Club-by-club guide to the Premier League’s resumption
A club-by-club guide ahead of the resumption of the Premier League:
1. LIVERPOOL (82 points)
At stake: A maximum of two more wins are needed for a first league title in 30 years, though no fans will be inside a stadium to witness the moment.
Look for: Will motivation still be there after clinching the title? Liverpool still has some records to break, like Manchester City’s 100-point season in 2017-18, and is not involved in any other competition.
2. MANCHESTER CITY (57 points)
At stake: FA Cup and Champions League could take priority with Liverpool well clear in the league and City’s top-four spot virtually assured.
Look for: Will it even matter where City finishes? The club will not be in the Champions League next season unless a sports court overturns a two-year ban for serious breaches of UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
3. LEICESTER (53 points)
At stake: In a strong position to secure Champions League qualification for the second time in five seasons.
Look for: Can Jamie Vardy win the Golden Boot? He tops the scoring chart with 19 goals, two more than Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
4. CHELSEA (48 points)
At stake: Clinging on to the final automatic Champions League qualification place after a run of poor results before the suspension.
Look for: Tammy Abraham’s response to the potential signing of a rival striker for next season, Timo Werner from Leipzig.
5. MANCHESTER UNITED (45 points)
At stake: Fifth place could be enough to qualify for the Champions League after Manchester City’s ban, which has been the subject of an appeal. Fourth place would make absolutely sure.
Look for: How fit-again Paul Pogba and January signing Bruno Fernandes link up in central midfield.
6. WOLVERHAMPTON (43 points)
At stake: Having qualified for the Europa League after a first season back in the Premier League, reaching the Champions League the following season would be a major achievement.
Look for: Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo prefers to operate with little rotation in his tight squad. That policy will be tested with the pile-up of fixtures.
7. SHEFFIELD UNITED (43 points)
At stake: A chance to become England’s most unlikely Champions League representative ever.
Look for: With 10 league games to play in 5 1/2 weeks and the team also involved in the FA Cup, will a small squad be stretched too far?
8. TOTTENHAM (41 points)
At stake: Jose Mourinho took over in November with Tottenham in 14th place and still has a chance to lead the team into Champions League positions.
Look for: Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Moussa Sissoko and Steven Bergwijn have recovered from long-term injuries that were sidelining them before the suspension.
9. ARSENAL (40 points)
At stake: Still only outside shot at Champions League qualification, despite having a game in hand — against Manchester City — over most of its rivals for the top four.
Look for: These might be the final games of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in an Arsenal jersey. With his contract expiring at the end of next season, the club might cash in on the striker in the offseason.
10. BURNLEY (39 points)
At stake: A four-game unbeaten run before the season was halted has lifted Burnley into the group of teams capable of qualifying for Europe. It is the big outsider, though.
Look for: Burnley is a well-drilled, pragmatic team under Sean Dyche. Safe from relegation again, will the game plan be more expansive in the final games of the season?
11. CRYSTAL PALACE (39 points)
At stake: Virtually assured of staying up but unlikely to earn enough wins to realistically join the race for European qualification.
Look for: If this is the offseason when Wilfried Zaha finally leaves Palace, the winger’s performances in the run-in may be crucial in determining which teams come in for him.
12. EVERTON (37 points)
At stake: Three games without a win before the suspension ended a good run of form and leaves Everton as one of the teams with little to play for.
Look for: The developing relationship up front between Brazil forward Richarlison and England hopeful Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
13. NEWCASTLE (35 points)
At stake: Steve Bruce was widely regarded as an underwhelming hire as the replacement for Rafa Benitez in the last offseason. Yet Newcastle might already be within one more win of staying up.
Look for: The fallout if the club finalizes its proposed takeover by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. It would be one of the most controversial deals in Premier League history.
14. SOUTHAMPTON (34 points)
At stake: The break came at a good time for Ralph Hassenhuttl’s team, which lost four of its last five games and is still looking over its shoulder at the relegation fight.
Look for: Can Danny Ings keep up the career-best form that brought him 15 goals before the league was stopped? That leaves him fifth in the scoring chart.
15. BRIGHTON (29 points)
At stake: Without a win in 2020 and just two points above the relegation zone as the team looks to secure a fourth straight season in the Premier League.
Look for: Brighton is under pressure to perform at home after fighting so vocally against neutral venues. The remaining games at the Amex Stadium are against Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Newcastle.
16. WEST HAM (27 points)
At stake: Out of the relegation zone only on goal difference. It is little surprise that the club’s vice-chair, Karren Brady, led the early calls to null and void the season after the league was suspended.
Look for: The first three games back are against Wolverhampton, Tottenham and Chelsea, after which West Ham could easily be in relegation zone.
17. WATFORD (27 points)
At stake: Ending Liverpool’s unbeaten run this campaign just before the season’s suspension has helped to keep Watford out of the bottom three, but currently only on goal difference.
Look for: Watford was a vocal critic of the proposal for neutral venues. No wonder, with favourable and potentially decisive home games against Southampton, Norwich and Newcastle to come.
18. BOURNEMOUTH (27 points)
At stake: Potentially the end of a fairytale five-year stay in the Premier League for the smallest club in the division.
Look for: Young midfielder David Brooks was a revelation last season but hasn’t played a minute this campaign because of injury. He’s fit and available now, and could be crucial for Bournemouth.
19. ASTON VILLA (25 points)
At stake: On a run of four straight losses, Villa was the worst team in the league before the shutdown and is heading for relegation after just one season back unless the team arrests that slide.
Look for: Villa captain Jack Grealish might just be striving to keep his boyhood team in the Premier League. He may also want to put on a show for potential suitors in the offseason.
20. NORWICH (21 points)
At stake: Six points adrift of safety so may need at least five wins from its last nine games to stay up. The team only has five wins from its first 29 games.
Look for: Teemu Pukki started the season strongly but had regressed by the time the league was suspended. Norwich will need its top scorer, with 11 goals, to be back in form to stand a chance of survival.
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