Every August, three newly promoted teams face the most challenging task in club football, surviving in the Premier League. England's top flight is notoriously competitive from the get-go, and with the gulf in not only class but more importantly money, most clubs find themselves with an immediate disadvantage before the first ball is kicked.
In recent times, the newly promoted clubs have fared reasonably well. The 2017/18 season saw all three promoted clubs stay up, whereas last season's dark horses Wolves finished best of the rest, and earned their place in Europe. This will give the Premier League's new boys great hope that they could dine at England's top table for more than one year.
Championship winners Norwich will be aiming to replicate the success of Wolves last year through utilizing their wealth of talented youth, rather than mirroring the failures of Fulham's summer spending splurge. The Premier League tends to reward stability, and if Norwich holds onto the players that saw them fly up the table last year, they should be able to survive their first season in the promised land. Another major factor will be their away record. Last season they had the second worst away form in the championship, and if they are to make a lasting impact, they won't be able to rely solely on picking points up at home. Norwich will struggle, but there are worse teams around them, which will likely keep them up for another year.
Sheffield United was last seasons surprise package and will be looking to do all they can to say up next season. However, boardroom struggles and a small transfer budget may have an impact on how successful the Blades can be. Wilder's managerial talents will be tested to the max this campaign, but with his ability to extract the best out of every one of his players, there will always be hope in the dressing room. Unfortunately for Wilder and his team, hope isn't enough in the Premier League and I can't see them causing much of an upset this year. It would be a magnificent achievement if they defy the odds and stay up, but it doesn't look likely.
After three seasons in the championship, Aston Villa will feel back at home in the Premier League come August. Yet, their biggest test comes before a single game is played. With El Ghazi secured, Villa will be hoping to acquire the talents of Mings and Abraham on a permanent basis following their impact last year, but as the transfer window heats up, both are looking more and more unlikely to get through. Fortunately for Villa fans, co-owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens have given their financial backing to the coach and will do all they can to maintain their newly found Premier League status. Villa won't have it easy this year, but if they can add depth to their squad, and hold onto their key men, they should be able to retain their league status this campaign.
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Aston Villa 16th
Sheffield United 20th