Relegation Battle-Prediction


The relegation battle this year will feature the Premier League new boys and current teams, perhaps with a few surprises in store. This is my prediction for who may face relegation.

20th– Southampton

After finishing 2nd in the Championship last season, Southampton will be looking to avoid relegation in the upcoming Premier League season. They have acquired young Jay Rodriguez from Burnley, who picked up 29 goals in the last two seasons in the Championship.  He was sent on loan during Burnley’s only season in the Premier League and will find the transition to the Premier League difficult. The figurehead of the team is Rickie Lambert; he has plied his trade in the lower leagues and scored 27 in 39 Championship games last season. Whether the Saints midfielders have the quality to supply both strikers with the opportunities in the Premier League is questionable, and over the long haul of the season, I believe form will dip and they will struggle to collect points.

19th– Reading

Another one of the Premier League new boys who will find it difficult in the Premier League is Reading. Surprisingly topping the Championship last season, they have made a total of 7 acquisitions, most importantly Pavel Pogrebnyak from Stuttgart on a free transfer. On loan at Fulham last season, he scored 6 in 12 Premier League games. Reading will be hoping he picks up this goal scoring form immediately to start a good run of results for the Royals, but again I see them finding it difficult to maintain results throughout the season, and begin to falter after Christmas, as Blackpool did during the 2010/11 season. They lack players with real Premier League quality but will pick up their points through Jimmy Kebe’s width, Ian Harte’s set piece quality and finishing from Pogrebnyak and experienced striker Jason Roberts.

18th– Wigan

Wigan always seem to achieve the impossible towards the end of the season by avoiding the drop, and are a team who are unpredictable, but have lost some of their big players during this transfer window. Hugo Rodallega left on a free to Fulham, Diame joined West Ham on a free, and Victor Moses departure to Chelsea is seemingly inevitable. This leaves them as a team without any real key men.  Arouna Kone has joined from Sevilla, and who has a reputation to match Wigans; unpredictable.  During his 3 seasons at Sevilla, he scored just one goal in 40 appearances. He was then sent on loan to Hannover and Levante last season, scoring 15 in 34 goals at the latter. Wigan will be hoping he picks up his form during his spell at Levante, rather than his time at Sevilla.  They will rely a lot on the resistance of Caldwell at the back and Al habsi in between the sticks, but this may be the season their resistance wears off.

There are perhaps 4 other teams who will feature in the relegation battle, with West Ham and Swansea possibly finding it difficult towards the end of the season. Clubs will begin to work out Swansea’s new adapted style of play under Michael Laudrup towards the end of the season, but their points picked up at the beginning of the season may be enough. West Ham will adapt relatively easily as many of their players have Premier League experience, but the quality of their defence may cost them some points.

QPR have acquired Park Ji-Sung from Manchester United, who most view as a real coup, while strengthening the squad with signings who have Premier League experience, such as Robert Green, Andrew Johnson and the hugely talented Junior Hoilett. However, their defence is their weak spot, with them conceding the most goals outside the clubs relegated during the previous season (66, with just 43 goals scored). West Brom are a team who I believe will continually be in relegation battles, but new additions Lukaku on loan from Chelsea and Marcus Rosenberg from Werder Bremen will provide a strong front line to match their consistent defence.

Here is my completed prediction for the relegation battle; feel free to comment on yours!

14th– West Brom

15th– West Ham

16th– QPR

17th– Swansea

18th– Wigan

19th– Reading

20th– Southampton

Gavin Beard

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