2022 Premier League Teams & Best Players
These are the twenty teams that will participate in the 2020/20 Premier League. If you’re looking for a betting site, check out Euro football betting guide here.
The only top-flight club based in Dorset, the ‘Cherries’ play in front of the smallest crowd in the entire Premier League. However, their vocal fanbase often intimidates visiting teams that underestimate them. Under Eddie Howe, Bournemouth won the 2014/15 Football League Championship, and gained a first-ever promotion to the top-flight.
They have held their own ever since, and will kick off their fifth Premier League season this year.
AFC Bournemouth: Best Player
Bournemouth’s latest march to extended Premier League membership was aided much by the endeavours of Ryan Fraser.
Standing at just 5’5, the dynamic Scot is a real speedster on the wing, and possesses a deadly shot as a perfect foil to his low centre of gravity. His 2019 nomination for Player of the Year, amongst the likes of Raheem Sterling and Virgil Van Dijk, represented a new high for a man going from strength to strength in Dorset.
Three-time Premier League champions Arsenal have endured a rough time of late, failing to finish inside the top-four for the second consecutive season. In the summer of 2018, Unai Emery took over the club, and replaced long-term servant Arsene Wenger, with a vision of transforming the playing dynamic.
While Arsenal have not enjoyed the same degree of domestic ruthlessness as in previous years, they remain good trophy hunters, and reached the Europa League final in 2019.
See also: ‘How many titles have Arsenal won?’
Arsenal: Best Player
Over the years after his arrival in 1995, Dennis Bergkamp was partnered with new foreign arrivals, including Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas, and of course the legendary Thierry Henry. All of these players have at least one Premier League winner’s medal to their name.
Simply put, there was nothing that Dutch international Bergkamp couldn’t do on a ball, and he is famous for scoring some immense hat-tricks, and being the driving force behind everything good that the Gunners did in their Premier League heyday.
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Brighton & Hove Albion
After several years of missed chances, the club gained promotion to the Premier League for the first time in May 2017.
While they were a strong ‘home’ team in 2017/18, the 2018/19 season proved to be more a difficult affair. The ‘Seagulls’ only managed to clinch mathematical safety in the first weekend of May 2019, and with star striker Glenn Murray now an aged figure, the future remains somewhat uncertain for Brighton.
Brighton & Hove Albion: Best Player
The current-day goalkeeper Matthew Ryan is doing a lot to endear himself to fans. He cuts a brave figure between the posts, and went into final weekend of 2018/19 just thirteen Fantasy Premier League (FPL) points behind the so-called ‘world’s best goalkeeper’ in David De Gea.
After two relegations immediately after promotion (in 2010 and 2015) it was ‘third time lucky’ when Burnley mounted a successful survival campaign in 2016/17. Though they were unable to emulate it in the campaign just gone, 2017/18 was a vintage season for Burnley, who finished seventh last year to embark on a first European adventure in many years.
Burnley: Best Player
George Beel holds the current record for netting the highest number of league goals, scoring a total of 178 over a nine-year period between 1923 and 1932. In scoring 35 goals over the course of 1927/28, Beel also boasts the club record for the highest number of goals scored in one season by a player.
Chelsea have lifted the Premier League trophy on five occasions, but times were not always this good at Stamford Bridge. It was not until the club underwent a huge refurbishment under Ken Bates’ chairmanship in the 1990s that Chelsea were considered worthy of attention.
With the refurbishments came a ‘pull factor’ for overseas talent, and in 1997, the club’s decision to invest in foreign players paid off. Thanks much to Italian imports Gianfranco Zola, Gianluigi Vialli and Roberto Di Matteo, Chelsea won the 1997 F.A Cup, the 1998 Cup Winners Cup, and qualified for the Champions League in 1999 by finishing third.
A few years of stagnation caused by debt followed, but there was never any danger of relegation. In 2003, the club was bought out by Roman Abramovich, who ensured that Chelsea could take player recruitment to the next level. In 2005, the first of their five Premier League titles arrived.
Chelsea: Best Player
Although the gears of success were fully in motion as early as 2003, it was not until the arrival of Didier Drogba in the summer of 2004 that Chelsea went from excellent to downright lethal.
