Premier League relegation predictions: Cherries could be survival pick

Aidan Perkins
Steve Cooper looks to have a job on his hands to keep Nottingham Forest up despite a busy summer
Steve Cooper looks to have a job on his hands to keep Nottingham Forest up despite a busy summer

The new Premier League season is nearly upon us and for plenty of teams in the top flight, staying up is the main target. 

Newly-promoted Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest are among the leading candidates to go straight back down, while there will be a number of other clubs fearing for their place among the elite. 

We assess the relegation picture to try and work out who will finish in the bottom three in 2022-23. 

Tough ask for promoted teams

As is often the case, plenty of pundits are predicting Championship winners Fulham, runners-up Bournemouth and play-off winners Forest — back in the Premier League after a 23-year absence — will be returning to the second tier at the end of the season. 

And the stats back up the fact that those teams coming into the top flight tend to struggle. 

In the past three seasons, five of the nine teams that came up have been relegated, including Fulham in 2020-21, so the Cottagers, Cherries and Forest all clearly face uphill tasks to survive. 

Of the three, Fulham at least have plenty of recent top-flight experience, while Bournemouth also still have a good core of players in their ranks who were part of their most recent Premier League campaign in 2019-20. 

Forest spree cannot mask issues

All three promoted clubs have attempted to strengthen their squads over the summer in anticipation of making the difficult step up. 

Forest, in particular, have been very active in the transfer market but of the 13 players they have signed, there is an argument to suggest only Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson and Neco Williams are good enough to be mixing it with the elite week in, week out. 

They will have plenty of depth but appear to be lacking in genuine quality. 

It is worth remembering Fulham adopted a similar strategy in the summer of 2020 but their significant spending spree failed to inspire them as they finished 18th, 11 points from safety. 

Despite all the positive noises coming out of the City Ground, a much-changed squad can lead to issues. 

Steve Cooper has worked wonders at Forest but the fear is, for all their enthusiasm and belief that a club of their history and size should be back in the top flight, the Tricky Trees may be out of their depth. 

Fulham, meanwhile, will be hoping it is not a case of history repeating itself after being relegated twice in the past four seasons. 

Marco Silva has plenty of experience managing in the Premier League with Hull, Watford and Everton but his teams usually flirt with relegation. 

Their signings do not exactly inspire either.  Andreas Pereira, Joao Palhinha and Kevin Mbabu are all relatively unproven at this level.

Another campaign in and around the bottom three could well loom then for the West Londoners. 

Cherries can stay up

Bournemouth, however, should do enough to survive. 

They have former Fulham boss Scott Parker in charge and he should have learned from his previous time in the relegation scrap.

Several players in their squad, like Dominic Solanke, David Brooks, Lloyd Kelly and Jefferson Lerma, also have a point to prove.

It will be far from straightforward, but the south coast club look to have the best chance of survival out of the three new boys. 

Wolves could get dragged into bottom three

Bruno Lage's Wolves only scored 38 goals last season
Bruno Lage's Wolves only scored 38 goals last season

Leeds, Everton, Southampton and Brentford all look to have enough quality to stay up, even if bottom-half finishes are likely.

However, Wolves have only signed defender Nathan Collins so far and could be the surprise strugglers this season. 

Bruno Lage's men, while solid enough at the back, do not score enough goals after hitting just 38 last term. 

Only the three relegated teams in 2021-22 notched fewer than them, which clearly demonstrates their struggles in the final third. 

Furthermore, main goal threat Raul Jimenez is expected to miss the start of the season, so there is a real worry Wolves could be in for a very difficult campaign if they fail to get off to a good start.

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