However, this particular Eurosport Roundtable will focus on the other end of the 2014/15 Premier League table. We asked our regular writers to pick the three sides they think will have a Championship badge sewn into their shirt sleeves come the start of 2016.
Who knows, perhaps they (or some of you) think one of the above five will be among those three teams? But yeah, probably not.
As always, add your own entries via the comments section at the bottom.
Alex Chick (Twitter: @alex_eurosport):
In 2002, Franz Beckenbauer said of Germany’s World Cup squad: “Kahn apart, you could take all of them, put them in a bag and hit them with a stick. Whoever got hit would deserve it.” Which is one way of saying there are plenty of relegation candidates. Hull City’s Cup run disguised a woeful second half to their campaign. West Brom neatly deflected attention away from their appointment of Alan Irvine by announcing it on the day of England v Italy at the World Cup. And although promoted teams often spring a surprise, Burnley just look short of quality.
Tom Adams (Twitter: @tomEurosport):
Has any club anywhere ever had a more depressing set of signings than Aston Villa this summer? Joe Cole, Philippe Senderos, Kieran Richardson and Aly Cissokho might have comprised the bulk of a half-decent five-a-side team five years ago but they are not of the calibre required now. Add to that Villa's many callow and error-prone young players, Paul Lambert's uninspiring management and the combustible Roy Keane and you have a recipe for disaster. Who will join them? A West Brom team lacking quality and a Burnley side for whom the step-up will prove too much.
Sean Fay (Twitter: @Sean_Fay):
Burnley, West Brom, Aston Villa - Always a tough call this. I actually like Burnley as a side and think they could surprise a few but it is a tough ask to stay up on such a miniscule budget. I fear for the Midlands duo though. Alan Irvine looks a questionable appointment at West Brom with Brown Ideye looking like a risky addition as their big summer signing, especially as Irvine has never seen him play in the flesh. Villa scare me too. Joe Cole looks finished and I'm surprised they've moved for him while Philippe Senderos will likely give the Holte End palpitations at every home game. They really need Christian Benteke on form but he will miss the start of the season and even if he comes back firing, is there any guarantee he won't be sold in January?
Toby Keel ("Twitter? It'll never catch on"):
West Ham, Sunderland, Aston Villa, Hull and West Brom all rode their luck a little to survive last season, and in stronger seasons might have expected to go down. I like the direction Hull and Sunderland are going in, however, and see both surviving. West Ham look awful, though, as do West Brom and Aston Villa, and to my mind none have done anything like the right things with their summer transfers. As for the new boys? I think all three will stay up. Leicester, QPR and Burnley are all big clubs with great spirit - and all the talk about the gulf between the Premier League and Championship is outdated garbage. The impassable gulf is actually between 8th and 9th in the top flight - the next 15 or 20 of the 92 clubs are more or less on a level, as we see every year in cup football. So the Hammers, Baggies and Villans are my picks to go.
Liam Happe (Twitter: @liamhappe):
At one point, West Brom looked to be going from strength to strength. Now, that’s well and truly over and very few people feel 2014/15 will not be the season where their best ever Premier League tenure after years of yo-yoing finally ends. I don’t feel, however, that Southampton will join them despite the hasty assumptions of many. Yes, they’ve haemorrhaged talent, but signings such as Ryan Bertrand and Graziano Pelle suggest they’ll have the quality to merely return to mid-table mediocrity, and nothing worse. I cannot see Saints having a worse season than Burnley, who smack of a side who’ll earn nothing more than parachute payments for a great Championship campaign, and one of their fellow newcomer outfits Leicester or QPR. I’m leaning towards a final three of WBA, Burnley and Leicester as one suspects Harry Redknapp will be fine with a full season in charge, and the Rs are doing a markedly better job with money this time around.
Dan Quarrell (Twitter: @Dan_Eurosport):
In a previous Roundtable edition I highlighted Danny Ings as the potential revelation of the season, but sadly the classy forward is likely to be the lone bright spark for a Burnley team who will be bursting with enthusiasm and demonstrating an incredible work rate, only to fall short in terms of quality. For all Leicester's amazing consistency in the Championship last season, Nigel Pearson's side will probably lack the experience at the top level to compete every week in what could well prove to be a chastening campaign. West Brom have been on the slide for a while now and the arrival of Alan Irvine and equally unconvincing signings do not bode at all well for the club. They look set to complete the bottom three.
