Who Will Be Relegated From The Premier League This Season?
Which Premier League clubs will find themselves relegated this season? How many promoted clubs will survive? Today Tim Poole takes a look at the prime contenders for Premier League relegation.
Only once in the last 10 years have all three newly-promoted sides beaten the drop. Consider that.
The task facing Cardiff City, Crystal Palace and Hull City this season, then, is hardly an enviable one. Derby County, Blackpool, Reading (twice) and an extensive list of other ambitious clubs have all elevated themselves to the promised land only to fall straight back at the first hurdle in recent years.
Yet, by the same token, the last time all three newly promoted sides took the plunge at the same time was 1998 – and that is where established Premier League outfits should be warned: the Championship welcomes everyone.
Will Norwich City Be Relegated?
At stages this summer, Norwich were many bookmakers’ favourite non-promoted side to go down. Some serious summer transfer business has put paid to any such fears, however. So far this season, Chris Hughton has made no less than seven new signings, adding real quality to a side already adept at surviving in the Premier League.
The Canaries’ biggest problem last season was goalscoring, with the club only netting 41 league goals in total. As such, Gary Hooper – scorer of 31 goals in 51 games last season – and club record signing Ricky van Wofswinkel – scorer of 15 in 35 – have been brought in to significantly bolster Norwich’s ranks.
It will, of course, be a challenge for the Canaries boss to integrate so many new faces into a relatively tight-knit unit – but, far from merely avoiding relegation, Norwich could surprise a fair few if their performances on the pitch are anywhere near as impressive as their performances in the transfer market.
Norwich City Odds For 2013/2014 - Odds as at 14th August 2013.
|To Be Relegated||4.00||3.75||4.00||3.50||4.00|
|To Finish Bottom||10.00||15.00||15.00||11.00||15.00|
|To Stay Up||1.29||1.25||1.22||1.29||1.22|
|To Finish Bottom 10||1.13||1.17||1.18||1.17||1.20|
Will Stoke City Be Relegated?
It is not looking so optimistic at the Britannia Stadium, however, – even though fans are expectantly welcoming a new era under former Wales and Manchester City boss Mark Hughes.
Stoke were, at times last season, a side bereft of any conviction on the ball, while they too struggled for goals, scoring just 34 all season in the Premier League. Any hope of a quick fix under the Welshman may spell disaster for an established top-flight side, though.
Regardless of their style under ex-boss Tony Pulis, the Potters consistently delivered effective results – and that is in danger of being scuppered if too much is changed too soon. Hughes, of course, was the man who infamously did just that at QPR, failing to register a single win in 17 league games last term before unceremoniously being handed his P45.
Talk of a changing style of play is one thing – but being able to utilise a direct strikeforce with the likes of Kenwyne Jones, Peter Crouch, Cameron Jerome and Jonathan Walters is entirely another. Expect Stoke to thus be in amongst the relegation places this season – unless Hughes can restore his battered reputation.
Stoke City Odds For 2013/2014 - Odds as at 14th August 2013.
|To Be Relegated||4.00||4.00||4.33||4.00||3.75|
|To Finish Bottom||11.00||11.00||13.00||12.00||13.00|
|To Stay Up||1.22||1.22||1.20||1.22||1.25|
|To Finish Bottom 10||1.18||1.14||1.29||1.17||1.17|
Will Sunderland Be Relegated?
Interestingly, bookmakers rate Sunderland’s chances of finishing in the top 10 better than their chances of relegation. That could well be down to the motivational abilities of controversial manager Paolo Di Canio, who last term inspired his side to their first Tyne-Weir derby win at Newcastle in 13 years.
But it is probably more to do with some of the magnificent signings Di Canio has captured at the Stadium of Light this summer – chief among them: Emanuele Giaccherini. Indeed, the bulk of the Italian manager’s work so far this campaign has been to ship out the Sunderland deadwood and replace them with considerable upgrades.
