With a new Premier League season just days away the focus is predominately on who will end up going all the way and becoming Champions come May but for all the issues at the top of the table there is always the dreaded fight for survival. With Burnley, Hull and Middlesbrough once again making their returns to the top flight the question will now be whether or not their stay will be a short one or whether or not they will be able to establish in the elite band of English football clubs.
It’s not just teams that have got promoted who will have a fight on their hands, there is always the issue of ‘second season syndrome’ with Bournemouth and Watford having to make sure they pick up from where they left off last season.
As always three teams will fail to beat the drop at the end of the season and then have to prepare for a stint in The Championship. Here is the trio of teams that I think will struggle the most over the course of the upcoming campaign.
No manager, no signings and frankly no hope. Add to that just 13 fit players going into their opening game against champions Leicester and the writing is already on the wall for the Tigers. Caretaker manager Mike Phelan is going to have his work cut out to prepare a side capable of getting even a point in the season opener on Saturday Lunchtime.
The lack of transfer business over the Summer would have raised an alarm to Hull fans the fact that they are yet to appoint a manager even more so. With an approach for Chris Coleman being rebuffed it looks like that Mike Phelan may end up getting the job by default.
No disrespect to Phelan but it’s not necessarily an appointment that would fill Hull fans with confidence in regards to trying to avoid relegation. This is amidst a background of boardroom issues and the uncertainty of not knowing whether or not the club will be sold in the immediate future. It looks set to be a long 9 months on Humberside, they will do well not to finish bottom if they stay up it will be a miracle
Bouncing back from relegation in 2014/15 at the first time of asking, Sean Dyche is ready for another crack at the Premier League and this time he will hope it’s not just another one season visit to the top flight but the question that was asked two years ago is once again being asked now and that is whether or not Burnley have the squad to stay up
Dyche creates teams that are functional and hard working but that alone doesn’t secure you Premier League survival at the end of the season. Once again looking at Burnley’s squad it looks like one that is very competent at Championship level but not one at is capable of making the climb up.
Burnley certainly won’t disgrace themselves this season but as Dyche has stated their wage structure will once again make it difficult to get the extra bit of quality they need to stay up and try to establish themselves in the top flight. If they can loosen the purse strings they may have a better chance of finishing the right side of the dotted relegation line.
When more players depart then arrive in the Summer then it’s always a worrying prospect and Swansea look like they may have cut the cloth just a little bit too much since the end of the season. Three strikers have already left with Andre Ayew also set to depart to West Ham in the very near future and it looks like all is not well in South Wales.
Francesco Guidolin may have worked wonders since his arrival in January but that was only a short term impetus now he has to replicate that over 38 games and with a diminished squad with the one that stayed up last season. A club record signing in Borja Baston may be on route but it is somewhat of a punt and Swansea fans will hope they have unearthed the next Michu otherwise they could be in trouble.
A bad first half to the season could see chairman Huw Jenkins get the jitters and decide to terminate Guidolin’s employment but if a new face was to come in then you would have to wonder if lightning will strike twice and another impressive resurgence will take place post Christmas, Swansea fans will be hoping they start well otherwise they could be in for an incredibly rough season.