The Ivorian played a great part in Chelsea’s acquisition of the club’s first four Premier League titles, and in 2012, scored the penalty that gave Chelsea a first-ever Champions League triumph.
Crystal Palace’s current Premier League stay began in August 2013. Since then, the Eagles have endured mixed fortunes, but the last couple of seasons have seen them start horrendously. Season 2017/18 saw Palace become the first EPL team to survive after losing the opening seven games.
As a boyhood Palace fan, current manager Roy Hodgson has been able to utilize his experience and calm, collected demeanour to create a club that has a strong sense of mutual belonging.
Crystal Palace: Best Player
Named as the ‘Player of the Century’ in a 2005 poll, Ian Wright is seen as the man who single handedly gave a small club with little hope a huge presence amongst true London giants in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Wright scored 117 goals in 277 competitive appearances for Palace, and there were many highlights during his time there. Amongst the most significant was his goals that led Palace to promotion via the second-tier playoffs in 1989, and the impact he made throughout the club’s run to the 1990 F.A Cup final.
After enjoying a heady period of success in the 1980s, Everton’s early years of Premier League membership were difficult. The team known as the ‘Toffees’ finished in the top-half only once inside the first ten years of their membership, and evaded relegation on the last day of the season twice during that time, in 1994 and 1998.
The arrival of David Moyes as manager in March 2002 proved to be a catalyst to better times, with Everton soon becoming regular contenders to finish in a European qualification spot. His departure in 2013 led to the club losing some of its former stability, but recent developments hint at a brighter future.
Under the ownership of Farhad Moshiri, and the directorship of Marcel Brands, a new stadium is planned, along with a more distinct player recruitment plan, which is in place for the summer of 2019.
Everton: Best Player
There is only one player who can humanly fit this mantle. That man is Dixie Dean, who provided the blueprint for generations of strikers. A powerful shooter and a man who once scored from the halfway line with his head, Dean’s most famous moment came in May 1928, when he struck the final three goals of his 60-goal haul in 1927/28.
It is a top-flight record that is all but guaranteed to stand the test of time.
Once a small, provincial club going nowhere, Leicester have become known as the greatest underdog winners of all time. Under the stewardship of Claudio Ranieri, the ‘Foxes’ overturned odds of up to 5000/1 to win the 2015/16 Premier League title by a ten-point margin, and directly qualify for the 2016/17 Champions League group stage.
Times have been tougher for the club recently. On 27 October 2018, Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha lost his life in a tragic helicopter crash outside the club’s stadium.
The world was in shock at this development, but on the back of another top-half finish in the Premier League, there is clearly every desire from the players to honour a fallen hero, who rescued the club from eternal obscurity and frustration.
Leicester City: Best Player
Between 1950 and 1958, Arthur Rowley poached 251 goals in 303 club appearances. During his time at Filbert Street, he broke the record for career goals in English league football, and still stands as the second-highest of Leicester’s all-time scorers. He also boasts the club record for the highest number of goals in a single season.
An utter powerhouse of English football, Liverpool came to within a point of lifting the Premier League trophy in 2019. There is every suggestion that the Reds can mount a similar challenge in 2019/20, and the key to the club’s success has been head coach Jurgen Klopp.
The German coach’s appointment in October 2015 was hugely welcomed, and his charismatic personality, keen eye for recruitment and championing of tireless attacking football with a high-press has been immensely popular.
Up front, Liverpool boast arguably the league’s most potent attacking force on its day, with Sadio Mané and Mohammed Salah providing blistering pace and a lethal shot from the flanks, and Roberto Firmino as the centre-forward and set-piece specialist.
The flanks are also well-reinforced by Andrew Robertson (left) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (right), with both men able to bomb into the box and provide an additional attacking outlet, while their work rate enables them to defend stoutly at the same time.
There is also a lot of composure in midfield, with Fabinho, James Milner and Jordan Henderson dictating the flow of play, a Georginio Wijnaldum providing a bolt of energy at key moments, along with a tireless workrate.
