The newly promoted teams have settled into the top-tier, and are hoping that come the end of the season they’re not in the bottom three. It may be only the start of the season, but Swansea, QPR and Norwich are all showing signs of what’s yet to come at the season heads into full throttle.
Queens Park Rangers
Summer signings: Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand; Southampton midfielder Jason Puncheon; Manchester City midfielder Shaun Wright-Phillips; Arsenal defender Armand Traore; Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton; Aston Villa defender Luke Young; Ipswich goalkeeper Brian Murphy; Tombese defender Bruno Perone; Blackpool forward D. J. Campbell; West Ham defender Danny Gabbidon; Cardiff forward Jay Bothroyd; West Ham midfielder Kieron Dyer.
Start: One win, one draw, two losses
Current standing: 11th
Verdict: After Tony Fernandes took over the club in mid August, the Malaysian entrepreneur set about bringing in some fresh faces and getting more serious about staying in the top-flight. A 4-0 loss to Bolton in their opening match was a cruel awakening for the Hoops, but after recovering by defeating Everton 1-0 at Goodison Park, QPR’s confidence increased ten fold.
Two matches later, and with a group of new signings on board including Joey Barton and Shaun Wright-Phillips, the side has a respectable draw to Newcastle behind them this week and speculation surrounding the possibility of signing the one and only David Beckham.
Chances of staying up: 7/10
Summer signings: Liverpool defender Daniel Ayala; Tottenham defender Kyle Naughton; Huddersfield forward Anthony Pilkington; Leeds midfielder Bradley Johnson; Brighton midfielder Elliott Bennett; Everton forward James Vaughan; Manchester United defender Ritchie de Laet; Milwall forward Steve Morison.
Start: Two draws, Two losses
Current standing: 17th
Verdict: It was positive start to the season for Norwich, with the club surviving two draws against Stoke and Wigan, but after a 4-0 battering from MK Dons in the Carling Cup, they appear to have lost that confidence, falling to Chelsea and West Brom.
The Chelsea match-up showed some promise, with Norwich holding the Blues to 1-1 until the 82nd minute, but they need to turn their losing run around quickly, as any newly-promoted team will argue the importance of getting early points so the club can stay afloat at the end of the season.
Chance of staying up: 4/10
Summer signings: Lens defender Darnel Situ; Leeds defender Fede Bessone; Red Bull Salzburg goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel; Fulham defender Rafik Halliche; Utrecht goalkeeper Michel Vorm; Newcastle midfielder Wayne Routledge; Middlesbrough forward Leroy Lita; Benfica goalkeeper Jose Moreira; Watford forward Danny Graham; Tottenham defender Steven Caulker.
Start: Two draws, two losses
Current standing: 19th
Verdict: Facing a desperate Arsenal and rampant Manchester City have made Swansea look a lot worse for wear than they really are. A 0-0 with Wigan and Sunderland shows that the side have what it takes to hold a clean sheet, but Swansea need to get a win on the board and some goals.
And with West Brom at home next weekend, the Swans will be aiming to get their confidence back up before they take on Chelsea.
Chance of staying up: 5/10