Our focus is always on Boro’ – but it’s hard to overlook the crash-bang-wallop that’ll come with the new English Premier League season. For some punters, the die may already be cast. But the campaign won’t be without its twists, turns, and stories. Well, we’re sure that’s what the guys at the TV companies are hoping. Going in search of some potential sub-plots and intricacies, then, here are six EPL teams we’re keeping tabs on this season. Who knows what drama we’ll see…
Brentford: English Premier League noobs
It’s not all that long ago that Boro’ did the league double over Brentford en route to the 2011-2 League One playoffs. But our 2-0 defeat at their place on the final day of the 2013-4 season saw us part company; them ascending into the Championship and us falling down into League Two. Now armed with a new stadium, the Bees finally reached the top flight. The bookies have them as one of the favs for the drop this new season. But could they defy expectations?
Tottenham Hotspur: New boss, same dross?
Ah, Spurs. After going close to a historic first title in half a century during the mid-2010s, the big call to build a shiny new stadium (rather than sign players to help them kick on) is now coming back to bite them. The squad is more or less the same now as it was four or five years ago. Now, the club hopes that new boss Nuno Espirito Santo can get a tune out of the same lads that were hitting bum notes under both MoPo and JoMo. As long as they finish above the Arse, eh?
Chelsea: Bringing the title back down south?
Thomas Tuchel is now heading into his first full season in charge as Chelsea gaffer. Based on the uplift seen after he replaced Frank Lampard, the Blues are surely in the running for a title charge this term. They could well prove to be a sound choice with your in-play Asian handicap picks as the pundits debate who will push Man City hard. Liverpool will surely be back in the mix. Could the next English Premier League champion come from the south this time, however?
Leeds United: Second season syndrome
The Whites (finally) came up from the Championship and did so with a belated swagger. It was something they kept up in their first season back in the English Premier League; finishing in an encouraging ninth position, just two points behind Arsenal. With Bielsa at the helm, what we’re all looking to find out now is whether they can build on that in 2021-2? Or will they go the same way as Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United with a case of second season syndrome?
Leicester City: The secret is surely out
When the Foxes won the league a few years ago, it was a bolt from the blue. The very idea that a club could come from nowhere to upset the applecart was such a fanciful one. Don’t forget that here was a side that had struggled the previous season – and had been in the Championship the one before that too. Now, however, Brendan Rodgers has made the Foxes a force to be reckoned with. To be honest, they should’ve made the Champions League last season. And this time?
Norwich City: Up and down and up and…?
The Canaries are no strangers to the English Premier League. Nor are they strangers to the one-season stay either. Last time they were in the top flight was two seasons ago. And they plunged straight back down. Now, with a second Championship title in three years, Daniel Farke’s team will be hoping to keep their heads above water. The Norfolk club certainly have no intention of letting their manager go any time soon. It’s 10 years since promotion led to a three-year stay in the English Premier League. Can they repeat the feat?