Liverpool: Best Player
Known only as ‘The King’, Kenny Dalglish was the epitome of Liverpool at their very best in the 1970s and 1980s. During his years at Liverpool he fired the Reds to six top-flight league championships, three European Cups and one European Super Cup.
Dalglish was then appointed as player-manager in 1985, and brought further honours to Liverpool long after ending his playing days, including three league titles and two F.A Cup triumphs.
Back in 2008, a takeover from the Abu Dhabi Group armed City with vast wealth, and almost overnight, the club was able to attract just about any player it desired after years of sheer misery.
Since that takeover, Manchester City have won four Premier League trophies, and in May 2018, broke the all-time points record from a 38-game season, finishing with exactly 100 points.
A true study in world class football, the reigning champions are once again rightful favorites in the 2019/20 futures market to lift the Premier League trophy, and like close runners-up Liverpool, have an immense attacking outlet.
Typically, Leroy Sane and Raheem Sterling are worthy companions either side of Sergio Aguero, who became the club’s highest-scoring player back in January 2019. Raheem Sterling is also an excellent support striker, often drifting in from wide to fire home.
Manchester City: Best Player
Back in 2011, Sergio Aguero and David Silva became City players, and formed the nucleus of an unstoppable title-winning team. On 13 May 2012, deep into stoppage time in their season finale with Queens Park Rangers, Manchester City required one goal to win the title.
It came from the boot of none other than Sergio Aguero, and no matter how many successes are forthcoming for City in the coming years, that moment will forever live on as the greatest that the Etihad Stadium has ever witnessed. The last two years have seen Aguero break all manner of records, and he remains one of the world’s most coveted strikers.
As of the end of 2018/19, Aguero is also just twelve goals shy of breaking into the top-five of the Premier League’s all-time top scorers.
There can be no doubt that in the early years of the Premier League, Manchester United set the definitive mark of quality under the stewardship of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Winning the Premier League thirteen times under the Scotsman’s tenure, the club has won it all, but sadly for them, the latter days of the 2018/19 season proved traumatic.
These days, United fans now cut despondent and angry figures, having seen their club finish a lowly sixth this year despite boasting an immense wage bill. World Cup giants, such as Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial and David De Gea remain divisive figures amongst the fanbase.
Yet, while United’s futures price is more distant than ever, the club is simply too big to stay in its current torpor.
Manchester United: Best Player
In the Premier League era alone, there are a huge array of contenders. However, there can be no doubt that Ryan Giggs (OBE) was the driving force behind everything United won, and his efforts were a huge part of the club’s famous treble of trophies back in 1999.
Giggs was unquestionably a man ahead of his time. Today, wingers that can drift into the box and fire home from an angle are taken for granted, but at his peak, he was unique in his ability to cross and shoot with equal effectiveness.
The Welsh wizard was a one-man club throughout his career, notching up a total of 114 goals from 672 appearances over a period of twenty-four years.
In 1996, just three years after gaining promotion to the Premier League, Newcastle ran Manchester United agonisingly close for the Premier League title, and were regular fixtures in European competition over the next several years. However, the club began to decline in 2004 after sacking the highly-respected Sir Bobby Robson as manager.
His departure heralded a downturn in the club’s fortunes. The club has been relegated twice from the Premier League (in 2009 and 2016) but improved fortunes under Rafael Benitez have ensured that the club can at least retain its status as ‘sleeping giant’ in the short term, despite being without a major trophy for generations.
Newcastle United: Best Player
Nobody else but boyhood Newcastle fan Alan Shearer could take this accolade. Long before he joined from Blackburn in 1996, Shearer was one of the world’s most dynamic strikers, scoring for fun when on form. His efforts ensured that Newcastle would play Champions League football for the first time in 1997/98.
While Newcastle did not win any honours with Shearer in the front line, he retired in 2006 after becoming the club’s all-time top scorer with 206 goals.
Though the Premier League is a new test for manager Daniel Farke, he is a tactician that many others will underestimate at their peril. With Norwich striker Teemu Pukki finishing as the Football League Championship’s top scorer for 2018/19, the German coach already has a recognised ‘danger man’ in place.
