With seven games gone we all know there are many twists and turns yet to occur in the Premier League. At this early stage though, who looks likely to be playing Championship football next season?
Currently bottom of the league, Sunderland have looked to Gus Poyet to avoid relegation. He has a better squad at his disposal than other managers around him, but does he have the managerial attributes to bring the best out of them, especially with his lack of experience at the top?
With arguably the weakest squad, Ian Holloway will have to work wonders to keep Crystal Palace up. He so nearly did it with Blackpool in a similar situation in the 2010/11 season.
Palace fans will have to hope their team's spirit remains high and they show the battling qualities that has got them into the Premier League. That is the least Holloway will ask of his players.
Having started well and currently lying in eighth, Steve Bruce will hope his side can keep a good run going and get to the magic 40-point mark as soon as possible.
He has made some shrewd business deals and his squad looks better to cope with the long season than others. Bruce has been in a relegation dog fight before, so will not be phased by the challenge awaiting the Tigers.
Stoke City have been very close to the drop in the past couple of years. Adapting to a new style of play under Mark Hughes, the Potters have had some disappointing results recently, Hughes splashed the cash after taking over from Tony Pulis, and his signings haven’t had the desired impact. With their squad they should survive, but at the rate they’re going it will be a long season for their fans.
Cardiff City are also expected to struggle as they came up from the Championship last year. Malky Mackay is a talented young manager and his squad are more than capable to keep them up. They will make it hard for teams to come away from the Welsh capital with three points.
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