As the countdown to the 2021/22 Premier League season continues, fans of the English top flight are starting to make their predictions for the upcoming campaign. With Manchester City on the cusp of signing both Jack Grealish and Harry Kane, it’s no surprise that the defending champions are the heavy favourites to retain their title in the Premier League odds, and it’s very hard to look beyond Pep Guardiola’s side.
However, whilst Man City look nailed on for yet another successful season, it’s going to be a long, hard slog for many — none more so than newly promoted Brentford, Watford and Norwich City, who are all expected to return to the Championship come the end of the season — according to the latest Premier League relegation odds.
That said, the Premier League can be a very unpredictable division, and as Leicester City proved back in 2016, when they defied all the odds to win the title from 5,000/1, anything can happen in the English top flight. So, read on as we take a look at three sides that could underachieve this season.
West Ham United
West Ham United set the bar incredibly high last season, challenging for a Champions League spot for the most part of the campaign, before eventually slipping down to sixth and having to settle for a place in the Europa League.
It’s going to be very difficult for David Moyes and the Hammers to replicate such a top-class season this year, and with the distraction of playing European football every Thursday night, their domestic football could suffer. Even with the newly established European Conference League spot, it’s hard to imagine West Ham qualifying for Europe again next summer.
Instead, they could be nestled somewhere in the bottom half of the table.
It seems like Tottenham Hotspur are only getting worse and worse as the seasons tick by, and with Kane appearing to already have one foot out the door at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, things aren’t going to get much better anytime soon.
A seventh-place finish last season was their worst since they came eighth in 2009, and without their talisman Kane, who has been their top scorer in each of the last seven seasons, they will surely drop another couple of positions.
The appointment of Nuno Espírito Santo, who left Wolverhampton Wanderers towards the end of last season after faring no better than 13th, has left a bit to be desired.
Like their north London rivals, Arsenal have been on a slow decline for the last decade or so, and the cracks at the Emirates have really started to appear over the last couple of seasons — with the Gunners finishing a disappointing eighth for the last two consecutive campaigns.
Mikel Arteta has brought in Ben White from Brighton & Hove Albion and Nuno Taveras from Benfica to help bolster his side’s defence. However, if Arsenal really want to climb back up the table next season, they need to add some firepower to their attack.
There will be no European football at the Emirates this season, and that could help the Gunners focus solely on their league campaign. But we still think it will be a difficult season for the north London side — sorry Arsenal fans!