So you’ve noticed the increase in popularity of soccer in this country, whether it’s the support of the United States women’s national team at the World Cup to Premier League jerseys seemingly in every city in America. It’s a great time to get into the sport if you haven’t already, as you can argue that there is more soccer available on television in the United States than any country in the world. Every Premier League game is available to watch in the United States, and that makes supporting a team much easier.
The time has come to pick a team, to pledge your allegiance to a club in arguably the best league in the world. Whether it’s waking up to see your new team play at 4:30 a.m. in Los Angeles or trying to sneak in the game at work, here’s what to know about all 20 Premier League teams so that you can chose one to root for.
What is important, in my opinion, is to find something that connects you to a team. It can be the smallest of things to the biggest of things. Maybe you loved David Beckham and that makes you want to support Manchester United. Perhaps your great grandmother was actually born in West Midlands, and that gives you an easy connection to Wolverhampton.
So whether it is because of a certain player you like, a place you visited or whatever, it’s up to you to make the decision.
So who should you pick? Here’s stating the case for each team, including why some here at CBS Sports have chosen their teams.
The big boys (get used to winning)
Manchester City: My allegiance to Manchester City is aligned with the Sheikh Mansour ownership takeover in 2008, but at the time I had no clue about that. As a Brazilian, I first heard of the club when it beat out Chelsea to sign Robinho over the summer. At the time, Robinho was a hotshot who had just come from Santos and a long stint with the Galaticos at Real Madrid. He left after only two years at City, but my allegiance stayed put with the Sky Blues. You can make the argument that City has been the most successful club in this decade with four Premier League titles and two FA Cups. The team is loaded with talent, but has yet to win the Champions League. Watching this team led by Pep Guardiola — one of the greatest footballing minds of our generation — trying to conquer every trophy you can imagine is well worth your support. — Igor Mello, CBS Sports editor
Liverpool: In my opinion, it’s the biggest team in the history of English soccer because of a country-record six Champions League titles. The Reds never win the Premier League, but this is a cup team that is easy to fall in love with. From their amazing atmosphere at Anfield to energetic coach in Jurgen Klopp, this is potentially one of the greatest eras in Liverpool’s history, though picking them would bring the bandwagon tag. If you’re a Red Sox fan, this is an easy connection as the club is owned by Fenway Sports Group.
Chelsea: One name. Christian Pulisic. To have arguably the best American player on one of the most popular Premier League teams in the United States is my pitch. And since the club has its hands tied with the transfer ban, expect him to get plenty of reps against the league’s best clubs. It’s like in the NBA and Chelsea is saving its money, accumulating capital for the “free agent class of 2020!” Look out. – –Tommy Tran, CBS Sports HQ host
Tottenham: If you need that “fan feeling” then Spurs are the club for you. You know the one — it’s the emotional roller coaster your club puts you through. The highs and lows. The come-from-behind victories and the crushing defeats. And that’s what Tottenham represents. You’ll get to watch Son Heung-min smile for 90 minutes. You’ll see the abundance of swag that Dele Ali brings to the game. You’ll get remarkable finishes by a world-class striker in Harry Kane. This club doesn’t buy wins, it earns them. And soon Spurs will earn a cup, too. — Matthew Coca, producer for Kanell and Bell
Arsenal: When it came to selecting a Premier League team, I had some basic requirements: A squad that was accessible (regular TV games), popular (for a shared experience), had tolerable uniforms (obviously) and was competitive. Arsenal checked all those boxes and, despite some of their issues over the past few years, there have been no regrets. In fact, supporting Arsenal has brought me back to my younger days of rooting for the hapless pre-2004 Red Sox. Sure, it may seem like a wasted venture at points, but it’s important to go through some lows in order to really appreciate the highs — assuming those highs will come eventually. And truthfully, the masochist in me actually partly enjoys the experience of collectively dumping on the team. — Pete Blackburn, CBS Sports writer
Manchester United: Manchester United is and will remain to be the biggest club in England. Apart from the recent seasons, United has always been known for attacking football paired with dramatic finishes and some of the most talented players in the Premier League. Not to harp too much on the past, but with United legend and treble winner Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the wheel, the team showed glimpses of its golden years toward the middle of last season. All that combined with much needed defensive additions to the team with the likes of England international and the world’s most expensive defender, Harry Maguire, and youngsters like Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, this could be the season where the old United and its playing style will return to Old Trafford. – Sarthak Patel, CBS senior systems engineer
The up-and-comers (future potential for a title)
Wolves: If you are looking for a relatively small club with big-time potential, it’s Wolves. Just two seasons to go, they were in the second division but won it to earn promotion to the top flight. Then, instead of fighting for survival in their first year in the Premier League, they finished seventh and qualified for the Europa League. It was an impressive season for the team under coach Nuno Espirito Santo. This team has a lot of Portuguese flair with a coach who likes to acquire his fellow countrymen. His team features eight Portuguese players and three Spanish players, playing a unique possession-style of play that is often seen more in the Iberian nations. Now, this team won’t contend for a Premier League title but is a threat in cups. If you are a fan of Mexico, you’ll like Wolves with Mexico national team striker Raul Jimenez leading the way. They are in the Europa League this year, which will be fun.
