The Premier League kicked off in all its pomp last month, with a host of clubs hoping to make history as they compete for the coveted title. However, every coin has two sides, and so does the league. On the other end of the spectrum, a group of teams will be hoping to stave off relegation in order to hold on to the lucrative TV deal.
Here, we take a look at the sides who could suffer relegation from the Premier League this season.
Back in the Premier League after a 4-year absence, Cardiff City are odds-on to go straight back down to the Championship, priced at 1/3 with Paddy Power. Cardiff’s spending in the summer hints that they are content with returning to the Championship, as they spent under £30m improving the squad over the summer.
Cardiff failed to sign anyone with a lot of Premier League experience on a permanent deal in the summer transfer window, instead putting their faith in Josh Murphy, Bobby Reid, Greg Cunningham and Alex Smithies. Harry Arter, who made 69 Premier League appearances for Bournemouth, joined the Bluebirds on loan on deadline day.
415 – Victor Camarasa’s goal for Cardiff City was the Bluebirds’ first in league competition in 415 minutes of play since they last scored through Sean Morrison against Hull in April. Timely. pic.twitter.com/s7jHnE3fqw
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 2, 2018
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock maintains that he and the club were right not to overspend in the transfer window and that they wouldn’t do anything to jeopardise the future of the club should they end up being relegated next May. While it is wise to operate with financial sustainability, it shows a lack of ambition and suggests the club are already preparing for life in the Championship next season.
It is no surprise then, that Cardiff have been made favourites for the drop, but with the January window still to go, the Bluebirds could yet surprise us all by spending big and signing experienced players in a bid to stay in the top flight.
2. Huddersfield Town Last season Huddersfield were one of the favourites to get relegated. However, David Wagner and his players rallied to avoid the drop, in the end surviving by 4 points. At the beginning of last season many people believed Huddersfield were favourites for the drop and this season is no different. With the money floating around in English football, particularly the Premier League, it’s imperative that clubs don’t let their squads become stagnant. You can never take your place in the Premier League for granted and Huddersfield may just have made the mistake of failing to strengthen their squad. Terence Kongolo made his loan move from Monaco permanent for a club record fee, meaning his signing wasn’t an improvement on last season’s. Their other signings also fail to inspire. Ramadan Sobhi, who struggled to get into the relegated Stoke team last season, is hardly the ambitious signing the fans want to see. French attacker Adama Diakhaby joined the club to help Laurent Depoitre and Steve Mounie up front. However, with no previous Premier League experience, he will have to hit the ground running if he is to give Huddersfield any hope of survival.
26 – Huddersfield Town have failed to score in 26 matches in all competitions since the start of last season; only Northampton Town (27) have done so more of all clubs in the top four tiers of English football. Struggle. #CarabaoCup
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 28, 2018
Jonas Lossl and Florent Hadergjonaj had their loan deals made permanent from Mainz and Ingolstadt respectively. Neither are the kind of quality Huddersfield need to survive their second season in the Premier League.
Erik Durm, who won the World Cup with Germany in 2014, was signed on a free from Dortmund, is arguably their most inspiring signing. However, with only 2 appearances in all competitions for Dortmund last season, questions should be raised about what his current quality.
The masterful Aaron Mooy, the tough Mathias Jorgensen and Christophe Schindler were stars of the show as Huddersfield somehow, miraculously, avoided the drop last season. Along with Wagner, they will have to summon something special to survive again.
Unfortunately for the Clarets, their Europa League campaign has already had a negative impact on their season. Six games into the new league season, they find themselves in 16th place with 4 points. Their recent 4-0 win over high-flying Bournemouth suggests that the tide could already be turning back in Burnley’s favour.
Fortunately for Burnley, their early exit from the Europa League at the hands of Olympiakos will reduce the number of games they’ll be competing in and they can put more of their focus into their Premier League fixtures.
Burnley only conceded 39 goals last season averaging just over a goal a game, boasting the 6th best defence in the Premier League. This season however, they have already conceded 10 goals from their opening six fixtures.
4 – Burnley’s elimination from Europa League qualifying means that four of the last five English sides to take part in qualification have failed to reach the main stage of the tournament (also West Ham in 16/17 & 15/16, and Southampton in 15/16). Departure. pic.twitter.com/gFzIKQySTt
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 30, 2018
What Sean Dyche achieved with Burnley last season was incredible. A threadbare squad that could have so easily been relegated if injuries had gone against them, managed to secure a place in the Europa League.
Burnley’s defence was the main reason for their 7th place finish last season, as their attackers failed to hit the target on a frequent basis. Matej Vydra, the top scorer in the Championship last season, has been brought in to help improve the potency of Burnley’s attack. Vydra has previously played in the Premier League, scoring 4 goals in 24 appearances for West Brom and Watford.
Sean Dyche was forced to sign a goalkeeper in the summer, with both Nick Pope and Tom Heaton injured. Joe Hart, who had previously won 2 Premier League titles with Manchester City, was signed for around £3.5 million. The club added to their centre back options, with Ben Gibson signing from Middlesbrough.
The “Ginger Mourinho” will need to pick the players up following their slow start if they are to have any chance of surviving in the Premier League.