Yet there are still two areas where the Black Cats are lacking significant firepower: in attack and in goal. Last term, Sunderland were too short of goals (scoring only 41, like Norwich) and new signing Jozy Altidore has only ever scored once in the Premier League goal.
The Black Cats’ second area of worry stems from the departure of stopper Simon Mignolet. Di Canio has drafted Arsenal goalkeeper Vito Mannone in as the Belgian’s replacement but it remains to be seen whether he can prove a worthy successor. Mignolet’s nine clean sheets last term were vital to Sunderland’s eventual survival and the 25-year-old will be a hard act to follow.
Sunderland Odds For 2013/2014 - Odds as at 14th August 2013.
|To Be Relegated||5.50||5.50||5.00||5.50||6.00|
|To Finish Bottom||15.00||17.00||15.00||17.00||21.00|
|To Stay Up||1.14||1.12||1.17||1.11||1.11|
|To Finish Bottom 10||1.29||1.22||1.29||1.22||1.29|
Which Promoted Clubs Wil Be Relegated?
Promoted sides nowadays face a losing battle to compete with clubs who possess better players – and in higher numbers – in every position on the park.
But there are always exceptions – and whether it is Tony Pulis’ Stoke fighting their way to mid-table security, or Brendan Rodgers’ – and then Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City stylishly passing their way to survival, new entrants can always make a big impact.
This season, it is Cardiff City who have the best chance of making any such breakthrough. Money talks and the Bluebirds (a contradictory nickname now, of course) have a financial edge over their fellow newcomers that they have not been shy to exercise.
Flexing their muscle in this summer’s transfer window, Cardiff have signed ‘the Danish Tank’ Andreas Cornelius up front and Tottenham’s Steven Caulker for a club record fee. Add to that the experience of talisman Craig Bellamy and you have a team capable of competing with those around them.
Cardiff City Odds For 2013/2014 - Odds as at 14th August 2013.
|To Be Relegated||2.75||2.75||2.30||2.38||2.50|
|To Finish Bottom||9.00||9.00||6.00||8.00||8.00|
|To Stay Up||1.40||1.40||1.60||1.53||1.50|
|To Finish Bottom 10||1.11||1.05||1.07||1.05||1.05|
The odds are slightly less rewarding to back Hull City or Crystal Palace to return to the Championship, however. Palace have suffered relegation from the Premier League an unrivalled four times, while boss Ian Holloway also experienced the pain of the drop at Blackpool. Both Holloway and the Eagles are likely to face more of the same, with last term’s top scorer Glenn Murray out with a long-term injury and starlet Wilfried Zaha now at Manchester United.
Hull, meanwhile, have their own Everest to climb. The Tigers could not avoid Premier League relegation last time out under Phil Brown and Steve Bruce faces a similar uphill battle with limited playing resources at his disposal.
Hull City Odds For 2013/2014 - Odds as at 14th August 2013.
|To Be Relegated||1.62||1.67||1.67||1.67||1.57|
|To Finish Bottom||4.00||4.33||4.00||4.33||4.00|
|To Stay Up||2.10||2.10||2.10||2.10||2.25|
|To Finish Bottom 10||1.04||1.03||1.06||1.02||1.03|
Neither Hull nor Palace have strengthened with any big-name signings this summer and Palace in particular are a good bet to finish bottom. You can also bet on how many of Cardiff, Hull or Palace will go down and whether all three clubs’ managers will survive the season. The prospects are bleak.
Crystal Palace Odds For 2013/2014 - Odds as at 14th August 2013.
|To Be Relegated||1.44||1.53||1.53||1.53||1.44|
|To Finish Bottom||3.25||3.50||3.40||2.88||3.00|
|To Stay Up||2.63||2.38||2.38||2.38||2.62|
|To Finish Bottom 10||1.02||1.02||1.02||1.02||1.02|
Follow Tim on Twitter: @TimothyPoole