Norwich City: Best Player
Back in the very first Premier League season (1992/93), Norwich City were amongst the favorites for relegation, but dominated the league in the first-half of the campaign. The eventual third-place finish they gained under then-manager Mike Walker is seen as a monumental achievement.
Much of this achievement was down to the great form of Bryan Gunn, who made 477 appearances as the club’s immovable first-choice goalkeeper, keeping the Canaries punching above their weight year on year.
The South Yorkshire club will return to the top-flight after an absence of twelve years. In head coach Chris Wilder, the ‘Blades’ have a true local hero, and with other locals also in the squad, many battling performances can be expected from Sheffield United in 2019/20.
Sheffield United: Best Player
After sticking with Sheffield United throughout the club’s slog through the divisions over the past several years, Billy Sharp will lead the line next season as a real figure of inspiration.
This year alone has been a great one for Sharp on a more personal level. In January 2019, Sharp scored his 220th goal and became this century’s leading England-born scorer in English football. One month later, he reached his century of goals for the Blades.
The upcoming Premier League season will represent Southampton’s ninth consecutive year as a top-flight club. This fact is remarkable, considering that the ‘Saints’ occupied the third tier of English football as recently as 2011.
Despite enduring a horrendous start to 2018/19, Southampton are improved under current head coach Ralph Hasenhüttl. He has ingrained a more solid work ethic and team structure into the Saints XI of late. That said, Southampton’s continued survival depends much on shrewd purchases over the summer of 2019.
Southampton: Best Player
Without the efforts of Matthew Le Tissier throughout the club’s first stint as a Premier League member, Southampton would have long been out of business. He was a central midfielder ahead of his time, delivering lethal free kicks, and scoring goals of utterly inhuman quality.
Up until 2009, Tottenham were largely a mid-table Premier League team, continually overshadowed by London rivals Chelsea and Arsenal, and ridiculed for its lack of success and silverware despite its size.
When Harry Redknapp took over as manager of the club in October 2008, Tottenham lay rock-bottom of the Premier League. Under his guidance, Tottenham transformed into a slick unit, finishing fourth in May 2010, to embark on a maiden Champions League voyage that changed the expectations of success-starved fans.
With Tottenham reaching the Champions League final for the first time ever in May 2019, there is every belief that the club can challenge for the league title in 2019/20.
Tottenham Hotspur: Best Player
As of May 2019, Jimmy Greaves is England’s fourth-highest international goalscorer, and has the accolade of being Tottenham Hotspur’s top goalscorer, ending his time there on 266 goals. Additionally, he is the highest goalscorer in the history of English top-flight football with 357 goals.
During his time at White Hart Lane, Greaves fired Tottenham to the FA Cup in 1962 and 1967, and the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963, with that same year also seeing Tottenham finish as top-flight runners up.
Watford’s first two ventures into the Premier League (in 1999/00 and 2006/07) were both disastrous. However, they managed to hold their own in 2015/16, and have since developed a reputation for being hard to break down. In May 2019, Watford participated in what was the club’s first F.A Cup final since 1984.
Watford: Best Player
Between 1976 and 1993, Luther Blissett spent three spells at Watford, and over that time, he scored 186 goals in 503 appearances. He was a formidable attacker alongside John Barnes, and almost single-handedly smashed Watford through three divisions, with the pinnacle being a second-placed finish in the top flight back in 1983.
West Ham United
Over the course of the 1990s, great talents such as Joe Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Frank Lampard rose through the ranks, culminating in West Ham qualifying for European competition in 1999. However, that core of talent broke up, culminating in West Ham’s relegation in 2003.
The club has never been quite the same since. However, one bright spark from 2018/19 was the regular introduction of Declan Rice into the starting XI, with the (now) England international aiming to be the next ‘nucleus’ of a progressive team.
West Ham United: Best Player
During his time at West Ham, Bobby Moore played over 600 games for the club over the course of sixteen years, winning the FA Cup in 1964 and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965. Ultimately, without his influence, West Ham may never have become one of the great champions of raw English talent.
The surprise package of 2018/19, Wolverhampton Wanderers are going places under current manager Nuno Espirito Santo. The midland club finished seventh – just below the ‘usual’ top six – straight after being promoted from the second-tier Football League Championship in May 2018, beating some formidable foes along the way.
