In the end just one of the newly-promoted clubs from last season remained in the Premier League as Brentford comfortably avoided a relegation scrap, with Norwich, Watford and Burnley all enduring the ignominy of dropping out. Will it be a similar tale next term?
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There are few experiences for football fans more nervy, sweat-inducing and stressful than a relegation battle, just ask supporters of Norwich, Watford and Burnley. The 2022/23 season will be no different, with the new boys Bournemouth, Fulham and Nottingham Forest all keen to consolidate their positions in the top flight, while there will be a few middling clubs getting edgy that this could be the year when their luck runs out.
Who will be relegated from the Premier League in 2022/23?
Having been away from the Premier League for so long, Forest fans will just be happy to see their side rubbing shoulders with the perennial big boys once again. But, if Steve Cooper’s career has taught us anything, he will not be a man who simply wants to make up the numbers in the top division. A progressive coach who produced miracles in taking Forest from the bottom of the Championship to the Premier League, he will want to cause a splash this season — but that does not necessarily mean they will be safe from the drop zone.
After 15 games played, Forest remains bottom of the Premier League — a remarkable thing considering Cooper’s side recently beat Liverpool. The 1-0 win, courtesy of Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal, was Forest’s second of the season — at the time — and took them to nine points, but they couldn’t build on it as they were beaten 5-0 at Arsenal the following weekend. They did manage to earn a 2-2 draw with Brentford next time out, and recently beat Crystal Palace 1-0.
Bournemouth made the big call to sack Scott Parker just four games into the new season, with the Cherries beating Aston Villa before losing to Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool. A 9-0 thrashing against Liverpool seemed to be the result that did it, but more due to Parker’s reaction post-match, appearing to call out the board.
So Bournemouth had to bounce back from their bad run while also searching for a new manager, and they certainly steadied the ship with draws against Wolves and Newcastle, before a big victory over Nottingham Forest. The Cherries extended their unbeaten sequence to six with draws against Brentford and Fulham either side of a win over Leicester, but all good things must come to an end and they went on to lose their next four games. Interim boss Gary O’Neil signed off before the World Cup in style, though, most recently beating Everton 3-0 to galvanise the hope.
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It doesn’t feel like too long ago that Wolves were challenging for European football, but the Midlands club now find themselves battling at the wrong end of the table. And defeat to West Ham at the beginning of October saw Bruno Lage axed after a run of just one win in 15 Premier league matches.
That solitary win came against Southampton in their first game of September, but Wolves followed that up with defeats to Man City, West Ham and Chelsea without scoring. They did get their second win of the season with a 1-0 win over Nottingham Forest last month to pull them out of the relegation zone, but they have since slipped back.
They will enter a new Julen Lopetegui era post-World Cup, but the former Spain and Real Madrid manager certainly has his work cut out, with the Iberian-inspired side currently on a five-game winless run and propping up the table in dead last.
Things were going so well at Leeds in the early months of Jesse Marsch’s tenure, but the American soon found out that life in the Premier League can be tough. Since a 3-0 victory over Chelsea in mid-August, they would embark on an eight-game winless streak including losing four games on the bounce. However, that came to an end when the Whites registered a mega 2-1 win at Anfield, just what the doctor ordered for Marsch who oversaw a dramatic 4-3 win over Bournemouth in their immediate game after. A recent 4-3 defeat to Tottenham let them know what it felt like to be on the losing end of a seven-goal thriller, but there is optimism heading into the autumnal pause.
The Saints can look breathtaking on their day, with slick passing and execution that belies their position in the table. However, at other times, a lack of cutting edge in the final third and a soft underbelly at the back exposes their flaws.
The Saints travelled to Spurs on matchday one, and were routinely beaten 4-1, but picked up four points in their next two against Leeds (a 2-2 draw) and Leicester (a 2-1 win), before falling 1-0 at home to Man United. A win over Chelsea saw Southampton threaten to turn things around but they followed that up with four consecutive defeats, against Wolves, Aston Villa, Everton and Man City. They brought that run to an end with a draw vs West Ham and built on the result by beating Bournemouth 1-0 and drawing with Arsenal, but fell to a 1-0 loss at Crystal Palace before a 4-1 loss to Newcastle at home which dropped them down to 18th place.
Things do get ‘easier’ in the post-World Cup festive match-ups, with Brighton and Fulham. But Southampton will tussle with those two ‘winnable’ fixtures Ralph Hasenhuttl-less and with former Luton boss Nathan Jones now in the South Coast hotseat.
There may still be a bit to worry about at the King Power Stadium even though Leicester have lifted themselves out of the relegation zone in recent weeks. After going winless in their opening seven matches, the Foxes have now won five of their past eight, including back-to-back victories over Everton and West Ham.
A 2-0 win over the Hammers not only moved Leicester up to 13th but it also secured a fifth clean sheet in six games for Brendan Rodgers’ side. That run has come at an excellent time with Leicester formerly having the worst defence in the Premier League, losing that unwanted crown with Bournemouth and Forest the only sides to conceded 30 or more so far.