Reda Maher (Twitter: @Reda_Eurosport):
Burnley did remarkably well to gain promotion in the manner they did, and have a fine young coach, but a relative lack of resources could see them struggle. West Brom appear to be making backward strides at an alarming rate and have not impressed in the transfer window, while West Ham’s ownership are showing remarkable hesitance in backing or sacking their coach. Promoted Leicester and QPR have the resources and management to stay out of trouble, while Sunderland should not repeat last season’s emotional rollercoaster as Gus Poyet works his magic in the window. Southampton have been tipped to have a nightmarish season, but while they have sold big, they are buying smart and have a fine coach in Ronald Koeman.
Desmond Kane :
Burnley, Leicester and West Brom What goes up, must come down. Or that is how it is expected to work in the Premier League. But what do I know having tipped Crystal Palace to hit the buffers last season. We'll go with these three. Fully expect one or two of them to prove me wrong. Was a tough choice between West Brom and West Ham. Would have gone for West Brom as my third choice for Pepe Mel had remained as manager. Now that Alan Irvine is navigating them? I'll go for West Brom. Not sure West Ham and/or Swansea will be too far away from the relegation zone.
Marcus Foley (Twitter: @mmjfoley):
Burnley, Leicester and West Ham - Each year, the gulf between the Premier League and the Championship grows. Put bluntly, Burnley or Leicester have not added the required quality to their squads ahead of the start of the new campaign and ultimately that will cost them. QPR, who came up through the play-offs have bought well so should stave off relegation with the know how of Harry Redknapp. His former side West Ham appear a team in free-fall saddled with a manager the club’s hierarchy appear not to trust playing a brand of football they do not like. It is a recipe for disaster.
Ben Snowball (Twitter: @BenSnowball):
Burnley’s summer transfer activity reeks of a club already preparing for life in the Championship, so they’re doomed already. Crystal Palace exploited their opponents’ complacency to great effect last season, but no one will be underestimating Pulis and co. this time around and their squad continues to look flimsy. Of most concern, though, is West Brom. A quick glance at their new boss Alan Irvine’s managerial record makes alarming reading: sacked by Preston, sacked by Sheffield Wednesday, three years as Everton academy manager. Is that the CV of a man capable of keeping the Baggies in the division? No, it is not.
Joshua Hayward (Twitter: @JoshuaHayward99):
Aston Villa, West Brom, Burnley – Villa narrowly avoided relegation two seasons running and nothing about the club gives any indication that they can escape the same fate this year. The owner has put the club up for sale, the chief exec has left and Paul Lambert has brought in Kieran Richardson, Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole – none of which will fill Villa fans with confidence. It’s all pretty desperate and Villa fans should be worried. Expect one of the founding members of the football league to suffer the heartache of relegation this season. As for West Brom, what has gone wrong over at The Hawthorns? Just a couple of seasons ago it all appeared to be going in the right direction, but a number of managerial changes and a series of disastrous acquisitions later and it all seems to be going horribly wrong for the Baggies. Under Sean Dyche – aka The Ginger Mourinho – Burnley were outstanding in the Championship last season, but the Clarets have failed to bring in the quality that is required to survive in the Premier League. Sure, under Dyche, Burnley are disciplined, resolute and regimented, and scored a healthy amount of goals last season, but the small-town club simply do not have the resources to avoid relegation.
Carrie Dunn (Twitter: @carriesparkle):
Southampton, if they don’t get themselves some players some time soon; I very much want Ronald Koeman to be a success but it seems his hands are rather tied. Aston Villa will struggle again, particularly if Christian Benteke opts out of carrying the team on his back for another season and moves on. Sean Dyche’s newly promoted Burnley are the other obvious choice.
West Brom 10
Aston Villa 5
Leicester City 4
West Ham 3
Crystal Palace 1
Hull City 1
- Sports & Recreation
- Aston Villa
- Premier League
- Alan Irvine
- West Ham