The new Premier League season is just around the corner. For the teams at the top of the tree, it will be a case of “back to business.” Manchester City and Liverpool are widely predicted to duke it out again for the top spot, while Tottenham, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal will be clamoring for the third placed spot.
For some teams, however, the 2019/20 season will be the start of a whole new adventure. Three new teams will be joining the Premier League ranks, in the shape of Aston Villa, Sheffield United and Norwich City. They will be well aware that last year’s promoted teams had varying fortunes. Wolverhampton Wanderers were a revelation, finishing best of the rest after the big six teams mentioned above. Cardiff and Fulham, on the other hand, languished at the foot of the table and went straight back down at the end of the season. How will this year’s recruits fare?
Finishing fifth in the Championship, Villa seemed destined for another year in the second tier. However, a fantastic run in the playoffs with some inspirational leadership from captain Jack Grealish saw them through. Here’s a team with plenty of top-flight experience and if Grealish stays fit, they could be a match for anyone.
However, there is potential weakness in the defence, so to survive, Dean Smith’s men will have to turn Villa Park into a fortress. The bookmakers at https://www.unibet.eu/betting have the Villains odds on at 1/3 to stay up, and are quoting them at 9/2 for a top ten finish.
The Canaries were the Championship’s version of Manchester City last year, storming to victory and outplaying all comers. They relied on expansive, attacking play, scoring a remarkable 93 goals. The talent of Emi Buendia, in particular, is undeniable, and Norwich will be delighted to have secured his services for another five years. However, it would be disingenuous to think he will be able to blow away Premier League defences in the way he did last year.
The other concern for Norwich is that as well as scoring more goals than anyone else, they conceded plenty, too. All in all, they will need to tighten things up and show they can play a different type of football in order to stay up. The bookies have them even money to yoyo back to the Championship at the end of the season.
The Blades scrapped hard to secure the second automatic promotion spot last season, and their likable 33 year old captain, Billy Sharp, proved an inspiration to his team mates with 23 goals.
The secret to Sheffield’s success was a polar opposite to that of Norwich. They scrapped out every game, conceding only 41 goals (compared with 57 for Norwich), and unlike the other promoted teams, they have a strong defence. The biggest concern here, though is if someone gets injured, as United simply does not have the depth. Manager Chris Wilder will be looking to beef up the squad in what’s left of the transfer window. United are favorites with the bookies to go back down, but for those who have faith in old fashioned football, that could be the only excuse you need to back them to stay out of the relegation zone.