship of a smart manager. They would do well to keep pace with the elite four who have spent enormous cash.
6. West Ham
All eyes turn to the Hammers to see whether their strong campaign was a one-off. Jesse Lingard’s non-return is a blow, but Declan Rice remains in east London for now and Said Benrahma is impressing during pre-season. Another strong showing is on the cards for this hard-to-beat unit.
One of the most unpredictable teams in the league this term is Tottenham. They are a great unknown. If Harry Kane leaves, they’re in dire trouble without an adequate replacement. If he stays, they are still short of the organisation required to navigate a long season. Nuno Espirito Santo will aim to bring defensive stability, but can’t afford to sacrifice too much attacking flair.
8. Aston Villa
Villa are this season’s most popular choice to exceed expectations, and they would have ranked higher in this list had Jack Grealish stayed at Villa Park. The blow of his departure has been somewhat absorbed by terrific manoeuvring in the transfer market with Emi Buendia and Danny Ings among the smartest moves in the division.
It’s boom or bust time for Mikel Arteta. Fans won’t settle for another season short of European contention, but we’re going to predict they may have to. Aubameyang is not being utilised properly and while transfer activity is flowing, an £80million outlay for Ben White and relegated Sheffield United’s goalkeeper, Aaron Ramsdale, is steep and not enough.
Nobody will have enjoyed the summer break quite so much as the Leeds squad. Their relentless approach is sapping to watch, let alone enact, but if they come back with the same intensity, it’s hard to see a much different result from last term.
Rafael Benitez has a mountain to climb. His appointment may be among the least popular in Premier League history and he has been followed through the door by signings that wouldn’t look out of place in 2011 (Andros Townsend, Asmir Begovic et al). He will bring stability and pragmatism to Everton, but few pulses will be racing.
Wolves are tricky to get a read on. Two seasons ago they were the hottest property around, tip-toeing on the verge of Champions League football with a young squad that would only improve or be sold, piece-by-piece, for hundreds of millions of pounds. Now, they’re just kind of… there.
Brighton’s infamous xG rating of 2020/21 had football hipsters everywhere foaming at the mouth. Graham Potter remains with the club and knows that a little extra finesse in their finishing could make all the difference.
Much to the malign of the Newcastle faithful, the Magpies will not tear up any trees in 2021/22, they will simply exist. The biggest worry is that beyond injury-prone Callum Wilson, who will lead the line for Newcastle? Joe Willock is a strong addition on a permanent deal, Steve Bruce is doing a solid enough job, but there’s no great hope of Newcastle going along any better than expected.
This season’s newly-promoted wildcard is the mysterious Brentford. They boast a squad filled with moneyball signings from rogue backgrounds that many Premier League fans will be in the dark about. Ivan Toney is a known quantity expected to enjoy a breakout year. Much of Brentford’s chances rest with him.
Every single season until the end of human civilisation, Burnley will finish several points above the relegation zone and several points shy of competitive relevance.
17. Crystal Palace
The Patrick Vieira experiment could go any direction. The Palace squad has gone through a period of mass overhaul. Plenty of the old core has gone, replaced by young rising stars. The new-look Palace lacks experience and that is what Roy Hodgson called upon to save his Eagles from the drop in recent years.
The Saints’ defensive titan Jannik Vestergaard has left for Leicester, their reliably prolific goalscorer Danny Ings was allowed to walk away for £25m and untested talent has been brought in. Ralph Hassenhuttl has fostered a strong reputation at the club, but what is that based on? It can’t be Southampton’s style, it can’t be on their results, their attacking flair or their defensive organisation. This could be the end of the line for him and his team.
The safest prediction we’ll make all season is that Watford will be managed by three different bosses between now and May. The Hornets are back but they’ve not made any particularly eye-catching signings that suggest they’ll trouble too many teams in 21/22.
Getting promoted and selling your 15-goal, 15-assist key player is hardly ideal preparation for a new season. Daniel Farke failed to keep his men afloat last time, and they haven’t conducted any business that makes us think he can produce a different result this time. Teemu Pukki’s blazing early-season form died off last time Norwich visited the Premier League, and he is not tipped to extend their stay this time.