Premier League: Battle of the new-boys

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Football News

With the new Premier League season about a month-and-a-half away, which of the newly-promoted teams are in the best position to avoid relegation? Before I start, I should point out I'm a Hull City fan, so there may or may not be some bias . . .

Cardiff City

They should have the best chance of survival if we look at it based on last season's performance.

Cardiff comfortably finished top of the league and have Premier League experience in controversial winger and club captain, Craig Bellamy.

Cardiff, along with Hull, relied on their midfield to come up with the goals, with top scorer Heiðar Helguson only scoring nine goals. The Icelandic has opted to return home this summer, ending a 14-year stint in English football.

Cardiff will look towards January signing Fraizer Campbell for the goals - he has the Premier League pedigree after making top-flight appearances for Manchester United, Tottenham and Sunderland.

As a Hull fan, I'm well aware of Campbell's goal-scoring exploits after his 15 goals in 34 appearances during the 2008/09 season, in which the Tigers were promoted to the top-flight for the first time in their history.

Campbell notched an impressive seven tallies in the goal column in just 12 appearances after niggling injuries prevented his involvement.

Cardiff have already pressed on with adding a new striker to their pack with the addition of Danish striker Andreas Cornelius. The former FC Copenhagen hit-man turned out 34 times for the Danish giants last season and finished top of the Superliga scoring charts with an impressive return of 18 goals.

Cornelius is the only newcomer so far but could be joined by reported target Mike Williamson, currently of Newcastle. Williamson and Mackay have previously worked well together at Watord, and a move would suit both as Williamson only featured 19 times last season. The chance of regular football would be hard to turn down.

Another player who could be hot on the heels of Cornelius through the Cardiff door is Tom Ince. Dad Paul, manager at Blackpool, where Tom has played since 2011, has said that Cardiff have had an £8 million bid accepted for him, though no deal has been agreed and Ince remains a target.

One player who is attracting the interest of all the newly-promoted clubs is part-time chauffeur Peter Odemwingie. A series of controversial incidents within the last six months has driven him close to the exit door at WBA and all three of the Premier League new-boys are reportedly ready to give him a new lease of life.

But how will they get on next season? Campbell has goals in him, and with the added creativity of someone like Ince, Bellamy and Peter Whittingham, the Bluebirds could fare well.

Their defence looks pretty solid and in David Marshall they have one of the best 'keepers in the Championship. Whether he can replicate that form in England's top tier remains to be seen.

If they can keep key players like Bellamy, Campbell and Whittingham, fit they have a strong chance of survival.

Crystal Palace

Palace were the final team to join the Premier League after getting there the hard way through the play-offs.

Palace will be without star winger Wilfried Zaha unless they can orchestrate another loan deal with new Manchester United boss, David Moyes.

With experienced striker Kevin Phillips yet to sign a new deal and with key player Glenn Murray requiring surgery on a knee injury sustained in the play-off semi-final clash with Brighton, a new striker was very much on the cards.

Peterborough's Dwight Gayle was the man chosen to fire the Eagles to Premier League safety, having completed a move worth up to £8 million this week. In doing so, the man dubbed the 'Messi of Waltmanstow' has undergone a quick transformation from non-league to the Premier League in just three years.

Palace had already started their recruitment drive with Jerome Thomas - the former WBA and Arsenal man joins after being released by the Baggies, though we're still waiting for official confirmation from Ian Holloway's side that the deal has gone through.

Selhurst Park is also the most likely destination for Thomas' old team-mate, Peter Odemwingie. There were strong rumours that after his collapsed move to QPR that he would drop down a tier to join Palace, but now he has no need to drop into the unknown after their promotion.

Odemwingie clearly fancies a move to the capital after trying to force through the move with Rangers, and given Palace's location, the move would be ideal for him.

Palace are also favourites to land former United striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, but there is strong interest from a number of Championship teams where Ebanks-Blake would be guaranteed first-team football.

So, how will The Eagles get on next year? As of now, they probably have the weakest squad out of the three but with some additions, could be able to scrape out of the bottom.

With Holloway at the helm, they have a fantastic man-manager and, as he proved with Blackpool, he can put up a fight without the most technically gifted players in the world.

The absence of Murray will hit Palace hard, but not as much as they will miss the creative genius of Zaha. The England international was a force for Palace last year and with goals and assists accounted for, Zaha was involved with 23 of Palace's 73 goals - which equates to 31.5% of their total.

Palace also had the leakiest defence out of any of the top six with 62 goals conceded, so some improvement is needed at the back.

They will, however, be able to rely on the experience of the ever-reliable Julian Speroni, who was at the club during their last Premier League spell.

In short, Palace could be in for a long and difficult season, but remember, anything can happen in football.

Hull City

Ah, let the impartiality begin. 

The Tigers have strengthened the most out of the three with the additions of George Boyd, Maynor Figeuroa, Curtis Davies, Allan McGregor and Ahmed Elmohamady.

The attempted captures of striking duo Gary Hooper and Charlie Austin demonstrates the ambition that Cardiff and Palace have thus far lacked. For a newly-promoted team to put in a serious bid for a 24-year-old with Champions League pedigree and a decent goal-scoring record in one of the world's best footballing competitions demonstrates a high amount of ambition. By the way, I'm referring to the Champions League, not the SPL.

Norwich have also come in and had a sniff around Hooper, but given their already well-established strike force, you can't imagine Hooper joining Norwich. The Canaries are on a financially-similar mould to Hull, so the gulf in wages that can be offered won't be huge, but Hull can offer with almost 100% certainty that he would start every game.

Norwich have competition for places with strikers like Ricky van Wolfsinkel and Luciano Becchio. Austin is another name to fill the desperately needed goal-scorer gap that Hull have had for God knows how long.

The Tigers current summer spending (with McGregor included) accumulates to £6 million. A £15 million figure has been tossed around for what the Allams want to spend on transfers this summer, so about £9 million or more (depending on how persuasive Bruce is) could be available to spend on the two strikers.

Burnley and Celtic initially requested £7 million for their respective goal-getters, but as both teams have been unable to strum up enough serious interest in either of their strikers, the actual fee will probably end up more towards the £5 million mark for Hooper and £4.5 million for Austin. 

So, how will Hull get on? Their playing style is well-suited to the Premier League and with Sone Aluko back fit, the fluidity will come back to the team.

It will be interesting to see whether or not Bruce decids to ditch the 3-5-2 formation that served him so well last season in favour for something that gives a bit more defensive protection.

If so, Robbie Brady will be pushed up from his left wing-back role, which will pave the way for Joe Dudgeon to make the left-back position his own again, after injury curtailed his season last term.

I would expect them to play a 4-1-3-1 next season, with David Meyler playing a deeper midfield role and Sone Aluko, Elmohamady and Brady pushed behind a striker (either Hooper or Austin, as signing both is unrealistic).

Which newly-promoted team do you think will fare the best? Have your say in the comments box below!


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Premier League
Hull City
Cardiff City
Crystal Palace

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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