Now that the summer season is nearly upon us, it’s hard for football fans not to be conscious of the bizarre state of things. For EPL supporters around the world, this is usually the time of year when a champion is crowned and speculation about the season to come begins. With the season having been paused for some time now though, this point of transition is on hold.
Of late, there’s actually been some optimism purely from a football standpoint. EPL players are returning to training in advance of the resumption of the season, and some in the pro football ranks even expect football with fans to return before long. These developments should make for a lot of excitement, but there’s also the awkward fact of the title being all but sewn up to consider. Liverpool has effectively won the Premier League, barring disaster, and while there are still placements to be decided with regard to relegation and Champions League qualification, this has us looking ahead to next season.
But with the timeline so strangely altered, how can we go about forecasting the 2020/21 season, when football will hopefully return to some semblance of normal?
For one thing, we’d suggest keeping a close eye on the American betting markets in the months to come. This advice wouldn’t have made as much sense in past years, given that the U.S. didn’t have much of a betting industry and the UK sites would have been more active in posting Premier League odds. However, things have changed somewhat thanks to the state of New Jersey’s embrace of casino and gambling platforms.
New Jersey was at the forefront of an ongoing movement to bring these activities to American sports fans and gamers, and now has more online gaming and betting opportunities than any other state. And as of now, most of those casinos’ sportsbooks have relatively little to report on; while some of the UK betting platforms are still focused on the 2019/20 EPL campaign, America’s sports leagues are likely further from resuming play. There’s a chance then that as the 2019/20 campaign wraps up, New Jersey’s bookmakers will be among the first to look ahead to 2020/21 — just so that they’re offering some up-to-date listings while U.S. sports are still in hiatus. For this reason, we’d expect that these American casinos and betting platforms will be helpful for those who will be interested in the early odds for the 2020/21 EPL.
Aside from watching for betting odds, EPL fans can also do what they normally do, and follow the summer transfer window. This, after all, is when clubs look to restructure their lineups and upgrade their personnel, so as to do better in the upcoming season than the one that just finished. Unfortunately, just as we can’t forecast with certainty when 2020/21 EPL odds will come out, we don’t know exactly when the summer transfers will occur.
Toward the end of April, it was suggested that the EPL transfer window was unlikely to open until August — which actually sounds about right if the season is to resume in the first half of June. That allows time to wrap up the 2019/20 campaign before clubs leap right into the summer transfer window in the midst of what would be an abbreviated offseason. That doesn’t leave us with much to speculate about now (though you can always find transfer rumors if you want to). But rest assured, there will be summer transfers, at one time or another.
And finally, EPL fans can also watch the upcoming matches! While some of the excitement has undeniably been drained from the interrupted 2019/20 campaign, it will be a fresh thrill to see players back in action. Rosters this spring will not be the same as the ones that ultimately take the field when the 2020/21 campaign resumes, but watching how clubs perform after the unexpected break could be telling. We’ll see which players have stayed in shape, who may have lost some momentum, and possibly even which clubs handle empty stadiums best — all of which could have some bearing on how teams head into next season.
There’s no getting around the fact that the Premier League and world football in general are in uncharted territory. But if like many other fans you’re already looking ahead to 2020/21 in the hopes that the season is more normal, you can still get ready much as you ordinarily would — assessing play, eyeing league odds, and monitoring transfers. It just might all happen on a slightly warped timeline.
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