Three familiar faces are returning to the Premier League for the 2019/20 season as the top tier welcomes Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa back into the fold.
Survival will naturally be the primary goal, with all three sides likely to need to plenty of reinforcements to cope in a league that can be unforgiving for teams that fail to prepare.
We’ve seen in previous years that for every success story (Wolves, Bournemouth), there can be a slow slide toward relegation (Fulham, Middlesbrough)… so which of the Premier League newcomers will fare best next season?
We look at their chances below….
Premier League Newcomers for 2019/20 – How Will They Fare?
The history books
Breathe easy, Canaries fans – as the signs look very encouraging for Norwich City to secure a second straight season of Premier League football.
It’s now over five years since a side that finished the previous season as Championship title winners succumbed to relegation the following season. Cardiff City were the last side to suffer that fate in 2013/14.
Equally encouraging for Norwich fans is the fact most of those clubs have gone on to become ‘established’ Premier League sides with Leicester, Bournemouth, Burnley, Newcastle and Wolves still thriving at Premier League level. And dare to dream Norwich fans – one from that list managed to scale even greater heights shortly after arriving at the level…
New manager bounce?
Intriguingly, 2019/20 will be the first time since the 2014/15 season where all three newly promoted managers will be tackling Premier League football for the very first time.
Daniel Farke, Chris Wilder and Dean Smith have all built up well-deserved reputations with their impressive work at Championship level. As many bright young managers have found to their cost, however, the Premier League can be unforgiving if a newly-promoted club’s momentum stalls early in the season.
The stats suggest a lack of direct Premier League managerial experience needn’t necessarily be a barrier to Premier League survival – with Nuno, Eddie Howe and David Wagner just three managers in the last few seasons who successfully steered their clubs away from relegation danger during their first campaign in the top tier.
Aitor Karanka at Middlesbrough is perhaps the biggest exception to that rule, with the Spaniard losing his job in March 2017 as shot-shy Boro spiralled towards relegation.
Three’s a crowd
Sadly, it could be a short-lived stay for at least one of the promoted sides, as on only three occasions in English Premier League history have all three promoted sides avoided relegation the following season.
Kudos to the classes of 2001 (Fulham, Bolton, Blackburn), 2012 (QPR, Norwich, Swansea) and 2018 (Newcastle, Brighton, Huddersfield) for bucking the trend.
Finally, perhaps look away now Villa supporters – as the play-off winners traditionally find life tough going back in the Premier League. The memory of a fantastic day out at Wembley faded quickly for four of the last five play-off winners as they slid back down at the first time of asking.
Only Huddersfield defied gravity by scrapping to safety in 2017/18 – and that only proved to be delaying the inevitable as they returned to the Championship with a whimper last season. With an ambitious young manager, historic Premier League pedigree and a strong platform to build upon, Villa at least look well-placed to defy the odds and survive their first season back at this level, but the form books could give Dean Smith sleepless nights this summer.
Which, if any, of the three Premier League newcomers are you backing to survive?
Check out the latest Premier League outrights for current odds on which teams are tipped for the drop.
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