Sunday 20 September, 2020

PREMIER LEAGUE 20-21: Guide to the 20 teams, key signings

Liverpool players celebrate winning the Premier League title last season. It was their first Premier League title in 30 years.

Liverpool players celebrate winning the Premier League title last season. It was their first Premier League title in 30 years.

LONDON (AP) — A look at the English Premier League’s 20 teams ahead of the season starting Saturday:

ARSENAL

Manager: Mikel Arteta.
Last season: 8th.
Nickname: The Gunners.
Home: Emirates Stadium, 60,260 capacity.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Main signings: Gabriel Magalhaes, center back (Lille), Pablo Mari, center back (Flamengo); Willian, winger (Chelsea).

Key player: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, striker.

Outlook: Arsenal ended the pandemic-disrupted season as FA Cup winners to qualify for the Europa League after an eighth-place finish was the London club’s lowest in the Premier League since 1995. Now Mikel Arteta has his first full season as manager with the main task of trying to secure a return to the Champions League after a four-season absence.

ASTON VILLA

Manager: Dean Smith.
Last season: 17th.
Nickname: The Villans.
Home: Villa Park, 42,682.

Main signings: Ollie Watkins, striker (Brentford); Ben Chrisene, midfielder (Exeter).

Key player: Jack Grealish, midfielder.

Outlook: Avoided relegation on the final day of last season. The signing of Ollie Watkins should add much-needed goals but the striker is stepping up a level from the second division and the team still looks short of quality.

BRIGHTON

Manager: Graham Potter.
Last season: 15th.
Nickname: The Seagulls.
Home: Amex Stadium, 30,750.

Main signings: Jensen Weir, midfielder (Wigan); Adam Lallana, midfielder (Liverpool); Joel Veltman, defender (Ajax); Zak Emmerson, forward (Oldham); Lars Dendoncker, midfielder (Club Brugge).

Key player: Adam Lallana, midfielder.

Outlook: Quality has been added to the squad for Brighton’s fourth season in the Premier League with Adam Lallana joining after winning the Premier League with Liverpool but he is in the latter stages of his career at 32. Neal Maupay will be required to produce more goals.

BURNLEY

Manager: Sean Dyche.
Last season: 10th.
Nickname: The Clarets.
Home: Turf Moor, 22,546.

Main signings: Will Norris, goalkeeper (Wolves).

Key player: Nick Pope, goalkeeper.

Outlook: Only a third-choice goalkeeper has been signed. Without new additions in the final weeks of the transfer window, Burnley could struggle to not only emulate last season’s top-half finish but to stay in the league. Sean Dyche is now the longest-serving manager in the topflight.

Timo Werner.

CHELSEA

Manager: Frank Lampard.
Last season: 4th.
Nickname: The Blues.
Home: Stamford Bridge, 41,631.

Main signings: Hakim Ziyech, winger (Ajax); Timo Werner, forward (RB Leipzig); Ben Chilwell, left back (Leicester); Thiago Silva, center back (Paris Saint-Germain); Kai Havertz, attacking midfielder (Bayer Leverkusen).

Key player: Timo Werner, forward.

Outlook: Banned from signing players last summer, Chelsea made up for lost time and spent around $250 million to recruit some big names to replace long-term players, including Pedro and Willian, and strengthen at the back. Doubts remain over goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.

CRYSTAL PALACE

Manager: Roy Hodgson.
Last season: 14th.
Nickname: The Eagles.
Home: Selhurst Park, 25,456.

Main signings: Eberechi Eze, attacking midfielder (Queens Park Rangers); Nathan Ferguson, defender (West Brom); Michy Batshuayi, striker (Chelsea, loan).

Key player: Wilfried Zaha, winger.

Outlook: Palace have been unable to break into the top half since 2015 and their hopes of doing so this season will again largely depend on whether they can keep hold of their prized asset in Wilfried Zaha.

