2020-21 Premier League Preview: Sheffield, Leeds, Leicester Are Top Half Contenders

Posted By High Press 10 on September 11, 2020

 

Again, oddsmakers are high on Leeds. They have better title, top 4 and top 6 odds than Wolves. However, their relegation odds are significantly worse than Wolves and other teams in this grouping. 

Leeds has invested well this off-season. They’re ambitious. They should stay in the top division for a long-time. Graduating back into European cups though won’t come overnight. Leeds should finish a solid 8-11th place this season. 

Sheffield United 2020-21 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 9th in the Premier League
Stadium: Brammal Lane
Nickname: The Blades
Manager: Chris Wilder
Key Additions: Aaron Ramsdale, Max Lowe, Jayden Bogle, Oliver Burke
Best Player: Chris Wilder the manager? Or John Egan maybe

Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp (right) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game with team-mate Oli McBurnie during the pre-season friendly at Pride Park, Derby. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

A bit of Sheffield United history:

  • They were founded in 1889.
  • They won the first ever First Division title in 1898.
  • In 2013, they were bought by wealthy Saudis (the House of Saud).

Why you should like Sheffield United:

  • They’re super well-coached and fun to watch.
  • The Blades is a badass nickname. Sounds like the House of Bolton would be supporters. 
  • On the GoT tip, actor Sean Bean (Ned Stark!) is a fan.
  • Those pink away kits are not bad!

Sheffield Daily Fantasy Star:

  • This team is void of “stars” — John Fleck did prove to be decent value last season. 
  • If he doesn’t do it for you, then Oliver McBurnie should improve this season. 

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

  • To win Premier League: +50000
  • To finish top 4: +4000
  • To finish top 6: +1600
  • Relegation: +350

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Sheffield United Outlook:

Sheffield was knocking on the Europa League door most of last season. They’re a well-respected and coached side. 

Last season, they were odds-on (-150) for relegation. Now, they’re +350. They were +50000 last season for top 4. Now they’re +4000. Oddsmakers took notice. 

Sheffield’s biggest issue is they don’t have elite offensive players who can create for themselves. That means they’re scoring on set pieces and perfectly executed build-up play. They have to maximize every edge to win–which they usually did. The Blades ended last season with a 0 goal differential, meaning they have almost no margin for error. 

Sheffield will be fine this season, but don’t expect a Cinderella run. Losing Dean Henderson back to Man U hurts. However, Aaron Ramsdale’s arrival lessens that blow. They just need another speedy winger and striker.

Expect a 9-11 finish again for the Blades. 

Leicester City 2020-21 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 5th in Premier League
Last relegated season: 2013-14
Stadium: King Power Stadium
Nickname: The Foxes
Manager: Brandon Rodgers
Key Additions: Timothy Castagne
Best Player: James Maddison

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JULY 01: James Maddison of Leicester City in action during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Leicester City at Goodison Park on July 1, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)

In last season’s preview of Leicester, we wrote: “By the end of the 2018-19 season, only Manchester City and Liverpool were playing better soccer than Leicester City.”

That trend continued into 2019-20. Leicester often looked like the second best team in England. 

Then Liverpool trounced them on Boxing Day. And all of the advanced analytics suggesting Leicester was somewhere lucky were accurate: they regressed to the mean. 

Still, they had a shot at Champions League football until the final matchday of the season. They let it slip, and finished a disappointing 5th. 

Will this be a tale of two half seasons again for the foxes?

A bit of Leicester City history:

  • The club was founded in 1884.
  • In 2016 they became a global story for winning the Premier League after starting the season 5000-to-1
  • While that’s their only Premier League title, they’ve won the second division 7 times. 
  • They’ve won the League Cup 3 times (most recently in 2000) and have been runner-up twice.
  • They also have 4 FA Cup runner-ups. 

Why you should like Leicester City:

  • If you’re a fan of underdog stories, their 2015-16 season is an all-timer.
  • To that point, they’re the only team outside of the big 6 other than Blackburn Rovers (’94-95) two win a title in the Premier League era. 
  • Great supporters, which matters.
  • They play would some would call “an exciting brand of football.”

Leicester Daily Fantasy star:

  • James Maddison is always a strong candidate to build a squad around. He fills up lots in the stat sheet. However, he’s very pricey. So…
  • Look at Wilfred Ndidi. Usually reasonably priced and contributes in many ways. 

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

  • To win Premier League: +15000 
  • To finish top 4: +800 
  • To finish top 6: +275 
  • Relegation: +3300 
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Leicester City Outlook:

Oddsmakers are putting a little more respect on Leicester’s name. Last season, they were +25000 to win and +2000 for the top 4. Now they’re +15000 / +800. 

