I often invite guests on to my weekly soccer podcast and at the beginning of the season I had industry expert Alexis Fecteau on the show, where we discussed who we thought would be relegated from the Premier League this year. Alexis and i generally agreed that Sheffield United, Norwich and possibly Newcastle would be the teams to go down, yet just 11 games in things look slightly different to how we thought. I called Alexis last week to talk about this, and we are both at a loss as to how things will pan out at the bottom come May, we’ve recalculated, and here is what we think.
Norwich look to be the only team who we predicted to go down who have actually not surprised us, well not much. Norwich looks pretty good in the first 5 games of the season, with Todd Cantrell running the show and Teemu Pukki surprising everyone with his finishing ability. The scalp against Man City was huge, but since those first 5 games the Canaries have really been struggling. Norwich currently prop up the table and they have shown too much which convinces me they’ll escape.
Watford really loo look doomed and I actually picked them to push for a top 10 finish this season, a pick which now looks rather stupid. The loss of Troy Deeney to injury is huge but beyond that Watford just don’t look cohesive. Manager Javi Grazia was fired after a handful of games which saw Quique Sanchez Flores rehired to try and change Watford’s fortunes. Whilst they do look better under Flores, the team lacks a lot of quality and that I believe will ultimately be the undoing for the Hornets. Watford may be fighting until the end, but we believe that it will be a fight that they’ll lose, and Championship football will beckon.
In terms of the final places we are hovering between Southampton and Aston Villa, and we are leaning more towards Southampton. The 9-0 defeat at the hands of Leicester on their home turf would have been a major blow to the confidence of the Saints and whilst they do have goals in that team, they are very poor defensively which could be their undoing. Aston Villa look too good to go down and with players like McGuinn and Grealish you get a sense that there is something building there, they just need to start getting results.
Final mentions for Everton who could very well be the shock of the season in a relegation fight which nobody predicted. Also a mention for both Brighton and Sheffield United who are currently occupying positions 6th and 8th in what has been a phenomenal start to the season after many, myself included, predicted them to get relegated at the end of the season.
What are you thoughts on who goes down? Let us know in the comments.