The new Premier League season is now less than three weeks away, so it is time to take a look at which teams are facing the drop next year. Last season saw Sunderland, Middlesbrough and Hull City slide out of the Premier League to be replaced by Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield.
It is extremely tough for promoted teams to stay in the Premier League, and, indeed, only once have all three of the promoted teams stayed up at the first time of asking (Fulham, Blackburn Rovers and Bolton Wanderers 2001/02).
As you can see from the odds that Ladbrokes are offering, Huddersfield Town are the favourites to be relegated back to the Championship. Managed by Jurgen Klopp’s close friend David Wagner, The Terriers were the surprise package of last season, finishing in 3rd place before beating Reading in the Play-Off Final to seal their promotion.
The bookies are expecting Wagner’s side to struggle though, and despite signing 10 players this summer including Tom Ince and Aaron Mooy, the squad still looks short on quality and goals at both ends may be a problem for Wagner’s side. Last season Huddersfield Town had Danny Ward on loan from Liverpool to keep the goals out, but so far this summer, Wagner has not been able to convince his good friend Jurgen Klopp to loan out the young Welsh goalkeeper again.
Fellow newly promoted side, Brighton & Hove Albion are the second favourites for the drop, with Ladbrokes offering odds of 6/5 on The Seagulls dropping straight back down to the Championship at the first time of asking. Manager Chris Hughton has so far brought in only five players, including Josh Kerr from Celtic and goalkeeper Matt Ryan from Valencia.
Similarly, to Huddersfield Town, the squad looks lacking in quality in a number of areas and you’d expect the club to rely heavily on last season’s Championship Player of the Year, Anthony Knockaert. The 25-year old French winger was superb last season as he helped fire The Seagulls to second place in the league behind Newcastle United.
Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle United side were expected to win the division last season and they did not disappoint. Benitez’s side are expected to stay up this year, with Ladbrokes offering odds of 7/2 on them being relegated. It has been a frustrating summer thus far for Benitez as he looks to improve the quality of his squad, but you would fancy that the Spanish manager has enough nous and know how to keep The Magpies in the Premier League.
Burnley had an exceptional home record last year, picking up ten wins, whilst on the other hand they had a dreadful record away from Turf Moor, winning just one game all season. Manager Sean Dyche knows that his side will have to improve their form on the road next season, as it is highly unlikely that they will be so successful at home.
The club’s summer signings so far look a little underwhelming with Jon Walters, Jack Cork and Charlie Taylor joining Dyche’s side. Michael Keane moving to Everton will be a huge loss for the club and Dyche will need to replace last season’s premier defender if they are to keep the goals out. Ladbrokes are offering odds of 5/4 on the Lancashire club being relegated, and they look smart money at that price.
Two teams who just stayed up last season were Watford and Swansea City, and both are again predicted to struggle this time around. Ladbrokes are offering odds of 6/4 and 9/4 respectively for two sides who looked destined for the drop at times last season to finally be relegated this time around. Watford have again changed their manager over the summer months, with former Hull City manager Marco Silva taking the job.
The club have made some interesting buys this summer with Tom Cleverley, Will Hughes, Kiko Femenia and Nathan Chalobah all joining in the midfield positions. Silva got Hull City playing well last season and if he can inspire a similar change at Watford this year, then The Hornets could achieve safety.
Paul Clement did a superb job at Swansea City last season to keep the Welsh club in the division and so far they have managed to fend off any interest in their star duo of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente this summer.
But with Everton and Chelsea sniffing around their two leading scores from last season, it could be a tough few weeks for The Swans. If the club lose either of those two players, it is hard to see a way that they can score enough goals to stay in the division, so with odds of 9/4, they could be worth a little wager on them being relegated.
It’s hard to look far beyond any of these teams being in the mix for relegation and despite struggling last season, Crystal Palace have an excellent squad and in Frank de Boer they appear to have appointed a quality young manager with big ambitions for his team.
Similarly, Bournemouth have an equally good young manager and a solid looking team following the summer acquisitions of Asimir Begovic, Nathan Ake and Jermain Defoe so it is hard to see them facing the drop this season.
With odds of 7/1 on them being relegated, Stoke City could be a good outside bet for relegation. The club struggled badly at times last season and Mark Hughes appeared short on ideas of how to improve the team as they laboured to a 13th place finish, just 4 points ahead of Watford in 17th.
This summer has seen them lose key man Marko Arnautovic and the clubs transfer business so far is underwhelming, to say the least. Therefore, I can see The Potters struggling this year and they would be my outside bet for relegation heading into the new season.
It is never easy to predict which sides will be relegated, but I think Huddersfield Town and Brighton & Hove Albion look the most likely to drop down, with the outside bet of Stoke City joining them.