Premier League champions, players to watch, England at the Euros: Our pundits make their 2021 predictions

Jamie Carragher & Gary Neville

Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville made their predictions for 2021 on the closing Monday Night Football present of 2020.

Both pundits made Liverpool favourites to win the Premier League and had related top-four predictions however watch the video under to see why Neville is insisting on Carragher doing a forfeit if Fulham go down – and the way Paul Pogba ended up as Neville’s participant to watch in the coming 12 months!

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Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher make their predictions for 2021 together with the Premier League winner, the prime 4 and relegation candidates.

Jamie Redknapp

Champions: Liverpool

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Will Liverpool be lifting the Premier League trophy once more in 2021?

“I feel Liverpool can be champions. Last 12 months I stated it with a variety of confidence, this 12 months not as a lot due to the accidents and simply what is going on on in the world proper now. This goes to be a 12 months we’ll always remember in so many points.

“Last 12 months folks had been saying about there being an asterisk subsequent to them however that is nothing in contrast to this 12 months. No footballers have ever been requested to play underneath these circumstances. It is not straightforward and we’ve to congratulate them to a sure extent as a result of every thing else has stopped and footballers have simply acquired on with it. You have to concentrate on the psychological stress the players are going by means of.

“Liverpool deserved it final 12 months, nobody can ever deny that, however this 12 months goes to be a struggle of attrition to say the least. You’re going to have to actually dig in, use your squad. There can be instances when it’s going to appear utterly unfair, with players selecting up this sickness and it affecting them.

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“But whoever wins it this year will probably deserve it more than any other year because you have to raise yourself. Football is so much about the fans. You need them there to give you a boost and to not have them has made it a different competition all together.

“It’s wonderful Liverpool are prime of the league with the accidents they’ve had. They may have been even additional forward given the attracts in opposition to West Brom and Newcastle – wins there would have given them a little bit of daylight however now everybody else will nonetheless imagine. Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham… Leicester, Everton and Aston Villa have been success tales however consistency is what it is going to take.”

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Relegation: Sheffield United, after which two from a mini-league

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It has been a painful begin to this season for Sheffield United

“I really like Chris Wilder and I loved what Sheffield United did last year, playing that formation, and I felt really sorry for them picking up some bad injuries at the start of the season. Losing Jack O’Connell was a big blow for them and their signings haven’t really worked out for them yet. Rhian Brewster is yet to score the goals they’d have wanted.

“This can be the best escape. The solely hope they have is that there have not been too many video games the place they have been hammered, there have been a variety of 1-0s and last-minute objectives in opposition to them. But they are going to have to go on an incredible run. You can by no means say by no means, however they’re in huge hassle.

“And then we’ve got a mini-league going on. You’ve got Brighton who have only won one game at home in 2020. Then there’s Fulham – Scott Parker has assembled a squad which, in the first few weeks of the season I thought they were bang in trouble, but they have a real chance now.

“West Brom underneath Sam Allardyce did one thing very particular in opposition to Liverpool after which had been utterly annihilated by Leeds. Crystal Palace are simply getting sucked in however I feel they’ve an excessive amount of. There are 4 or 5 groups who may go down. I by no means subscribed to the thought Arsenal are in a relegation battle, no approach.”

Player to watch: Pedro Neto

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Pedro Neto is on the right track to be a celebrity, says Jamie Redknapp

“One of my favourite young players is Neto at Wolves. He’s an amazing player. He’s 20 years of age but he plays the game like he’s 25 or 26. He’s got tremendous desire, wants to win, brilliant on the ball…

“His play belies his tender years and I’m a giant fan of his. He may very well be considered one of the subsequent superstars. Wolves’ mannequin appears to be to promote they usually’ll discover one other one as a result of they do it so effectively.”

Euros: Semi-finals – at least – must be the target for England

“Loads of it’s going to be reliant on accidents, who’s match, and the way a lot the players are bodily and mentally drained after this 12 months. From Gareth Southgate’s standpoint you have acquired to hope we’ve as match a squad as attainable as a result of we’re very shut to having a very good squad. Gareth has carried out an inexpensive job. There’s no motive why we will not do effectively.

