As the 2019/20 Premier League season gets underway this month, there are two interesting stats to note:
1) Never before have all three promoted sides started their Premier League campaigns with a win and this season, all three of these clubs will playing away from home in their opening games
2) Over 40% of newly-promoted sides are relegated the following season, meaning it’s highly likely, we will see either Norwich City, Sheffield United or Aston Villa fail to avoid the drop, come May 2020
Last season, we saw Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cardiff City and Fulham join the top-flight, with the Bluebirds and Cottagers immediately yo-yo back to the Championship. But how will this season’s three promoted sides fare?
Last season’s finish: 5th (76 points) – play-off winners
Players out: 10
Players in: 10
Villa have spent big in the close season, over £100m in fact. Their biggest splurge saw Brazilian striker Wesley join from Club Brugge for a fee of £22.5m.
He looks set to be a replacement for Tammy Abraham who has returned to parent club, Chelsea. Other signings include Tyrone Mings from Bournemouth, Douglas Luiz from Manchester City and Jota from rivals, Birmingham City.
The money they’re spending and signings they’re making are a clear indicator that they wish to retain their place in the top-flight; however, we saw last season with Fulham, that spending big doesn’t always equal success.
Manager: Dean Smith
Dean Smith was appointed Villa boss in October 2018, with John Terry joining as his assistant. At the time, the Villans were sitting in 14th, but he immediately reinvigorated the side.
Having previously managed Walsall and Brentford, it’s the first time Smith has managed in the Premier League. He has an average win percentage of 36%, but since joining Villa, has won 19 of 38 games.
Prediction: Safe (15th). Surely Villa won’t do a Fulham? Despite spending big, their signings are reasonable and should be enough to see them safe.
Last season’s finish: 1st (94 points) – champions
Players out: 12
Players in: 5
Norwich haven’t spent much money, nor have they really added to the side that won the Championship title last season. The addition of Sam Byram from West Ham United is a decent acquisition; a defender with Premier League experience is important.
Tim Krul is more than capable of making the step-up in divisions again. Having scored 29 league goals last season, it will be interesting to see if Teemu Pukki can repeat the feat again this campaign.
Manager: Daniel Farke
Daniel Farke was appointed head coach in May 2017 and in that time has been awarded Manager of the Month and seen his side promoted. This is his first managerial reign of a top-flight club, having previously managed in the lower leagues of his native, Germany.
He’s no stranger to promotion – taking Lippstadt from the sixth tier of Germany football to the fourth and before joining the Canaries, he managed Borussia Dortmund’s reserve side. His average win percentage is 48%.
Prediction: Relegated (18th). We just don’t think the Canaries have bolstered their squad enough and could well find themselves out of their depth.
Last season’s finish: 2nd (89 points) – automatic promotion
Players out: 7
Players in: 7
Like Villa, it’s a case of one-in one-out for Sheffield United, who’s biggest signing has to be goalkeeper Dean Henderson on loan from Manchester United. The shot- stopper conceded just 38 goals last season, keeping 21 clean sheets in that time and the Blades will be hoping for a solid defence again this campaign, in order to avoid the drop.
The addition of Phil Jagielka on a free from Everton provides some much-needed Premier League experience.
Manager: Chris Wilder
Chris Wilder is the longest-serving manager of the three promoted sides, joining the Bramall Lane outfit in May 2016. In that time, he’s taken the Blades from League 1 to the Premier League, also winning Championship Manager of the Year last season.
Wilder has the most managerial experience, with 18 years under his belt. He has an average win percentage of 44%, but has won over half of his games in charge of United. Prediction: Relegated (20th).
Unfortunately, in Betfair Premier League betting odds, the Blades are favourites to finish rock bottom and it’s hard to disagree.