The great thing about football is that each season teams go up and teams go down. It may not be great if it’s your team heading south but it does refresh any league in my view.
This season, like Brighton, Huddersfield and Newcastle last year, a new crop of promoted teams have risen to the top table of English football.
I am very much looking forward to seeing the new-look Wolves. They blew the Championship away but have continued to invest heavily and look to have an intense, pacey style of play.
Many pundits predict a top-half finish for the Black Country side and on the evidence of the first few games that may not be wide of the mark.
Then there is Cardiff. By contrast the Bluebirds will rely mostly on the squad that got them promoted. Their style is brutal but effective. The manager demands a lot from his players but you feel the demands of the Premier League may be too much for them this time around.
And finally there is Fulham. Albion fans will relish a trip to Craven Cottage based on their dramatic wins in West London in recent years but the club has an attractive style of play and can hurt teams, so those fans should be wary of this weekend’s visitors to the Amex.
They brought in six players on deadline day which may look like a panic but they have some real quality and some exciting players.
Of course as we saw last season when many tipped Brighton and Huddersfield to go straight back down, predictions don’t always come true.
Will the three promoted sides all stay up again? I don’t think so. However, two of the three have a good chance of survival.
That means the pressure on the Seagulls and the Terriers continues. And that makes this weekend’s clash – and those against the rising stars from the Championship – still very important.
Southampton and Newcastle will feel the same but Chris Hughton must keep his own house, well the Amex, in order starting this weekend.
The home form is the bedrock. Spurs and Manchester City are on the horizon and the Albion will have no fear but like last year their fate may well rest on matches like Saturday against sides who are in the same position as the Seagulls were in last year.
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