The new Premier League season is upon us and the annual dog-fight that is the Premier League battle to avoid relegation will soon commence. So who is sadly destined to face the prospect of Championship football come next May?
Steve Bruce has unfinished business in this division after his tumultuous departure from Sunderland in 2011 and he will be desperate to ensure that his tiger’s team don’t befall the same fate Phil Brown’s Hull did in 2010. Tom Huddleston, Danny Graham and Alan McGregor have been bought in to sure up the squad but Premier League inexperience could account for their downfall over the course of the season.
Maverick Ian Holloway will have a job on his hands to ensure the Eagle’s retain their Premier league status having already suffered relegation with Blackpool during his last campaign in England’s top flight. Palace fans will be hoping Glen Murray can make the step-up from the Championship and that Arsenal flop Marouane Chamakh can finally find some form but goals could be a real problem for the South East-London side.
(2nd time lucky…Holloway will be hoping to avoid relegating another team)
It’s Malky Mackay’s and Cardiff’s first season in the big-time and the pressure on last season’s Championship winners will be immense, especially considering the success of arch-rivals Swansea over the last few years. Much will rest on the fitness and form of local hero Craig Bellamy and whether or not The Bluebirds can attract enough talent to the Welsh capital. If new boy Andreas Cornelius can live up to expectations following his £7.5m switch from FC Copenhagen then Cardiff could just have enough to survive.
The Black cats took a big gamble last season by appointing left-of-field Paulo Di Canio to replace the devoid and dinosauric Martin O’Neil. The Italian’s career at the Stadium of Light started brightly with a few good results but then blew up spectacularly, culminating in a 6-0 inhalation at the hands of Aston Villa at the back-end of last season. The former Swindon boss needs to act quickly to add quality to the Sunderland starting line-up or the club’s 6 year stay in the top flight could come to an end.
(Walking with dinosaurs….O’Neill is now on the football scrapheap)
Relegated in 2009, and just managing to stay up by the skin of their teeth last season, Newcastle could be in for another struggle again this time out. Despite desperately trying to round up half of the French B squad, Alan Pardew has yet to find a suitable striking replacement to fill the void left by Demba Ba who departed for Chelsea. The Magpies odds for relegation on comparison websites like freebets.com are as short to 7-1 with some bookmakers and they could be embarking on a season in England’s second tier this time next year.