Which Premier League teams will face relegation this season?
In the eyes of the bookmakers, Hull City were relegated before they had even kicked a ball this season. Steve Bruce had left the KCom Stadium after securing promotion through the play-offs and Mohamed Diame had been snapped up by Newcastle United.
However, opening victories against Leicester City and Swansea City gave the Tigers a solid bank of six points and Mike Phelan will fancy his chances of steering Hull to seventeen place or better based on performance levels thus far.
It’s never straightforward being able to predict the three teams who will suffer the drop from the Premier League, although the freshly promoted clubs traditionally struggle and that was borne out last season when Norwich City lasted just twelve months in the top flight.
Norwich have been a bit of a yoyo club these past few years; gaining promotion to the top flight in 2010/11 only to be relegated two years later, then gaining promotion again in 2014/15 followed by relegation the season after. While this type of fate may give hope to teams like Newcastle United, whom 888 Sport has put forward as favourites to win the Championship this season, it’s the newly promoted clubs and those trying to avoid the dreaded second-season syndrome that will worry the most.
Bournemouth and Watford survived their first season, which will give hope to Hull and Burnley – the other team currently trading at odds-on to be relegated. However, they beat Liverpool in their second game and fellow new boys Middlesbrough went unbeaten in their first three.
Boro are up there as being one of the favourites to be relegated this season and many prefer the chances of the Hornets and Sunderland to suffer that ghastly fate. Indeed, David Moyes has admitted that he’s already rolling up his sleeves in preparation for a scrap against the drop, perhaps in a bid to manage expectations at the Stadium of Light.
Walter Mazarri is the new man at the Vicarage Road helm and the Italian must address an ailing defence, which is currently conceding an average of two goals per match. The worry for Watford is that they ended the last campaign badly and the malaise might have carried into the new campaign.
West Bromwich Albion used to be regarded as a yo-yo club although the Midlands club have managed to solidify in the top flight and it’s partly down to the expertise of Tony Pulis, despite operating on a typically modest budget.
The Welshman was noticeably frustrated on transfer deadline day as the club failed to secure primary targets, although you can’t help feel that Pulis has enough experience at staving off the drop to ensure that the Baggies remain a top-flight entity.
That argument can’t be applied to Francesco Guidolin who is green by comparison when it comes to relegation battles in the English Premier League. The Italian saw Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew depart the Liberty Stadium during the summer and that means the heart was effectively wrenched from the team.
Bournemouth will hope that the loan capture of Jack Wilshere helps the several young and talented players within the squad, while Crystal Palace will hope to have solved their goalscoring woes by recruiting the powerful Christian Benteke who previously kept the wolf from the door at Aston Villa.
Two other relegation contenders could be Stoke City and Southampton. Previous successful campaigns don’t mean these clubs are immune from the drop, with the Potters pinning scoring hopes on Wilfried Bony and the Saints having continually lost quality players and managers over the past few campaigns.
Sources: skysports.com / mirror.co.uk / wikipedia.org