The international football frenzy may nearly be over outside of the Summer Olympics but instead of feeling blue, why not look ahead to what should be an absolutely electric Premier League campaign? There are so very many reasons to believe this could be one to remember in the English top flight, not least because of the return of fans to stadiums beginning with the first game of the weekend.
Still, while there’s a lot of positivity in the air, it’s also worth noting that there will be a parade of sides hoping and praying that they can avoid the dreaded drop down into the Championship this season. Relegation is an ever-present threat and unfortunately for the following teams, they’ll be asked more questions than most by the mainstream media this season.
P.S: No, we don’t think West Ham will go down, but it’s definitely one to keep an eye on given their Europa League duties.
Norwich – 5/6 (bet365)
Norwich City have bounced straight back up to the Premier League, well and truly maintaining their reputation as the new yo-yo club of England’s top tier. There was always a belief that if they trusted in the process, they could easily vault themselves back into the big time – and that’s exactly what they’ve done.
They’ve got the style to make it work, but will they fall into the same trap they did last time regarding a leaky defence?
Watford – 1/1 (William Hill)
Watford snuck up on a lot of people in the Championship last season and with that kind of momentum, we think they could do some pretty big things. It wasn’t all that long ago that they were in the FA Cup final with a chance to make it into the Europa League through their league position, and that’s what they need to remember.
They’ve got history on their side, but have they done enough in the summer transfer window?
Brentford – 1/1 (Betfair)
It’s understandable to see a new PL side like Brentford make up the numbers as one of the bookies’ favourites to go down, and yet, we can’t help but feel as if they’re being underestimated. They’re a bit of an unknown quantity but even after losing some of their top stars, they’ve reinvested and look like a real force – although their lack of experience could prove to be detrimental.
One thing is for sure; if they can get going in the final third, they’ll be tough for anyone to beat.
Crystal Palace – 7/4 (Betfred)
Crystal Palace have a brand new man in charge in Patrick Vieira and it’s safe to say that can go one of two ways. Either he could inject some attacking flair into proceedings in the wake of Roy Hodgson’s departure, or he could wind up being a huge flop.
It’s a negative way of looking at things and it’s very black and white, but the Eagles are at a bit of a crossroads right now. They’ve been an established Premier League side for a few years but they need to try and take it to the next level.