Top three: Relegation candidates

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Now the 2013/14 season has kicked off, we can probably make an assumption as to which teams will be relegated come May.

There are currently three main candidates that look likely to get the boot down to the Championship, and here they are:

3. Stoke City

Under Tony Pulis, this Stoke City side were able to get to the top flight and stay there. Now with Mark Hughes at the helm, I personally do not think Stoke will stay up.

Hughes was sacked by QPR last season after seeing them at the bottom of the table, and left Redknapp with the almost impossible feat of guiding the team out of the relegation zone at the bottom.

Unfortunately QPR were relegated, and  Hughes ended up joining Stoke after Pulis resigned. Nevertheless, I believe Stoke will struggle this season, and may see their top flight run end under Hughes.

2. Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace have had an absolutely abysmal start to the season and it is difficult for me to say that they will improve further down the track in the season after registering just one win and seven defeats from their opening eight Premier League games.

This is their worst start to the top flight since 1981, and they were relegated that season. It could spell the same woes for Palace this season as they sit second bottom of the table, two points above Sunderland and five points adrift from safety.

Ian Holloway's men face the daunting task of avoiding relegation due to this dreadful start to the season, and must improve if they are to avoid it, but it looks very unlikely.

1. Sunderland

Sunderland have had an absolutely woeful start to the season, taking away one point from their opening eight games, registering a total point tally that no team, or supporter would be proud of for a team that has been in the top flight for a while.

With a goal difference of -15 and two points from second bottom Crystal Palace, Gus Poyet and his men at Sunderland face a daunting task of recuperating and keeping their place in the Premier League.

They may find themselves in a situation similar to QPR's last season.

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