Everton: When looking to choose a Premier League team to follow, the first order of business is deciding whether or not you want to back a perennial top-six contender, or a team hoping to jump into that mix. If you go with the latter, look no further than Everton. A club with a proud history, Everton has been in the top division of English football for a record 116 seasons, and is looking to enter an exciting new chapter under second-year manager Marco Silva. Everton ended last season in style, with victories over Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea in a span of four weeks, and were the last team to take points from Liverpool — a bitter adversary, with whom they contest the Merseyside Derby, one of the most legendary rivalries in all of football. Leading what they hope will be a charge into the top-six and European competition is a dangerous attacking force that includes Brazilian starlet Richarlison, Icelandic midfield maestro Gylfi Sigurdsson and promising Italian striker Moise Kean, whom the Toffees swooped in to acquire from Juventus in one of the most surprising moves of the summer transfer window. — Jack Maloney, CBS Sports writer
Leicester City: Forever Cinderella. Leicester City stunned the world by winning the Premier League in 2015-16 in what was the most improbable feat the league has ever seen. Leicester has won the league more recently than Manchester United and Arsenal, and it’s a title Liverpool has never won. It’s a team that fights hard, prioritizes teamwork and has some really good players. Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel is quite the player, and striker Jamie Vardy is synonymous with that title run. Add in the signing of talented midfielder Youri Tielemans and an experienced coach in Brendan Rodgers, and you’ve got a stable club that can make some noise.
Middle of the road (unlikely to seriously contend)
West Ham: Why would you want to root for West Ham if you have no connections to the team or London and don’t really know anything about ironwork? The best answer I have for that question is bandwagon jumping is unpleasant. As someone new to following the Premier League in the last decade, rooting for the Hammers just made sense. Sure, West Ham is short on trophies, superstars and American fans. And, at best, the Hammers are the fourth-most talked about team in their own city. But that’s the appeal. A club named for ship builders that’s a perennial underdog? I’d rather cheer for them any day than become another American millennial front-runner in a Chelsea jersey. — Stephen Pianovich, CBS Sports editor
Watford: Watford’s trophy case may be bare, but this is a team that is an underdog that plays for the love of the game, has a fantastic fan base and some cool colors with a mix of yellow, black and red. Watford has never won a trophy of any significance, but that’s the appeal for rooting for them, because when the club does, it will be absolutely magical. The club made the final of the FA Cup last season before getting blasted by Manchester City, but coach Javi Garcia has brought stability to this team and hopes to have another deep cup run this season with their quick pace and fierce midfield.
Crystal Palace: Two of the three owners are Americans, they have a really cool stadium in Selhurst Park and are always the underdog. But this team, with it’s unique blue and red jersey, has some really good players with Wilfried Zaha leading the way. The club has flirted with relegation in recent seasons but has a bit of stability now. Crystal Palace plays a fast, frantic style that is a pleasure to watch and is always involved in some of the wildest games of the year.
