2019-20 Premier League Preview: Welcome Back, Aston Villa, Norwich City, and Sheffield United

Chops August 2, 2019 1470 Reads

We’re one week away from the first game on the 2019-20 Premier League schedule: Liverpool vs Norwich City.

For the next week, High Press Soccer will preview all of the teams in Europe’s most competitive domestic league. We’ll split the previews into the following:

  • Welcome Back! – this year’s promoted teams.
  • See You Later! – teams most likely to be relegated.
  • Flotsam and Jetsam – the middle class, mid-table teams whose sole purpose to exist is to simply exist.
  • Big 6 Challengers – the handful of teams who may break the Big 6’s stranglehold on European soccer.
  • The Post Where We Discuss Manchester United and Chelsea – have they done enough to stay in the top 6?
  • The Post Where We Discuss Arsenal & Tottenham Hotspur: are they the clear third and fourth place teams?
  • Manchester City: Will they threepeat?
  • Liverpool: Will they finally win the Premier League?

Still with us? Good!

This first edition is our Welcome Back! Let’s take a look at Aston Villa, Norwich City, and Sheffield United.

Aston Villa 2019-20 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 5th in Championship, won EPL playoff
Last time in Premier League: 2015-16
Stadium: Villa Park
Nickname: Villains
Manager: Dean Smith
Key Additions: Wesley, Tyrone Mings, Douglas Luiz, Matt Targett, Ezri Konsa, Marvelous Nakamba, Trezeguet, Anwar El Ghazi, Tom Heaton, Bjorn Engels, Jota, Kortney Hause
Best Player: Jack Grealish (though watch out for Wesley)

Marvelous Nakamba
Marvelous Nakamba is one reason to lean into Aston Villa

Aston Villa has a more storied history than, say, FFP violating Manchester City. Unfortunately for Aston Villa, an oil rich nation that is renown for their human rights suppression didn’t buy them and pump billions into the club.

Having said that–Aston Villa has spent a lot of money this summer. They saw what Fulham did last year and said, “hold my beer.” Do you know what English club has the total highest spend on players this summer? Aston Villa!

For their sake, let’s hope their summer spending has more of a 2018 Wolverhampton impact than a Fulham one.

A bit of Aston Villa history:

  • The club was founded in November 1874. That’s ONE HUNDRED FORTY-FOUR YEARS AGO.
  • They have 7 English first division titles, the last being in 1980-81.
  • The Villains have 7 FA Cup titles, the last being 1956-57.
  • They have 5 league cups, the last being 1995-96.
  • They have 1 European / Champions League title in 1981-82.

Why you should like Aston Villa:

  • Hands down, they have the best nickname in the Premier League (“The Villains”)
  • They actually are a historic club with a real history, unlike some clubs we know.
  • They clearly went all-in this season in an attempt not just to stay promoted, but to thrive.
  • They have a player named Marvelous Nakamba.

Aston Villa betting odds: (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook NJ)

  • To win Premier League: +100000
  • To finish top 4: +15000
  • To finish top 6: +4000
  • Relegation: +200

Aston Villa Outlook:

It’s easy to appreciate Aston Villa’s ambition. They have spent $169.4M USD (£139m) this summer! That’s more than any other Premier League club to date.

As noted earlier in this section, will they be this year’s Fulham or Wolverhampton?

Split the difference. Expect a respectable 11-14th place finish for the Villains.

Norwich City 2019-20 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 1st in Championship
Last time in Premier League: 2015-16
Stadium: Carrow Road
Nickname: The Canaries
Manager: Daniel Farke
Key Additions: Erm, Ralf Fährmann?
Best Player: Emiliano Buendía (though Teemu Pukki would beg to differ)

Teemu Pukki will get goals for Norwich City

Aston Villa spent the most money this summer, Norwich City spent the least.

That’s ok, as they may not need to spend that much to compete. They were the best team in the Championship last year. They have some dynamic players. However, they could use some more, especially if they want to avoid relegation.

A bit of Norwich City history:

  • They formed in 1902.
  • While they’ve never won the top division, they’ve won the League Cup 2 times (1962, 1985).
  • They’ve won the Championship 4 times🤷‍♂️

Why you should like Norwich City:

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

  • To win Premier League: +200000
  • To finish top 4: +40000
  • To finish top 6: +10000
  • Relegation: -107

Norwich City Outlook:

If you’re one of Norwich City’s 27,244 fans, are you just excited to be promoted? Or are you frustrated as hell that a talented, exciting team did literally nothing to get better after getting promoted into the best domestic league in the world?

Norwich starts the season against Liverpool at Anfield. Welcome back! It could be a long year. They’ll be around the relegation zone all season and may find themselves quickly back down in the Championship.


Sheffield United 2019-20 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 2nd in Championship
Last time in Premier League: 2006-07
Stadium: Brammal Lane
Nickname: The Blades
Manager: Chris Wilder
Key Additions: Oliver McBurnie, Lys Mousset, Callum Robinson, Luke Freeman
Best Player: Oliver Norwood (though new addition Oliver McBurnie could be)

Don’t get too attached to Sheffield United

Don’t get too familar or attached to The Blades. Unlike House Bolton, their knives may not be that sharp. This could be a short stay in the top flight. 

A bit of Sheffield United history:

  • They were founded in 1889.
  • They won the first ever First Division title in 1898.
  • Not sure if this is a good thing, but they’re the only club to have won all 4 divisions of English football.
  • In 2013, they were bought by wealthy Saudis (the House of Saud).

Why you should like Sheffield United:

  • The Blades is a badass nickname. As alluded to above, it sounds like House Bolton’s club.
  • On the GoT tip, actor Sean Bean (Ned Stark!) is a fan.
  • Their two best players are named Oliver. That’s British af.

Sheffield United betting odds: (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook NJ)

  • To win Premier League: +200000
  • To finish top 4: +50000
  • To finish top 6: +15000
  • Relegation: -150

Sheffield United Outlook:

No reason to sugarcoat this: it’s not good.

Oddsmakers peg them as the worst team in the Premier League. They’re the least likely to win the EPL, finish in the top 4 or top 6. Their squad is the least valuable in the Premier League. There’s a strong correlation between overall team value and eventual finish. Norwich City, who bought one player this summer, is valued more.

This is going to be a brief stay in the Premier League unless their Saudi owners invest some money quickly.

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