“We’ve got to be pushing to get into the semi-finals, with the likes of Harry Kane, Marcus Rashford, and Raheem Sterling, and good young players coming through, although it might come too soon for the likes of Phil Foden and Curtis Jones. The only area we’re a little bit short is in terms of a playmaker, but that might be someone like James Maddison.

“I feel Mason Greenwood is exhibiting, with the kind he is in, that he isn’t simply going to be in the squad however that individuals would love to see him begin. I need to see some aptitude in our workforce. I do not need to see a workforce that is regular, I need to see a bit of pleasure. That’s definitely what Jack Grealish introduced to the workforce. Against Belgium, the greatest workforce in the world, he was one other degree, so I’m excited to see him in the Euros in the summer season, as effectively.”

Paul Merson

Champions: Liverpool

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Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool have high quality in abundance, says Paul Merson

“I said from day one and I’ll still say it – if you finish above Liverpool and still don’t win the league, you’re bang out of luck. They’re top of the league and yet everyone was saying they would struggle badly without Virgil van Dijk.

“I do not see anyone actually rising as their rivals for the title. I’ve been watching Manchester City for the previous few weeks and each sport has appeared like a gown rehearsal for a Champions League sport. They’ve gone from urgent the ball to taking part in in a sure approach now. City used to shut folks down however they’re now sitting again.

“Tottenham were top of the league, and now they’re seventh. Liverpool won’t slip like that – their home record is too good. We thought Leicester might have been the game where their unbeaten home record ended but they blew them away. It was the same against Wolves.

“Tottenham will in all probability win the top-six mini league however they will not beat the groups who sit again and play the approach Tottenham play. They beat Arsenal and Manchester City, who each went and had a go at them, they usually’ve carried out that too in opposition to Manchester United. But after they had been confronted with Crystal Palace and Leicester, who play the similar approach as Tottenham, they did not win both sport.”

Relegation: Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham

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Does Sam Allardyce have the instruments to take West Brom to security? Merson isn't satisfied…

“I would say Fulham or Newcastle for the final spot. Fulham have changed their whole team from the opening day of the season. From the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal to the 1-1 draw with Newcastle, there were 10 changes. Tom Cairney was the only one who started both matches.

“Scott Parker has recognized that he wanted tempo and legs in the workforce, they usually look a lot better however I simply can’t see three worse groups. Burnley will proceed grinding out outcomes. They’ve been on this place earlier than they usually did not panic. They’re not taking part in with the weight of expectation.

“There’s no chance of West Brom staying up. You can tell me about a blueprint, purple-print, orange-print, whatever print you want. The print doesn’t get you out of trouble, it’s the players. When Allardyce got Sunderland out of trouble, they had Jermain Defoe up front. He had a player who could score out of nothing. West Brom haven’t got that. He took Bolton up to sixth in the table, but this would be Allardyce’s biggest achievement in football.”

Player to watch: Jack Grealish

“I think this lad is going to get better and better. I feel he will be the difference in us winning the European Championships. If he plays well next summer, England win the Euros. He’s the difference and he’s the one ingredient England have needed. Whoever wins tournaments has something different and Grealish has got the X-factor.”

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Jack Grealish may encourage England at the Euros, says Merson

Euros: England to win!

“If Grealish plays well next summer, England will win it. If John Stones can get back into the side, I think England will go all the way.

“I’ve been watching Stones at City just lately and he isn’t been making an attempt to do Cruyff activates the penalty spot, or beat players on the fringe of his field. He’s taking part in easy and when he does that, he is the greatest centre-half in the nation by 1,000,000 miles. If he sticks to being the footballing centre-half who does the proper factor at the proper instances, he’ll be the greatest in the world.