Leicester lost Ben Chilwell. Yeah, he’s a legit loss but not crippling. And they replaced him with a rough facsimile of him in Timothy Castagne. 

James Maddison and Wilfred Ndidi should both improve as they enter their prime years. Jamie Vardy should decline a little.

Consider it all a wash. 

Leicester were 6th in xPTs last season. Teams around them–like Tottenham and Arsenal–should improve. They’ll be stretched thin as they grind through the Europa League. The Foxes will step back a little this season, with a 7-10th place finish a likely outcome. 

 

The 2020-21 Premier League season starts September 12th. High Press Soccer will again be previewing all of the teams entering the campaign. 

This year, we’ll group the teams into the following categories:

Up next are teams who should comfortably exist near or in the top half of the table. They’ll never be in threat of relegation. They will probably flirt with a Europa League spot throughout the season. We’re looking at you, Leeds United, Leicester, and Sheffield United.

This is usually a group with some fluctuation each year. Some interloper (like Burnley) will bust through. 2020-21 doesn’t feel like one of those seasons, though. 

If you haven’t already, review 2020-21 Premier League schedule and 2020-21 Premier League title odds. Also, review our Premier League matchday 1 lines

Leeds United 2020-21 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 1st in the Championship
Last time in Premier League: 2003-04
Stadium: Elland Road
Nickname: The Whites, The Peacocks
Manager: Marcelo Bielsa
Key Additions: Rodrigo, Helder Costa, Robin Koch, Ellan Meslier, Jack Harrison
Best Player: Luke Ayling (last season), Rodrigo (possibly this season)

LEEDS, ENGLAND – JULY 22: Leeds United’s Luke Ayling in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Charlton Athletic at Elland Road on July 22, 2020 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

Welcome back, Leeds United!

Leeds is a storied club with real success and history. Then due to financial hardships, they bankrupted and bottomed out. Leeds had a 14 year stay up in the first division come to an end in 2004. It’s been a long and hard climb back. 

However, as seen on Take Us Home on Prime, Leeds has rebuilt the club in a smart way. Their manager, Marcelo Bielsa, is revered. And not pundits and oddmakers expect Leeds to have an impressive “Wolves-esque” run in the EPL this season.

A bit of  Leeds history:

  • Leeds is a newer club, just 100 years old. It was founded in October 1919. 
  • They have 3 first division titles, the last coming in 1991-92.
  • They’ve won the second division four times. 
  • Leeds have one FA Cup win (’71-72).
  • They’ve got an EFL Cup as well in ’67-68.

Why you should like Leeds:

  • Their story is a good one. A proud club that falls and rises back up again is easy to support. 
  • On that note, their supporters include Russel Crowe, Mel B, Simon Minter, and Jamie Lannister. 
  • “I Predict a Riot” by the Keiser Chiefs is their walk-out song. Badass!

Leeds Daily Fantasy star:

  • Check the early season pricing on Rodrigo. He could be a solid second forward option for the first few matches. 
  • If not him, then Luke Ayling is your poor man’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Leeds betting odds: (odds via DraftKings Sportsbook NJ)

  • To win Premier League: +15000
  • To finish top 4: +2500
  • To finish top 6: +1100
  • Relegation: +350
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Leeds United Outlook:

Again, oddsmakers are high on Leeds. They have better title, top 4 and top 6 odds than Wolves. However, their relegation odds are significantly worse than Wolves and other teams in this grouping. 

Leeds has invested well this off-season. They’re ambitious. They should stay in the top division for a long-time. Graduating back into European cups though won’t come overnight. Leeds should finish a solid 8-11th place this season. 

Sheffield United 2020-21 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 9th in the Premier League
Stadium: Brammal Lane
Nickname: The Blades
Manager: Chris Wilder
Key Additions: Aaron Ramsdale, Max Lowe, Jayden Bogle, Oliver Burke
Best Player: Chris Wilder the manager? Or John Egan maybe

Sheffield United’s Billy Sharp (right) celebrates scoring his side’s second goal of the game with team-mate Oli McBurnie during the pre-season friendly at Pride Park, Derby. (Photo by Nigel French/PA Images via Getty Images)

A bit of Sheffield United history:

  • They were founded in 1889.
  • They won the first ever First Division title in 1898.
  • In 2013, they were bought by wealthy Saudis (the House of Saud).

Why you should like Sheffield United:

  • They’re super well-coached and fun to watch.
  • The Blades is a badass nickname. Sounds like the House of Bolton would be supporters. 
  • On the GoT tip, actor Sean Bean (Ned Stark!) is a fan.
  • Those pink away kits are not bad!