Most notably, they beat Tottenham at Wembley in late December, coming from 1-0 down to win 3-1 with three late goals. There was also a 2-1 win over Manchester United in early April, which helped contribute towards United’s failure to finish in the top-four (a Champions League qualification spot).
Wolverhampton Wanderers: Best Player
The fact that he has a stand named after him is testament enough, but no words can describe just how much Steve Bull meant to Wolves back in the day. He arrived as an outsider, signing from hated rivals West Bromwich in 1986, but Bull would soon endear himself to the Molineux faithful.
Over his thirteen-year stay with Wolves, Bull scored a hugely impressive tally of eighteen hat-tricks, en-route to a final tally of 306 club goals by the time of his departure in 1999.
Premier League – Top 3 Defenders
#1. Sol Campbell
After establishing himself as one of the greatest central defenders of his generation while playing for Tottenham, Campbell defected to the club’s mortal enemies Arsenal in 2001. From there, he developed into a world class player, and was a first-choice pick for England duties, with the finest moment of his career arriving in 2004, when he was part of the ‘invincible’ Arsenal squad that did not lose a single game throughout 2003/04.
#2. John Terry
He was a key component of the Chelsea squad that got into the Champions League back in 2003 at a time when the club was in potentially dire financial straits. Under new ownership, he flourished and formed a close bond with the likes of William Gallas and Frank Lampard. In 2005, he was part of the squad that went on to lift the Premier League title, with his defensive exploits seeing the Blues lose just once all season.
#3. Rio Ferdinand
Starting off as a true prodigy at the heart of West Ham’s defence, his efforts turned the Hammers into a solid outfit that began edging closer to Europe rather than fighting relegation. In 2000, he joined Leeds United as part of a revolutionary squad that reached the Champions League semi-finals the following year.
However, it was after his defection to Old Trafford, to play for Manchester United that he truly shone. Between 2003 and 2013, Ferdinand won the Premier League five times and the Champions League once, in 2008.
Premier League – Top 5 Midfielders
#1. Roy Keane
Arriving at Old Trafford from Nottingham Forest in 1993, Keane quickly became one of the most ferocious characters ever to wear the famous red shirt. He commanded the pitch like a field marshal, put in some extraordinary tackles and acted as the nucleus of the Premier League’s most successful team.
#2. Patrick Vieira
Keane enjoyed a famous rivalry with Patrick Vieira, who plied his trade in a similar manner for Arsenal. He too cut an aggressive, no-nonsense figure in the centre of the park, showing excellent game-reading abilities and shutting out the opposition time after time. He was also an accomplished dribbler, which augmented his coverage and also made him an attacking threat.
#3. Steven Gerrard (MBE)
Second only to Kenny Dalglish as the greatest Liverpool player ever, Gerrard was the complete package. His greatest asset was undoubtedly his long-range shooting ability, which stunned many an unsuspecting opponent, but there was also an immense streak of creativity. So too was there a peerless sense of vision, which consistently fed great strikers such as Michael Owen and Fernando Torres, supplying them with the chances required to make Liverpool a true force at home and abroad.
#4. Paul Scholes
One of the famous ‘Class of 92’ Scholes was known for his technical skills, consistently showing pinpoint passing ability, intelligence on and off the ball, and a lethal shot from long range. At his peak, Scholes’ stamina, vision, work-rate, and positional sense were nigh-unmatched in Europe, as was his game-reading ability, and his intelligence when it came to timing runs into the box.
#5. David Beckham
He is without question the man who every young boy of a certain generation wanted to be. After forging his place in a young Manchester United side that overhauled a 12-point haul in 1995/96, Beckham became renowned as a winger who could not only cross the ball with near-perfect accuracy, but also score from distance.
However, his party piece was the ability to bend the ball around the wall from free kicks, and find the corner of the net with disquieting regularity.
Premier League – Top 3 Goalkeepers
#1. Peter Schmeichel
Schmeichel was a goalkeeper without equal during his time at Manchester United. Brave, commanding and boasting an excellent sense of timing, the Danish stopper was also famous for scoring more than once from set pieces.
