The 2020-21 Premier League season is already promising to be one of the most unpredictable and therefore one of the most entertaining in history.
For starters, the average goal-per-game ratio stands at 3.58. This is already a clear outlier, as the past five seasons ended with goals-per-game averages of 2.72, 2.82, 2.68, 2.80 and 2.70, respectively. Contrary to the goals-scored ratio, which is on a dramatic upward trajectory, the clean-sheet ratio has plunged downward. There have been only 22 clean sheets in 48 games. Then there is the equally dramatic rise in the number of penalties awarded: 29 penalties awarded, with 25 that have been scored.
Still, the biggest change from the usual is that due to the corona-virus pandemic, teams are playing in front of empty stadiums. This in turn almost completely diminished the value of the home advantage. So far, the away win ratio stands at 46%, considerably higher than the previous record figure (33.7% in 2018-19 season).
Also, some high-profile players have been left out this season. Yannick Bolasie, Jean Michael Seri, Danny Rose, Phil Jones and Mesut Ozil, are just some of the most prominent ones.
Even though this season is a clear outlier, unpredictability is an inherent quality of the sport, and some would say the quality that makes football so exciting, especially for wagers. Therefore, there’s a large variety of wagers available to bettors when making betting picks. According to some blogs, for example LegalBetting, Moneyline and Spreads along with Goalscorer bets are very popular and allow you to make a prediction about which players will score in a match. And this season truly is brimming with excitement betting-wise.
Another consequence of the unpredictable quality of football is that for every successful signing there are a couple of spectacular failures every year. Here is how our fail list of the season looks like:
Gedson Fernandes – Benfica to Tottenham Hotspur
The Portuguese player remains a talented prospect, but has so far failed to meet the expectations. He was intended to fill the void left by Christian Eriksen when he transferred to the Portuguese SL Benfica (for an undisclosed fee). But so far Fernandes has featured in only four Premier League games as a substitute.
Nabil Bentaleb – Schalke 04 to Newcastle United
Bentaleb is a loan from the German team Schalke 04, and the return to the Premier League has so far been very hard for this Algerian player. He has featured in only three Premier League matches, all of which Newcastle United lost. It was difficult for him to break into the team’s starting line-up, but he hasn’t lost his enthusiasm. He loves the fans (“They are unbelievable”) and is “really proud to play for this club”.
Takumi Minamino – Red Bull Salzburg to Liverpool
So far, the Japanese attacker has made just three appearances, as a substitute. Not surprising as his competitors are Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Minamino stated for Liverpool’s official website that he is still “learning to fully understand the team”, and that he is “doing his best every day in order to make an instant impact and make a contribution to the team”.
Donny van de Beek – Ajax to Manchester United
It seems that there is a consensus that the Dutch player was one of the worst transfers this season, despite his obvious talent. So far it seems that Van de Beek hasn’t found his place in the team’s very defined way of playing, except when Brunon Fernandes is injured. “Players always want to play games. Training is also nice, but the games… this is why you’re playing football” he said, finally addressing his lack of game. He started only two games this season, most recently against RB Leipzig.
Willian – Chelsea to Arsenal
Willian had many problems since leaving Chelsea and gave a particularly bad performance in a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa. Arsenal invested a lot in this Brazilian player, but now many think his best days are behind him. Fans were especially critical of him after a wayward shot at the beginning of the second half of the match against Aston Villa.