So often it is the struggle for survival that is greater than the lust for title glory. Staying above the dotted line can secure a club’s future for many years with prize money and TV revenue continuing to escalate in the top-flight. But who do the top bookies think will drop to the Championship?
We assess where there are signs of hope and where lies the fear, as well as bringing you the Premier League relegation odds ahead of what promises to be another enthralling relegation battle.
Odds To Get Relegated: 4/6 (SkyBet).
No sooner had the Terriers secured promotion; they were being instantly tipped for an instant return to the Championship. David Wagner will be keen to implement his side’s ferocious intensity from the word go and ride the wave of euphoria that should still be prevalent from their nerve-shredding play-off final victory over Reading in May.
Their opening six games have certainly been kind to them and include home matches against Leicester City and Newcastle United. They do not take on any of last season’s top four until Tottenham visit on the final day in September, so an assured start for the newcomers is essential.
On the other hand, fate has not been kind to them when it comes to ‘squeaky bum time’ with Chelsea, Everton, Manchester City and Arsenal their final four opponents. Huddersfield must be at the very least be within touching distance of safety during the finale, otherwise their visit to the Premier League is sure to be just a flying one.
Brighton & Hove Albion
Odds To Get Relegated: 6/5 (SkyBet).
Despite spurning the chance to secure the Championship title on three occasions, the Seagulls ended their 34-year top-flight hiatus and in the process given manager Chris Hughton another opportunity to prove himself in the top-flight. His two previous spells as a Premier League manager both ended in him being sacked, although many felt he was treated extremely harshly by both Newcastle and Norwich.
Hughton has added much-needed youth to his squad with four of his five summer signings aged 25 and under, including the capture of promising youngsters Josh Kerr from Celtic and Mathias Normann from FK Bodo/Glimt.
The Falmer Stadium will be packed to the rafters for the opening day clash at home to Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City and like Huddersfield they have received a sympathetic welcome to life amongst the elite, with Arsenal and Manchester United the only other sides from last year’s top six they will have to face before November is out. Their penultimate away match at Burnley looks set to be a real ‘six-pointer’, before facing two daunting encounters against United and Liverpool respectively to conclude their campaign.
Significant improvements still need to be made to the squad ahead of kick-off – will this lack of Premier League experience in the current squad come back to haunt them?
Odds To Get Relegated: 7/2 (SkyBet).
The Magpies bounced back to the top-flight at the first attempt and they are best equipped to avoid an instant return to the Championship out of the three teams that secured promotion.
Now under the tutelage of Champions League winner Rafa Benitez, Newcastle will be hoping that he can establish them back in the big time and bring success to St James Park with Mike Ashley’s nightmare tenure having already overseen two relegations.
The Spaniard has utilised his experience and knowledge of La Liga by recruiting defender Florian Lejeune from La Liga club Eibar and Spain U21 international Javier Manquillo from Athletico Madrid. They are two of five summer signings made so far ahead of their opening match at home to Tottenham.
It is hard to believe it has now over 20 years since the memorable gung-ho Kevin Keegan era which saw his side blow a 12-point lead at Christmas before eventually losing out to an Eric Cantona inspired United. However, fans would ‘love it’ if they can simply retain their Premier League status come May.
Odds To Get Relegated: 6/5 (SkyBet)
The job that Sean Dyche has done at Turf Moor cannot be underrated. Burnley’s superb home record last season was a critical factor in them finishing six points above the drop zone with the Clarets winning 10 of their 19 games on home soil. Ironically, the sole victory they managed on their travels came at Crystal Palace late in the campaign which virtually secured their survival.
It has been anything but a busy transfer window so far for Dyche with the 46-year-old admitting that the club are unable to throw money at every situation. The signings of Jonathan Walters and Jack Cork are steady without being spectacular, but it is the loss of Michael Keane to Everton that could impact on them the most following his superb season at the heart of the Burnley defence.
Visits to Stamford Bridge, White Hart Lane and Anfield in their opening five games make for a onerous start and their safety will once again come down to ensuring Turf Moor remains a fortress once more.
Odds To Get Relegated: 9/4 (SkyBet)
Everton are continuing their attempts to land Swansea’s star playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson and he was pivotal in helping them pull off a tremendous recovery in the second half of the campaign to evade the drop last term.
Under Paul Clement, the Swans look an able top-flight side and the capture of Las Palmas midfielder Roque Mesa is one of two high-profile arrivals at the Liberty Stadium this summer, following the loan signing of Tammy Abraham.
However, they do appear to be weak as a creative force and with Sigurdsson’s departure looming, Swansea may well lack the necessary firepower to avoid being dragged into a dogfight.