Bournemouth: The true underdogs. The Cherries are in most games they play and give the big dogs a run for their money more often than not. Just 10 years ago, they were in the fourth division. They climbed up to the third division, and three years after that they made it to the second division. There for just two seasons, they earned Premier League promotion in 2015 and have finished on average around 13th place which is more than respectable. Also, the Cherries is an awesome nickname and the red and black look is slick.
Aston Villa: Well, when I first became a Villa supporter it was because I was looking for two things. The first was that I didn’t want to support a big six club because I hate front-running. The second was, while I didn’t want to root for one of the top clubs, I also didn’t want to run the risk of seeing my team relegated, and Aston Villa was big enough to avoid that pitfall. Or so I thought! Several years later that’s what happened, but now they’re back! And if you’re a fan of redemption stories, then Aston Villa is the club for you. They’ve come close to the top of the mountain, fallen off of it, and have now begun the climb back toward the top. And, unlike a lot of newly promoted clubs, it’s a large club that’s well-funded and has a strong desire to stay and challenge the big six. Plus, the name is cool. Aston Villa sounds like the name of an estate that James Bond would retire to and drink martinis. — Tom Fornelli, CBS Sports college football writer
Relegation contenders (Might not be around for too long)
Norwich City: Noriwch is the second division champs and hoping to make noise to stave off relegation. The Canaries have awesome yellow and green uniforms and one of the coolest stadiums in Carrow Road. This is a small team that has been in the Premier League for just four seasons since 2005. Part of the excitement is fighting off survival and staying in the top flight, and this team has a chance. While winning titles is great, this is a club satisfied by just staying in the top flight for the long term. Expect them to struggle a bit, but staying up would feel nearly as good as winning a trophy.
Sheffield United: Sheffield United played just one season in the Premier League since the early 90s (2006-07). This is a serious underdog that had a really good run in the early 20th century with four FA Cup titles. This team isn’t used to being in the top flight and you probably don’t know somebody who supports them, so here is your chance to be unique. They probably won’t have any players you’ve heard of, but it’s a chance to read up about the history and find that connection. This is the first club in England to use “United” in its name. Trend setters.
Burnley: The Clarets of Turf Moor have won the league twice, in 1921 and 1960. They were promoted in 2016 and have stayed up for three straight seasons, including a seventh-place finish in 2018. A team that won’t wow you with goal scoring, these players give everything out on the pitch and have that blue-collar mentality. They have played more Premier League seasons since 2014 than they did from 1970 to 2013.
Newcastle: This is, historically, a big club that has fallen on hard times. This is the “comeback” pick. The Magpies have a new coach in Steve Bruce and a handful of new players after losing some key pieces in attack. They played in the Premier League from 1992 all the way to 2009 when they were relegated. But they returned after one season and were then relegated again in 2016. Newcastle could see that happen again due to a lack of stability, but this is a proud club that won’t give up. Despite the chaos at the club and the anger toward owner Mike Ashley, fans are craving a return to glory and have a classic-looking jersey that’s easy on the eyes.
Southampton: The Saints are the perfect team if you are looking for top up-and-coming talent. They’ve helped produce some of the top players and also have an eye for snapping up talent that blows up down the road. The world’s best defender, Virgil van Dijk, became a star there before joining Liverpool. Sadio Mane and Gareth Bale also played there. They are often in the discussion to be relegated, but when they survive, it’s quite the scene. Southampton has also been able to make a little bit of noise in cups. They are great at fighting for their life at the end of the season and doing just enough.
Brighton: London by the sea, Brighton is a unique place with as unique of a team. The Seagulls have a mixture of players from all over, as most teams, but they rely on some veterans to be the game-changers in their fight for survival, and boy is it fun to watch. Brighton hasn’t been in the Premier League long, in fact 2017 was their first year in the top flight. Since then they have flirted with relegation but have done enough to stay up. This is a club whose top striker is a 35-year-old veteran who has played for 11 different teams in his career in Glen Murray. They have a heck of a goalkeeper in Australian international Maty Ryan, and the Seagulls is just a cool nickname.
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