#2. Edwin van der Sar
Edwin van der Sar joined Manchester United from Fulham in 2005, at a time when Chelsea were threatening to dominate for years in the same way United once did. His exceptional reflexes toughened the United defence manyfold, and between 2007 and 2009, he was part of a squad that won three successive Premier League trophies.
During 2008/09, van der Sar also broke the record for the highest number of consecutive Premier League clean sheets.
#3. Petr Cech
Like Didier Drogba, Cech was part of the Chelsea revolution led by Roman Abramovich’s patronage. A colossus in goal, Cech’s efforts saw Chelsea concede just fifteen goals across the 38-game 2004/05 Premier League season. Needless to say, Cech’s agility and bravery were without equal on his day, but it was his ability to launch clearances from either foot that gave Chelsea a competitive edge during a turnaround of possession.
Premier League – Top 5 Goalscorers
#1. Alan Shearer (260 goals)
Prior to becoming a Newcastle idol, Shearer was a huge influence on Blackburn’s surge during the Premier League’s early years. His debut for Blackburn in 1992 saw him score twice, with one of those strikes being a Goal of the Season contender from a considerable distance.
His efforts drove Blackburn to fourth place, then second place and finally – in 1994/95 – he forged a devastating partnership with Chris Sutton, which delivered the Premier League title to Ewood Park. He won consecutive Premier League golden boot awards during this time, paving the way for his dream move to Newcastle.
#2. Wayne Rooney (208)
Rooney burst onto the scene in August 2002, debuting for Everton at the tender age of just sixteen. However, he was soon destroying opponents ten or more years his senior, making some blistering runs and scoring some sensational goals throughout his first full season as a professional.
His second season was less impressive, but Manchester United offered him the deal of a lifetime, and he was just as unstoppable on a bigger stage, going on to become a serial Premier League winner, and a European champion in 2008.
#3. Andrew Cole (187)
Cole was part of the Newcastle squad that gained promotion to the Premier League in 1993, and immediately established itself as one of the most dynamic and attack-minded sides in the top-flight. Cole scored for fun throughout that season, as the Magpies finished third.
In January 1995, Cole joined Manchester United for a then-record £7m, and made a seamless transition. In March, Cole became the first Premier League to hit five goals in a single match, and over the following years, he went on to help United win five Premier League trophies.
#4. Frank Lampard (177)
Son of West Ham legend Frank Lampard Sr, the second-generation Hammer was well-tutored by Harry Redknapp at Upton Park, but it was at Chelsea that he truly came into his own.
Despite being a midfielder, Frank Lampard was as good as a secondary striker at his peak under Jose Mourinho as a Chelsea idol. A master of free kicks, long shots and penalties, Lampard’s ruthless method of execution was a cornerstone factor in Chelsea’s back-to-back title wins in 2005 and 2006.
#5. Thierry Henry (175)
The Frenchman joined Arsenal in 1998 from Italian club Juventus, and under the guidance of long-term mentor Arsene Wenger, Henry became an unstoppable force with the ability to operate either side of the 18-yard line. He had absolutely everything, and more, scoring countless contenders for Goal of the Season as Arsenal won two Premier League trophies during his spell in North London.
However, like many of his peers at Arsenal, Henry reserved his best for 2003/04, at a time when his on-field chemistry with Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp reached what can only be described as telepathic levels. He finished that season as the league’s runaway top-scorer, with thirty goals.
Premier League – Top 3 Penalty Scorers
#1. Alan Shearer (55 penalties scored)
Shearer is also the top penalty scorer of the Premier League, and he took them as a true Englishman back in the day. A short run-up and a powerful, decisive strike was his trademark.
#2. Frank Lampard (43)
Forty-three out of fifty is an excellent strike rate from the spot, especially in the sort of high-pressure situations that all successful teams face. Many Chelsea fans will argue that nobody, past nor present, has come close to emulating Lampard’s ability from the spot.
#3. Steven Gerrard (32)
It seems like no coincidence at all that Gerrard’s last three trophies won in the red of Liverpool came via penalty shootouts. Not only did Gerrard have a no-nonsense approach to penalties, his psychological strength was also a great asset.