With Manchester City looking to run away with the Premier League title this season, some eyes are already looking ahead to who might challenge next term.
The big names are of course expected to be in the running once again, but England’s top flight has provided shocks in the past, and here are five teams that might be competing come the business end of the competition for the 2021/22 campaign.
While Manchester City and Liverpool have been the dominant forces in England in recent campaigns, Chelsea look capable of returning to the top of the pile in the Premier League. Manager Thomas Tuchel has helped the Blues resolve the issues in defense that saw his predecessor Frank Lampard lose his position at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are being linked with some top strikers this summer, with Borussia Dortmund starlet Erling Haaland just one forward to be connected with a move to west London. A big signing upfront could take Chelsea to the next level, and see them attempt to leapfrog City and Liverpool.
A side that have already tasted Premier League glory in the shock season that was 2015/2016, manager Brendan Rodgers has brought the Foxes back to a side challenging at the top. Italian tactician Claudio Ranieri was the mastermind behind Leicester’s unexpected title win in 2016, and now Rodgers is looking to take the East Midlands outfit back to those dizzying heights.
The Foxes, who are 2.45 at bonusfinder.com BetMGM in Pennsylvania to win the FA Cup final this season, have shown they can mix with the best teams in England this term. Although falling short of the title, Leicester did manage to record a 5-2 win at champions-elect Man City at the start of the season.
Improvements will need to be made over the summer, but Leicester are a team to look out for in the title race next term.
West Ham United
One side that has been one of the big surprises in the Premier League this season is West Ham United. Former Manchester United boss David Moyes has silenced his critics, after what was a tough spell for the Scot at Old Trafford. Now Moyes has overseen a drastic improvement with the Hammers, who are hoping to secure Champions League soccer for the first time.
If West Ham can continue on their current trajectory, then who knows what they might be able to achieve next season with Moyes at the helm?
Everton made an electric start to the season under boss Carlo Ancelotti but failed to keep up the pace of Pep Guardiola’s City. The Toffees are still in contention to secure Champions League soccer, in what is to be an intriguing end to the season.
Seeing European soccer return to Goodison Park will help the Merseyside outfit attract better players over the summer, and perhaps the men in blue could spring some surprises next season.
A team that will be ranked outsiders for the Premier League title next season are Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United. The Whites have enjoyed their first campaign back in the top flight after a 16-year exodus, and hope to secure a top-half finish this season.
Bielsa’s attacking style has attracted plenty of admirers this term, and new additions at Elland Road over the summer should see the West Yorkshire outfit take the next step. Talk of being title contenders might be a bit premature for this team, but with points against the likes of City, Liverpool and Man United this term, Leeds have already shown they can compete with the big boys.
2020-21 has been a tumultuous season for England’s top division. With these sometimes unexpected title contenders, could 2021-22 be just as exciting?