There’s no doubt that last season’s fight for promotion in the Championship was one of the most exciting contests in many years, with just five points separating the top four and only eight between 4th and 9th place.
Bournemouth were crowned champions on the last day with Watford taking the second automatic promotion spot. Norwich City, who had finished the season in third, were able to fight their way into the top flight through the playoffs.
While most fans will still be rejoicing after being granted the opportunity to play with the best clubs in the country, the question that is now looming over their heads is whether or not they will be good enough to prolong their stay.
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Last year newly promoted sides QPR and Burnley went straight back down, while Leicester’s late surge prevent a hat-trick.
However with the impending TV deal for the Premier League, the newbies will be desperate to survive this year. But which of them has the ability to manage this?
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Eddie Howie deserves heaps of credit for the work he has done with the seaside club. When he took charge they were a struggling club facing potential dissolution, however in his two spells with the Cherries he has managed them in every professional league in England.
A tactical mastermind, Howe has always been able to balance youth and experience and this is evident in his summer signings. Highly rated youngsters such as Tyrone Mings and Joshua King have been brought in along with some more experienced players.
Specifically pacey Chelsea winger Christian Atsu on loan and veteran centre back Sylvain Distin, who will both bring experience of playing for bigger sides. If Callum Wilson can replicate the form he showed in the Championship there is no reason why the club can not avoid the drop.
Predicted finish: 17th
Watford have been waiting to return to the Premier League for almost ten years now and they will fight hard to stay there.
With the club already boasting a talented strike force, made up of Troy Deeney, Matej Vydra and Odion Ighalo (who scored a 57 goals between them) the clubs focus for the summer was to strengthen their backline.
And they have done exactly that, with many top defenders arriving, namely Jose Holebas, Allan Nyom, Miguel Britos and Sebastian Prodl. They have been able to improve further by signing goalkeeper Giedrius Arlauskis.
However the club has also made some fantastic midfield signings, including a club record deal for Tottenham Hotspurs' Etienne Capoue, as well as bringing in former West Ham player Valon Behrami.
Obviously with so many new names the team needs to be able to gel quickly, however with many fantastic players among that group Watford have the best chance of survival out of the new clubs.
Predicted finish: 15th
Norwich City have begun to yo-yo between the top two leagues in England, and unfortunately I can see that effect continuing this year.
The squad is very similar to the side that was relegated just a couple of seasons ago, although new players Graham Dorrans and Yousouf Mulumbu will undoubtedly add to their side.
With Robbie Brady reportedly on his way to the club in a £7m deal they have been spending big, however I have doubts that they will be getting value for money.
While I would love for them to stay up they need to add more than three decent players to manage this. They have quality in players like Nathan Redmond, but I see them struggling to stay afloat.
Predicted finish: 19th
Who else will be in the fight?
The quality players moving to bottom half sides shows just how difficult the Premier League is. From West Ham signing Dimitri Payet to Newcastle’s capture of Aleksandar Mitrovic the league has grown a lot.
But certain sides are yet to make these sort of deals happen. Sunderland have had a slow window, along with West Bromwich Albion. Aston Villa have also had a rough time, losing Christian Benteke and Fabian Delph to big clubs, however I can see them keeping well away from the drop with Tim Sherwood at the helm.
Predicted bottom five
West Brom: 16th
WHO DO YOU THINK WILL GO DOWN? TELL US BELOW
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