More of the same as Football Manager predicts a close 2019/20 Premier League season

One week into the real 2019/20 Premier League season, people are already talking about how fine margins will ultimately decide this season’s league title. Football Manager agrees.

Liverpool will look to finally win their first Premier League title this season. However, Football Manager thinks the Reds will miss out. According to the football sim, it will once again be agonisingly close.

Before we start, let’s establish what we’ve done here. We’ve updated the teams competing and included all of the transfers for Premier League clubs this past summer. All in order to give the most accurate simulation possible. We’ve also blocked transfer activity in the first window, to keep the squads as they will be for the season ahead.

City win… again.

So according to Football Manager 2019, Manchester City will once again be crowned Premier League champions. It will definitely not be easy and it was most certainly close.

Here’s how the 2019/20 Premier League table finished up…

As you can see, the Reds came agonisingly close to what would have been their first league title since 1990. It was nearly Everton that handed the title to Liverpool on the last day of the season. However, in typical blue fashion, the Toffees gave up a 2-0 lead on Man City to lose 3-2.

It was extremely tight at the bottom of the table, too. Even if all three relegated teams were condemned before the last day of the season. There was huge shock as Sheffield United – the team that everyone expects to be relegated back to the Championship this season – were the only promoted team to survive in the Premier League. Norwich and Villa made up the two bottom places.

Burnley joined them in dropping down to the second tier. The Clarets won only three of their last THIRTY games in all competitions. Claude Puel replaced a sacked Sean Dyche in January and has a win % of 18% since his appointment.

Team of the season

As expected, the team of the season is dominated by Liverpool and Manchester City players.

Alisson gets in ahead of Ederson after winning back-to-back golden gloves. Virgil van Dijk retains the PFA Player of the Year award and also gets named as the winner of the Ballon D’or. Although the big Dutchman lost out to Lionel Messi when it came to UEFA’s Player of the Year award.

The biggest shock inclusion is Naby Keita. The Guinean played 28 games in the Premier League and scored a total of seven goals.

Sergio Aguero and Mohamed Salah make up the front two, with the Argentine usurping Salah as the holder of the Premier League’s Golden Boot winner.

Mo Salah only managed to score 15 goals this season and that’s where Liverpool’s biggest issue laid. The Reds simply did not score enough goals. Sadio Mane scored 16 in all competitions, including six in Europe and Bobby Firmino only managed 12.

Fabinho played 42 games in all competitions and didn’t score once.

Domestic Cup Dominance…

Both the FA Cup and League Cup were won by the same team this season, and it wasn’t Manchester City.

Arsenal won both domestic competitions, beating Manchester City in the final of the League Cup, 2-1 after extra-time. Then besting their north-London rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, on penalties to win the FA Cup.

Liverpool were knocked out by Norwich City in the third round of the League Cup and by Newcastle United in the fifth round of the FA Cup as Jurgen Klopp continues his tradition of not bothering with domestic competitions.

All of Europe conquered. Kind of…

and not by Liverpool.

To go along with their fantastic domestic double, Arsenal added the Europa League title to their trophy cabinet, completing a treble of trophies for Unai Emery.

The Gunners beat AC Milan in the final, Henrikh Mkhitaryan scored the only goal in a 1-0 win. They beat Roma, Lazio and Borussia Dortmund on their way to their second Europa League title.

Tottenham Hotspur managed to get to the final of the Champions League for the second season in succession. Spurs ended up losing to Real Madrid in the final, with Los Blancos reasserting their dominance in Europe after a year out of the spotlight.

Spurs beat Barcelona, Inter and Benfica in the knockout rounds to get through to the final.

Real Madrid beat English sides at every stage of the tournament. Man City in the round of 16, Liverpool in the quarter-final and then Man United in the semis.

Speaking of, Real Madrid had to squeak past Liverpool in the quarters. The eventual champions needed penalties to beat the holders.

Around Europe

For the rest of the European leagues, the usual suspects were at it again. Juventus won Serie A, Barcelona won La Liga, Bayern won the Bundesliga and Paris Saint-Germain won Ligue 1. That’s right, every single league winning side from 18/19 retained their title in 19/20. We love the variation in football.

So that was the upcoming 2019/20 season according to Football Manager. Will it go down like that? Probably not. Will the real season contain just as much drama? Almost definitely.

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