“If England are to win this tournament, I feel they will need to play three at the back and that can be Stones, Conor Coady and Harry Maguire. I don’t feel defensively we’re good enough to play as a four, but as a three that can put opponents on the back foot.”

Alan Smith

Champions: Liverpool

“I still think Liverpool will retain it – although I’m not sure how close it’s going to be. If Man City win their two games in hand they’ll be just a point behind, so they can’t be discounted, but they just don’t appear to have got it all together this season, for whatever reason.

“I do know Liverpool have had just a little blip over the final couple of video games however they’re the strongest workforce they usually seem to have that need to retain it. Even with the accidents they’ve had they’re nonetheless up there, the workforce to beat.

“People have stepped in, the youngsters have done a really good job. They didn’t really have adversity last year but they certainly have this season and they’ve stuck together, which is the hallmark of a winning team, a successful side and they’re in a dominant position.”

Relegation: Sheffield United, West Brom and Fulham

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Fulham and Brighton may very well be scrapping to keep up, says Alan Smith

“It looks like Sheffield United have had it, unfortunately. It was such a great story, with Chris Wilder bringing them up the ladder and through the divisions, and doing what he did with them last season, some of the football they played, it was a brilliant success story. But it was small margins with them, they were winning by the odd goal and defensively excellent but they’re not scoring and confidence has gone at the back. They’ve had injury problems as well and they’ve become detached at the bottom.

“West Brom – I feel this is likely to be the first time Big Sam experiences relegation, simply due to the squad. I do not assume it is adequate, I do not assume there are sufficient players there who can get you a aim. They introduced in Karlan Grant, and I’m undecided he is going to be the reply.

“And then I think it will be between Brighton and Fulham. Brighton, for all the good football they play, they can’t get many wins at all, but I do see them having an edge on Fulham. They have more players who can find the back of the net, they’ve got their Premier League experience. Fulham have obviously tightened up at the back and fair play to Parker for doing that, bringing in loanees and kind of constructing a brand new defence. But going forward and overall, I’m not sure they’re going to have enough.”

Players to watch: Emile Smith Rowe and Jamal Musiala

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Jamal Musiala is a participant to regulate, says Smith

“There are a couple for me. I’m a big fan of Emile Smith Rowe. He’s come into the Arsenal first team in the last few games and I’d heard people within Arsenal saying what a good player they thought he was and he had a real chance. He’s done his stints on loan at Leipzig and Huddersfield which will have toughened him up and you can see he’s a strong player and he has got that creative bent that Arsenal need.

“He’ll play a giant half from now till the finish of the season and assist Arsenal up the desk. He’s acquired a very good perspective and needs to do effectively and enhance. He’s acquired numerous expertise.

“Jamal Musiala has broken into the team at Bayern Munich and he’s only 17. I watched the Atletico Madrid-Bayern Munich game when he made his Champions League debut and he was Bayern’s best player. Hopefully he’ll choose England and in the years to come he’ll be one to look out for.

“He seems to be like a participant who would not get phased by taking part in subsequent to World Cup winners and in a membership the measurement of Bayern Munich, and he is scored for the England U21s already, so hopefully Southgate can be ready to safe him for England, as he has a number of choices internationally.”

Euros: Solve defensive problems, and England are contenders

“We ought to qualify from our group. Croatia will not be a simple journey and Scotland, with all the connotations, can be a scrap, whereas Czech Republic, you by no means fairly know. But there should not be any issues. I feel the key for England is defensively can we get that facet of issues sorted out?

“We’ve got so many options going forward but it’s who plays in central defence – is it a five or four at the back? – the balance in central midfield and whether Jordan Henderson and Declan Rice is too defensively-minded, and who plays in goal because, although Jordan Pickford hasn’t let England down, you’re always on the edge of your seat and that’s not a great positions to be in.

“If we will get a pleasant sturdy defence with that midfield in entrance, I feel we have each probability. France are the workforce to beat, Spain will not be far-off. But hopefully we may give it an excellent shout in entrance of our personal followers, who will hopefully be again for the Wembley video games.”

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