Welcome to part 2 of the Hot Sprots Premier League preview. Today we talk about the teams who will safely avoid relegation, but probably shouldn’t hope for too much else.
If you missed Part 1 yesterday on the cellar dwellers, check it out here to get caught up.
Here are positions 15-11:
15 – West Bromwich Albion: Last year, West Brom had the highest percentage of successful set pieces and the second most total goals scored from headers. They were considered one of the biggest success stories of the season as they finished in 10th. However, no team in the Premiership has had a worse transfer window than Albion going into 2017/18. Their only signings are a back-up center back from Egypt on loan and the often-injured striker, Jay Rodriguez. Combine that with the surprise departure of emotional leader, Darren Fletcher (who is still proudly displayed on the club’s season tickets), it appears no team is going to take a bigger nose dive than West Brom.
14 – Stoke City: In many ways Stoke and West Brom have a lot in common, Tony Pulis made the Potters an established Premier League team before going to Albion and this is where Fletcher ended up. One thing that hasn’t left Stoke is their defensive style of play and home field advantage. They will do what they have done every year since their arrival in the Premier League: grind out results at home, not score goals, not concede goals and stay up safely in a very boring and uninteresting way.
13 – Bournemouth: Bournemouth are now entering that same level of achievement that has been reached by Stoke. No longer just a plucky underdog, hoping to stay up and do nothing more, Bournemouth are an established Premier League side under manager Eddie Howe. They do their business differently, however, preferring to outscore opponents and move the ball around rather than play defense. The Cherries spent more than they ever thought possible this window, signing Nathan Ake and Asmir Begovich for a combined £30 million from Chelsea and getting Jermain Defoe for free from relegated Sunderland. With a new stadium in the near future, there’s no reason why Bournemouth can’t stick around for years to come.
12 – Newcastle United: Newcastle are back and it’s safe to say they aren’t going anywhere. Manager, Rafa Benitez, has become a beloved figure at St. James Park after refusing to leave following their 2015/16 relegation and dragging them back up. He has made some quality signings as well, particularly in Jacob Murphy from Norwich and Christian Atsu from Chelsea. Those two will join an already decent attack in Matt Richie and Alex Mitrovic, as Newcastle will score enough goals in remain in the Premier League.
11 – Crystal Palace: Palace hasn’t done much in the transfer market, only signing two players, but they have made one of the signings of the season in new manager, Frank De Boer. The Dutchman should get a lot more out of the Eagles’ players than Sam Allardyce did a year ago. Palace has a strong attacking line with Andros Townsend, Wilfried Zaha, the excellent Christian Benteke and the Swiss Army knife that is Patrick van Aanholt playing fullback, wing back and winger competently. New signing, Jairo Reidewald, from Ajax will be the third center back behind the aging duo of James Tompkins and Scott Dann. This allows Martin Kelly to move back to his original position and compete with Joel Ward at right back.
Tomorrow we will be taking look at a group I call the light heavyweights, teams 10-7. Thursday, I preview the main event, the top 6. For more stuff like this and general wacky content please follow me on Twitter @KedgeOnline. Thanks for reading!