Sheffield Daily Fantasy Star:

  • This team is void of “stars” — John Fleck did prove to be decent value last season. 
  • If he doesn’t do it for you, then Oliver McBurnie should improve this season. 

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

  • To win Premier League: +50000
  • To finish top 4: +4000
  • To finish top 6: +1600
  • Relegation: +350

Rank
DFS Site
Bonus
Features
Play
1
$520
Total Bonus Offer
$20 Free Play On First Deposit
Plus 20% deposit match up to $500
#1 in Daily Fantasy Sports.
2
$5 Free
No Deposit Required
$5 Free
$5 More On Deposit
Watch Sports, Play Fantasy, Win Cash!
To Claim: Click Play Now

Sheffield United Outlook:

Sheffield was knocking on the Europa League door most of last season. They’re a well-respected and coached side. 

Last season, they were odds-on (-150) for relegation. Now, they’re +350. They were +50000 last season for top 4. Now they’re +4000. Oddsmakers took notice. 

Sheffield’s biggest issue is they don’t have elite offensive players who can create for themselves. That means they’re scoring on set pieces and perfectly executed build-up play. They have to maximize every edge to win–which they usually did. The Blades ended last season with a 0 goal differential, meaning they have almost no margin for error. 

Sheffield will be fine this season, but don’t expect a Cinderella run. Losing Dean Henderson back to Man U hurts. However, Aaron Ramsdale’s arrival lessens that blow. They just need another speedy winger and striker.

Expect a 9-11 finish again for the Blades. 

Leicester City 2020-21 Premier League Preview

Last Season: 5th in Premier League
Last relegated season: 2013-14
Stadium: King Power Stadium
Nickname: The Foxes
Manager: Brandon Rodgers
Key Additions: Timothy Castagne
Best Player: James Maddison

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JULY 01: James Maddison of Leicester City in action during the Premier League match between Everton FC and Leicester City at Goodison Park on July 1, 2020 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Visionhaus)

In last season’s preview of Leicester, we wrote: “By the end of the 2018-19 season, only Manchester City and Liverpool were playing better soccer than Leicester City.”

That trend continued into 2019-20. Leicester often looked like the second best team in England. 

Then Liverpool trounced them on Boxing Day. And all of the advanced analytics suggesting Leicester was somewhere lucky were accurate: they regressed to the mean. 

Still, they had a shot at Champions League football until the final matchday of the season. They let it slip, and finished a disappointing 5th. 

Will this be a tale of two half seasons again for the foxes?

A bit of Leicester City history:

  • The club was founded in 1884.
  • In 2016 they became a global story for winning the Premier League after starting the season 5000-to-1
  • While that’s their only Premier League title, they’ve won the second division 7 times. 
  • They’ve won the League Cup 3 times (most recently in 2000) and have been runner-up twice.
  • They also have 4 FA Cup runner-ups. 

Why you should like Leicester City:

  • If you’re a fan of underdog stories, their 2015-16 season is an all-timer.
  • To that point, they’re the only team outside of the big 6 other than Blackburn Rovers (’94-95) two win a title in the Premier League era. 
  • Great supporters, which matters.
  • They play would some would call “an exciting brand of football.”

Leicester Daily Fantasy star:

  • James Maddison is always a strong candidate to build a squad around. He fills up lots in the stat sheet. However, he’s very pricey. So…
  • Look at Wilfred Ndidi. Usually reasonably priced and contributes in many ways. 

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

  • To win Premier League: +15000 
  • To finish top 4: +800 
  • To finish top 6: +275 
  • Relegation: +3300 
Rank
DFS Site
Bonus
Features
Play
1
$520
Total Bonus Offer
$20 Free Play On First Deposit
Plus 20% deposit match up to $500
#1 in Daily Fantasy Sports.
2
$5 Free
No Deposit Required
$5 Free
$5 More On Deposit
Watch Sports, Play Fantasy, Win Cash!
To Claim: Click Play Now

Leicester City Outlook:

Oddsmakers are putting a little more respect on Leicester’s name. Last season, they were +25000 to win and +2000 for the top 4. Now they’re +15000 / +800. 

Leicester lost Ben Chilwell. Yeah, he’s a legit loss but not crippling. And they replaced him with a rough facsimile of him in Timothy Castagne. 

James Maddison and Wilfred Ndidi should both improve as they enter their prime years. Jamie Vardy should decline a little.

Consider it all a wash. 

Leicester were 6th in xPTs last season. Teams around them–like Tottenham and Arsenal–should improve. They’ll be stretched thin as they grind through the Europa League. The Foxes will step back a little this season, with a 7-10th place finish a likely outcome. 

 

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High Press 10 covers general global soccer stories and news. He / she finds the quality of soccer in Bend It Like Beckham to be on par with u8 rec.

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