EVERTON

Manager: Carlo Ancelotti.
Last season: 12th.
Nickname: The Toffees.
Home: Goodison Park, 39,572.

Main signings: Niels Nkounkou, left back (Marseille); James Rodríguez, attacking midfielder (Real Madrid); Abdoulaye Doucoure, midfielder (Watford); Allan, midfielder (Napoli).

Key player: James Rodríguez, attacking midfielder.

Outlook: The presence of Carlo Ancelotti has clearly seemed to have an impact with the caliber of signings. James Rodríguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan add dynamism and strength to the team while there should also be more to come from forwards Richarlison and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

FULHAM

Manager: Scott Parker.
Last season: 4th (in Championship; promoted as playoff winners)
Nickname: The Cottagers
Home: Craven Cottage, 19,000.

Main signings: Anthony Knockaert, winger (Brighton); Antonee Robinson, left back (Wigan).

Key player: Aleksandar Mitrovic, forward.

Outlook: Making an instant return to the Premier League, Fulham are stronger in defence since ther last ill-fated spell in the top division. Michael Hector has been a revelation at center back, as has goalkeeper Marek Rodak. Aleksandar Mitrovic’s goals fired Fulham to promotion.

LEEDS

Manager: Marcelo Bielsa.
Last season: 1st (in Championship; promoted as champions)
Nickname: The Whites.
Home: Elland Road, 37,890.

Main signings: Helder Costa, winger (Wolves); Rodrigo, forward (Valencia); Robin Koch, center back (Freiburg).

Key player: Rodrigo, forward.

Outlook: A 16-year absence from the Premier League would have been unthinkable for Leeds supporters in the past but Marcelo Bielsa has finally masterminded a return to the division for the 1992 champions. Goals will be required from record-signing Rodrigo, who is not the most prolific of strikers.

Jamie Vardy.

LEICESTER

Manager: Brendan Rodgers.
Last season: 5th.
Nickname: The Foxes.
Home: King Power Stadium, 32,312.

Main signings: Timothy Castagne, defender (Atalanta).

Key player: Jamie Vardy, striker.

Outlook: Narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification on the final day of last season. If Jamie Vardy can continue to hit goals as regularly as in recent years, Leicester should be challenging at the higher end of the standings again.

Vigil Van Dijk.

LIVERPOOL

Manager: Jürgen Klopp.
Last season: Champions.
Nickname: The Reds.
Home: Anfield, 54,074.

Main signings: Kostas Tsimikas, defender (Olympiakos).

Key player: Vigil Van Dijk, center back.

Outlook: Liverpool ended a 30-year wait for a league title in style last seasons, only losing three times and winning the league by 18 points. Retaining the crown could be a difficult proposition after only adding Kostas Tsimikas as cover for Andy Robertson at left back.

MANCHESTER CITY

Manager: Pep Guardiola.
Last season: 2nd.
Nickname: Citizens.
Home: Etihad Stadium, 55,097.

Main signings: Ferran Torres, winger (Valencia); Nathan Ake, defender (Bournemouth).

Key player: Kevin De Bruyne, playmaker.

Outlook: City's hope of signing Lionel Messi were thwarted by the Barcelona star's about-turn due to a contractual dispute. But center back Aymeric Laporte has returned from injury while another defender — Nathan Ake — and winger Ferran Torres have bolstered the squad. Likely to be Liverpool's main challenger again.

MANCHESTER UNITED

Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Last season: 3rd.
Nickname: The Red Devils.
Home: Old Trafford, 74,994.
Main signings: Donny van de Beek, midfielder (Ajax).

Key player: Bruno Fernandes, midfielder.

Outlook: United looked rejuvenated by the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January and the progress made by forwards Mason Greenwood, Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Champions League qualification was only secured on the final day in July by beating Leicester. Despite adding Donny Van De Beek, United could still need more quality for a title challenge.

