Premier League prediction: New boys to be relegated back down?

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The Premier League is arguably the toughest football league in the world. The standard is so high that a slip can change a team's fortunes from being likely champions to a consolation side - see Steven Gerrard and Liverpool.

For any newly-promoted sides, it can be a daunting task staying up. Some survive well of course, just look at the likes of Swansea and Southampton in the last few years, particularly the latter, who in the last two seasons have had their team dismantled by the sales of their big stars but exceeded expectations.

Others barely survive. Leicester City are a key example from last season; they hit a good run of form precariously late in the campaign and managed to save themselves, but even the established teams have yearly strugglers - Sunderland and more recently Aston Villa make that list.


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Sadly, the casualties are often the teams who come up from the Championship, with an average of two going down a season when looking back at the last decade.

With the season having kicked off last weekend, how will AFC Bournemouth, Norwich City and Watford fare this term?


AFC Bournemouth are currently living one of the greatest fairytales in football. After two near bankruptcies, the last one in 2008, which saw the players attend the city centre's famous Winter Gardens for bucket collections in desperation, the club have gone from relegation to League Two in 2009, with a transfer restriction and a 17 point deduction to boot, to three promotions, rising all the way up to the Premier League.

The current manager, Eddie Howe, who played for them during the tough times after joining at the age of 13, has been named the Football League Manager of the Decade for his endeavours. The man is only 37-years-old.

What a story.

Harry Redknapp was regarded as the club's ultimate manager when he managed the 1986/87 side to promotion of the then second division. Not anymore.

BBC Sport quoted Redknapp as saying of Howe: "He is fantastic. I love watching them play."


AFC Bournemouth play an attractive style of passing football that could be compared to some of Arsenal's easy-on-the-eye fluidity.

They also have a Russian billionaire owner who bought out former chairman Eddie Mitchell in 2013. Perhaps he will add more to the £120million already handed to the club from their promotion, further boosting their chances.

Furthermore, last season this Bournemouth side broke a number of club records, including most goals in a league campaign, most league away goals, transfer record - just £3m to bring Callum Wilson in from Coventry City - and possibly the best record of them all - their first ever promotion to the Premier League.


I'd like to think they can stay up given their fantastic back story, but they will need to spend money on good quality players to survive.

Sadly, without any previous Premier League experience anywhere in the ranks, when the pressure starts to build there is no one to turn to for advice and knowledge on how to cope with the big time.

This is a team we'll all watch with interest.


The yellow and green army are no strangers to the Premier League having been promoted to it twice, in the 2004/05 season and again in 2010/11.

But they have been up and down more times than a yo-yo. Their consistency is very rare and they normally struggle to maintain a winning form that is enough to keep them in the top flight for a substantial period.

Over the years, they've provided some highlights to remember, most notably, lifelong fan, Delia Smith calling out to the fans at half time against Manchester City when the going got tough. We all remember "Where are you?" They lost 3-2 to a Robbie Fowler injury time goal.

But despite their inconsistencies, the Canaries continue to chirp and bounce back to the big time. The playoff final last season against Middlesbrough showed how easily they can sweep aside Championship opponents, but it will need to carry over into the new season.


I think Norwich City have the best chance on paper.

They have players with previous Premier League experience, both with Norwich (Nathan Redmond and Martin Olsson) and other top flight teams. Cameron Jerome is a particularly key man, with Cardiff City, Birmingham City and Stoke City also on his resume. His recent spell at Crystal Palace will also bring knowledge and experience pivotal for this team.

This time around they need to remember what happened last time and learn from their mistakes. Allowing strikers of Luis Suarez's calibre to run free is something that will get you relegated.


Watford's last appearance in the Premier League came in 2006/07, when the likes of Ashley Young and Danny Shittu were playing against the best in the league. This time around, they are coming up as second place promotion new boys. That brings an expectation of a very good Championship side.

Last term, Watford had a +41 goal difference, scoring 91 goals, which was only seven less than champions, AFC Bournemouth.


Watford have some talents in Matej Vydra and Odion Ighalo ready to prove themselves on the big stage. The fans will be hoping these stars and the rest of the squad do enough to survive. They also have Heurelho Gomes with Premier League experience in the ranks.

As with Norwich, Watford bring previous Premier League experience that could be crucial for survival. If they deploy tactics similar to those used to gain points in 2006/07, as well as their current winning system from the last campaign, they could avoid the drop.


So I'm going with Norwich City to survive, with new boys Bournemouth and Watford coming up just short.

Three have to go down - what do you think? Let us know in the comments box below who you think will be relegated.

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