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Opinion

Extraordinary results when 25 BBC Sport pundits predicted what will happen in 2020/21 Premier League

2 weeks ago
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Like a lot of other media BBC Sport have been making predictions ahead of the 2020/21 Premier League season.

Across TV and radio, BBC Sport have a massive number of pundits working covering matches.

A very wide breadth of backgrounds as well, childhood fans of numerous clubs, having played for clubs across the board.

So there is no real reason to think they will be biased in their choices, not when 25 of them are asked their collective opinions anyway.

So, BBC Sport asked the following for their thoughts on what would happen at the very top end of the Premier League.

Chris Waddle, Alan Shearer, Alex Scott, Pat Nevin, Michael Brown, Micah Richards, Rachel Brown-Finnis, Chris Sutton, Lindsay Johnson, Rob Green, Ruud Gullit, Mark Schwarzer, Jermaine Jenas, Karen Carney, Danny Murphy, Martin Keown, Sue Smith, Stephen Warnock, Leon Osman, Matthew Upson, Clinton Morrison, Mark Lawrenson, Dion Dublin, Joleon Lescott, Ian Wright

When it came to the question of who would win the Premier League, only one of the twenty five chose a club that wasn’t Liverpool or Man Utd.

Quite amazing really when the Premier League is built up as supposedly the best league in the world and the most competitive.

So winning the Premier League saw:

Liverpool – 13 votes

Man City – 11 votes

Man Utd – 1 vote

That single Man Utd title winning vote coming from Chris Waddle.

However, if you thought those predictions on who would win the Premier League pointed to a lack of competition, just look at what the outcome was when BBC Sport asked the 25 pundits to name the four clubs to finish in the Champions League places.

So, between the 25 pundits, they had 100 choices between them, when picking who would finish in the top four.

Out of the 100, 99 of them were either Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea or Man Utd.

The exception was Arsenal fan Ian Wright picking Arsenal to finish fourth, leaving Man Utd out of his quartet of top four finishers.

This is quite extraordinary, if the Premier League is indeed proved to be this predictable, then it isn’t a health state to be in.

Never mind Newcastle United and the rest, when you look at the 2020 Deloitte football rich list, Tottenham generate more money than all but seven clubs in the world and Arsenal more money than all but 10 others around the globe.

Yet not one of the 25 pundits thought Tottenham will finish top four and only an Arsenal fan selected the Gunners (obviously an oversight from Alan Shearer in forgetting about Newcastle United…).

It is also mad to think that absolutely nobody is willing to pick Leicester, they spent most of last season in the top four and just missed out, ending up fifth. Whilst you have an ambitious club like Wolves, continuing to invest in their squad, ended up seventh in each of their first two seasons after promotion, yet nobody considers them.

In other European countries you may have clubs seen as all but guaranteed bets to win their league (PSG etc) BUT I don’t think any other European League would have such overwhelming predictions for a group of clubs to finish at the top, as we see with the Premier League.

Whilst we of course hope Newcastle United can have a surprising (in a good way!) season, I also hope that the BBC Sport 25 pundits find themselves wondering where it all went wrong with their predictions for the top end of the 2020/21 Premier League season.

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