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Top 5 written off promoted sides who defied the odds

With Hull City and Crystal both being pretty much written off as relegated before a ball has even been kicked, we take a look at five teams who received similar predications following their promotion yet defied the odds to more than survive.

Stoke City – 2007/08

Stoke it is fair to say were hardly the easiest on the eye side to gain a spot in the Premier League and the general consensus was that their bullish physical style would have no impact in the top flight. Yet the Potters buoyed a superb home record more than comfortably survived as they finished an impressive 12th, it was in fact that much criticised rugged style that brought them success given the uniqueness of the challenge this brought to opposing sides.

Norwich City – 2010/2011

Promoted for the second successive season and with little more than a shoe string budget to their name few expected the Canaries to be little more than relegation strugglers. Paul Lambert’s men though soon put paid to that view as the threat of relegation never materialised, with the squad who many viewed as nothing more than good championship players adapting to top flight life almost seamlessly.

Ipswich Town -1999/2000

Ok this one might seem way back now few teams surpassed expectations like the Tractor Boys in 2000/01, as the newly promoted outfit finished an astonishing fifth in the table. George Burley’s men had expected to be amongst the strugglers yet a squad that remaining largely unchanged from the side that won promotion took the league by storm. They might have been relegated the following season but that still should not discount from the stunning debut top flight season the likes of Marcus Stewart, Matt Holland and co had.

Wigan Athletic -2004/2005

For the Wigan side that went up in 2005 the expectations were not quite as low as some of the sides mentioned in this article, that said there was nobody who predicted them to finish top half and compete in a League Cup final. Like Ipswich the bulk of the promotion squad remained with the exception of a few astute signings such as Henri Camara who weighed in with 12 vital league goals.

Birmingham City – 2002/2003

When Birmingham booked a spot in the big time following a play off win over Norwich few gave them a chance of retaining their Premier League spot. The Blues though improved as the season went on and when the last ball had been kicked they sat in a more than respectable 13th spot. This success was thanks in no small part to the transfer dealings of Steve Bruce who bought in experience such as Robbie Savage, whilst the January window signing of Christophe Duggary still remains one of the great winter window deals.