NEWCASTLE

Manager: Steve Bruce.
Last season: 13th.
Nickname: The Magpies.
Home: St James’ Park, 52,405.

Main signings: Callum Wilson, forward (Bournemouth); Jamal Lewis, left back (Norwich); Ryan Fraser, winger (Bournemouth).

Key player: Alain Saint-Maximin, winger.

Outlook: Newcastle remain in a state of flux after the collapse of the proposed Saudi-led takeover collapsed. The addition of Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser will help provide the cutting edge which was lacking last season.

SHEFFIELD UNITED

Manager: Chris Wilder.
Last season: 9th.
Nickname: The Blades.
Home: Bramall Lane, 32,701.

Main signings: Aaron Ramsdale, goalkeeper (Bournemouth); Max Lowe, left back (Derby); Jayden Bogle, right back (Derby).

Key player: Chris Basham, defender.

Outlook: The surprise package of last season, Chris Wilder took the team close to European qualification before tailing off. Dean Henderson has returned to Manchester United but Aaron Ramsdale is a strong replacement in goal.

SOUTHAMPTON

Manager: Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Last season: 11th.
Nickname: The Saints.
Home: St Mary’s Stadium, 32,505.

Main signings: Kyle Walker-Peters, right back (Tottenham); Mohammed Salisu, center back (Real Valladolid).

Key player: Danny Ings, forward.

Outlook: Ralph Hasenhuttl turned around the team's fortunes following a 9-0 home loss to Leicester in October. Powered by the 22 goals of Danny Ings, Southampton climbed away from relegation trouble and now the defense has been strengthened.

TOTTENHAM

Manager: Jose Mourinho.
Last season: 6th.
Nickname: Spurs.
Home: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, 62,062.

Main signings: Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, midfielder (Southampton); Matt Doherty, right back (Woles).

Key player: Harry Kane, striker.

Outlook: It's Jose Mourinho's first full season in charge and he has a tough start navigating Europa League qualifying in September. Returning to the Champions League is the mission. Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg will bring some much-needed steel to the midfield but the fitness of Harry Kane is likely to be crucial to their chances of success again.

WEST BROMWICH ALBION

Manager: Slaven Bilic.
Last season: 2nd (in Championship; promoted as runner-up).
Nickname: The Baggies
Home: The Hawthorns, 26,850.

Main signings: Grady Diangana, winger (West Ham); Matheus Pereira, winger (Sporting Lisbon);

Key player: Matheus Pereira, winger.

Outlook: The return to the Premier League after two years was secured despite winning only three of the last 11 Championship games. Retaining Matheus Pereira was crucial with the winger signed permanently from Lisbon club Sporting after scoring 16 goals and providing eight assists last season in the league.

WEST HAM

Manager: David Moyes.
Last season: 16th.
Nickname: The Hammers.
Home: London Stadium, 60,000.

Main signings: Tomas Soucek, defensive midfielder (Slavia Prague).

Key player: Michail Antonio, forward.

Outlook: The 16th-place finish was West Ham’s worst since returning to the Premier League in 2012. A backlash over the sale of Grady Diangana, led by captain Mark Noble, highlighted the discontent at the east London club. David Moyes needs to get more from big-name signings such as striker Sebastien Haller and midfielder Pablo Fornals.

WOLVERHAMPTON

Manager: Nuno Espirito Santo.
Last season: 7th.
Nickname: Wolves.
Home: Molineux, 31,700.

Main signings: Fábio Silva, forward (Porto); Marçal, left back (Lyon).

Key player: Raul Jimenez, forward.

Outlook: On the back of an epic season which spanned more than a year, Wolves will need to overcome the pain of missing out on European qualification by virtue of goal difference. The goals of Raul Jimenez will once again be vital but striker Fabio Silva has been added from Porto for 40 million euros — the most the club has ever spent on a player.

Get the latest local and international news straight to your mobile phone for free: