What do the Premier League Favourites Need in January?

Since the beginning of the 2020/21 season, there have been some upsets to the usual favourite teams in the Premier League. Teams like Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea are all lagging behind where they would usually be at this point in the season.

This could mean that we see an unexpected winner this season. At present, Liverpool sit at the top of the league with 28 points, following a string of wins and draws. While the three teams are all in the top ten at this point, they will each need to pull something out the bag, if they are to be named favourites in the premier league odds in the new year.

Some of the poor performances we have seen recently has had a negative impact on fans, especially as most stadium stands remain empty. However, for betters now is the perfect time to make the best of some really lucrative odds. There is still time for these teams to improve performance and climb the league table in January.

Difficult Decisions for Premier League Favourites

For Chelsea, difficult decisions may need to be made in terms of the line-up in 2021. After arriving at the club this summer at the cost of £53 million, forward player Tim Werner is yet to live up to club and fan expectations. Werner has failed to score in all of his last ten appearances for this team. In the whole season he has scored four times and had three assists. The German is still a young player and needs to practice his finishing skills. However, Premier League games aren’t the right time to do this if Chelsea hope to move up the ranks in January.

Ex-Chelsea player Joe Cole who was previously a midfielder for the team believes that Frank Lampard needs to make better use of his whole squad. Taking out Werner and bringing in Callum Hudson-Odo or Hakim Ziyech for a few games might just do the trick.

Midfielder Kai Havertz has also been receiving negative feedback recently from critics. The 21 year old joined the club this summer in a deal costing £71m. The player, who previously played for German team Bayer Leverkusen has scored three times in his 17 appearances for the club. But he has been substituted in four successive games. As a relatively expensive player, fans may have expected Havertz to hit the ground running. In Germany, he usually played as a striker or no.10 position. It could be that he needed time to adjust and his progress was knocked back after contracting coronavirus back in November. Providing he is given the chance; we may finally see Havertz playing to his full potential in the new year.

Manchester United are usual favourites in the Premier League and secured a third place position last season. The pressure is on for the team given that their last Premier League was back in 2013. Their 6 – 1 loss to Tottenham at Old Trafford earlier in the season was a serious low point for the team, as was their home game losses against Crystal Palace and Arsenal. United are now set to hit a big run of six games within the next couple of weeks, giving them a chance to tally up a few more points. This will then see them taking a short break at the beginning of the new year.

There are talks about loaning out their defender Brandon Williams in January, who has had a bit of a slow start this season. Southampton have expressed an interest in taking on the player. Having only made one Premier League appearance, he hasn’t made much time to shine this year. Considering his superb performance in the previous season, loaning him out may be a premature decision.

Luke Shaw and Alex Telles are the current preferred left backs in the squad but given more time on the pitch Williams may have the energy and stamina needed to bolster United’s defense. Winning their recent game against Sheffield United the team have been able to move up to fifth place in the league table. Some still think it is time for Paul Pogba to move on from the club. Pogba himself has expressed his desire to leave and his somewhat uninspiring performance this season is evident of that.

Striking a deal to sell him next year, free up more space on the squad and boost overall morale in the team. Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish could make an interesting replacement for the player. Alternatively, rather than buying in a new player, one option could be playing Donny Van De Beek in the new year. He is rarely given the chance to start and is yet to show his full potential this season. United have also agreed to sign Atalanta forward Amad Diallo in the next transfer window.

Manchester City are another usual Premier League favourite. At the moment they are lagging behind in 9th place after 12 games in the season. In the new year the team may need to consider bringing in a new striker into the squad given Sergio Aguero has been prone to injury this season. Pep Guardiola has only been able to call on him five times since June. There have also been questions over whether Gabriel Jesus has been pulling his weight this season and hasn’t scored nearly as much as anticipated.

Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland could be a great signing for the team next year. He is a natural goalscorer and could bring in many goals for United. While it was hoped that Jesus would be a suitable successor for Aguero, Haaland could be a viable option for Pep Guardiola to consider.

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Michael Kovacs
Michael has been in sports media for a decade, as founder of Last Word On Sports INC, owner at MMA Sucka, and now in an admin role at Overtime Heroics. He is an avid football fan, both NFL and Premier League.

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