2019-20 Premier League Preview: Manchester City and Liverpool

Chops August 9, 2019 358 Reads

It’s all you really want to know. Who will win the Premier League this season? Liverpool or Manchester City?

There are plenty of reasons to like both.

Liverpool has shown a resilience to dig deep and capture trophies they fell just short of the year prior.

City violates FFP regulations, buys whoever they want, and win with a total lack of class. 

First, to recap:

Also be sure to check out our 2019-20 Premier League Predictions.

Manchester City 2019-20 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 1st in Premier League, the “Fourmidables”
Last Time Champions: 2018-19
Stadium: The Etihad
Nickname: City, Citizens, “Fourmidables” 
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Key Additions: Rodri, João Cancelo, Angelino, Zack Steffan (loaned)
Best Player: Legitimately hard to pick. If healthy Kevin de Bruyne. Otherwise, Raheem Sterling. Or Bernardo Silva. Or maybe Rodri now🤷‍♀️

Mohamed Salah dusts Ederson in the first of consecutive Champions League quarterfinal bottlings by Man City.

Manchester City won the domestic treble last season. They recorded the second highest point total in Premier League history with 98. And their squad only got stronger this summer. 

Moving on…

A bit of Manchester City history:

  • They really didn’t have one before 2008.

Why you should like Manchester City:

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Manchester City betting odds: (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook NJ)

  • To win Premier League: -200
  • To finish top 4: -5000
  • To finish top 6: Off the board
  • Relegation: Off the board

Manchester City Outlook:

City is either winning the Premier League again or finishing a very close second to Liverpool. Not a lot of intrigue here.

An argument could be made that the trophy they most covet is the one they don’t have: the Champions League. If they actually make it past the UCL quarterfinals this season, perhaps they shift their focus entirely to being European champs and take their foot off the gas domestically.

I don’t buy that argument. 

As the Community Shield showed, these two teams measure themselves against each other. Jurgen Klopp clearly owns real estate in that shiny little dome of Pep’s head. Neither of these teams are letting up. This will be a battle to the finish. 

Last season, City led the Premier League in possession (64%, Chelsea was second at 59.9%), shots per game (18), pass accuracy (89%), goals scored (95), xG, xGA and goal differential (72). They return almost entirely the same squad, but reloaded with some difference-making acquisitions too (Rodri in particular).

They’re well-positioned to threepeat. It’s a matter of hunger and prioritization, nothing more. 

Liverpool 2019-20 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 2nd in Premier League, European champions
Last Time Champions: 1989-90
Stadium: Anfield
Nickname: The Reds
Manager: Jurgen Klopp
Key Additions: 😒
Best Player: This is a team that plays beautiful soccer together and every piece is interconnected to make the sum greater than the parts. Having said that, Mo Salah.

Virgil van Dijk was the PFA Player of the Year last season and helped Liverpool keep 21 clean domestic sheets.

Liverpool finished the 2018-19 season with 97 points. That would’ve won the Premier League / first division every other year in its history except for two. Unfortunately, last season was one of those two.

Liverpool made zero summer additions. Literally not one. There’s an argument to be made for continuity. If you follow Liverpool’s social channels, this is a team that gets on well together. That certainly means something.

So does having depth to compete for seven trophies, which they’ll be doing this year.

A bit of Liverpool history:

  • They were founded in 1892.
  • Their 18 first division trophies are second best of all-time (behind Manchester United’s 20).
  • Their 6 Champions League trophies are the best among English teams. 
  • Other trophies include: 7 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, 3 UEFA Cups, and 3 UEFA Super Cups

Why you should like Liverpool:

Liverpool betting odds: (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook NJ)

  • To win Premier League: +275
  • To finish top 4: -1250
  • To finish top 6: -10000
  • Relegation: +500000

Liverpool Outlook:

At this point, doubting Jurgen Klopp / FSG is like doubting Bill Belichick / Patriots. They’ve earned the benefit of the doubt. 

So…the fact that they didn’t buy anybody who will be on the first team this year shouldn’t raise any alarms or be cause for concern.

However…Klopp has also shown, time and again, that he’s capable of making mistakes and quickly learning from them and adjusting. He’s done it in-game many, many times. Don’t be surprised to see some January transfer activity.

Liverpool need one more attacking option. Yes, Rhian Brewster and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain look like they’re back and potential contributors. Maybe it’s one of them. Maybe it’s Naby Keita. Or maybe Nicolas Pepe would’ve made some more sense. Klopp will find someone if needed.

After Nathaniel Clyne went down with an ACL, a capable plug-and-play wingback should’ve been a priority. Kieran Tierney would’ve been perfect. Klopp will find someone else if needed. 

Then, there’s this:

They’re still a 3-to-1 shot of winning the EPL. As sporty cliche as it is, they now know how to win. This is a team that wants it.

If Liverpool stays healthy, they’ll give City all they can handle. Then it comes down to a little luck. Maybe this time, the 11 millimeters goes their way.

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