Which of these Premier League new boys can beat the drop?
Bournemouth, Norwich City and Watford have all made it to the promised land ahead of the new Premier League campaign but like all who rise from the Championship, they will be installed as instant favourites for relegation.
The stats give each team hope however and although two of the newly promoted teams – Burnley and QPR – endured an immediate drop down to the second tier last time out, the prospects for survival are good. In 2011/12, all of the promoted teams stayed up and it’s common for just one to return to the Championship.
So which of these three has the best chance of staying with England’s elite?
Cherries on top
They needed some luck at the death to claim the title but few would begrudge Bournemouth their Championship crown. The club nearly dropped out of the league altogether a few seasons back so it’s been a meteoric rise – much of which can be credited to manager Eddie Howe.
In Howe, the Cherries have one of the brightest young coaches in European football and he is widely tipped to take over the England job at some point. On the pitch, his side play some breathtaking football at times – quick passing to feet, keeping the ball on the deck – and that will suit the top tier.
Callum Wilson, with 20 goals, will be crucial to Bournemouth’s hopes but ahead of the new campaign, Howe will need to bring in players with existing Premier League experience.
Hornets are buzzing
Watford could certainly be the most entertaining of these three sides after a season of wild unpredictability that saw four managers in the Vicarage Road hot seat. Make that a fifth for 2015-16 with the departure of promotion winning Slavisa Jokanovic and the arrival of former Atletico Madrid boss Quique Flores.
The Hornets, unlike Bournemouth, can boast a number of players with Premier League experience but will they retain the services of former Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes who left White Hart Lane following a catalogue of high profile errors?
Up front, Watford had a potent Championship strike force of Matej Vydra, Odion Ighalo and Troy Deeney who notched 57 goals in 89 collective starts. Flores’ new side may well leak goals at the back so it’s vital for those three to hit the target at the right end otherwise the club look the most likely to face instant relegation.
Canaries in full voice
Norwich return to the Premier league with a similar squad to the one that got them relegated in 2013-14 so will there be plenty of baggage around Carrow Road? The likes of Alex Tettey, John Ruddy and Russell Martin are back but the one thing that the Canaries will have this time is an inspirational manager.
Comparisons between Eddie Howe and Norwich’s Alex Neil are obvious but the 34 year old Canaries boss performed something of a miracle at his new club. When he took over in January 2015, Norwich weren’t even in the top six and the Scot has rightly been rewarded with a new deal at the club following their play off win over Middlesbrough.
Goals from the experienced Cameron Jerome will be vital for the club but like Bournemouth and Watford, they may also need to spend wisely in this summer transfer window if they are to stand any chance of beating the dreaded drop.