Can Palace, Swansea, Bournemouth Avoid EPL Relegation?

We’re just eight games into the 2017-18 Premier League season and already some are calling the title for Manchester City. There’s a decent chance that Man City will claim the top spot, and a very decent chance it will go to one of the Manchester clubs. But enough about the title contenders, let’s turn our attention to the other end of the table.

It’s been a bumpy start for quite a few teams. Crystal Palace had to wait until last weekend before scoring their first league goal. Leicester City sacked Craig Shakespeare after a dismal first few games. And the freshly promoted teams may have a tough time resisting the call of the Championship.

The bottom ten teams are, at most, four points clear of the relegation zone, so at least half the league is in peril. Which fan-bases should start adjusting their expectations? 


Can Palace, Swansea, Bournemouth Avoid EPL Relegation?
Artur Boruc at Bournemouth. Photo credit: Новикова Юлия (Wikimedia) CC License

Crystal Palace (1-0-7, 3 points): 5/6

First, the obvious pick. Seven games, seven losses, zero goals. Before last weekend, a bottom-three finish for Crystal Palace seemed almost inevitable. But then they trounceD defending champs Chelsea 2-0. Is the team finally clicking under new boss Roy Hodgson?

They are not the worst EPL side on paper. The 24-year-old Wilfried Zaha has been great this season, and while Christian Benteke and Mamadou Sakho receive a ton of criticism for their inconsistency, they are great players when at their best.

With just three points in eight games, it’s going to take something special to reverse course. If their win against Chelsea is a sign of more to come, then their chances are good. But it’s far too soon to jump to that conclusion.

Huddersfield (2-3-3, 9 points): 11/8

Huddersfield was extremely lucky to make it out of the Championship last season, finishing in fifth place and winning the promotion play-off. Their only wins so far have been against Crystal Palace and the also newly-promoted Newcastle. As it stands, they’re winless in their last six matches across all competitions.

They took some drastic steps to improve their squad for the Premier League, but they still hold one of the weakest line-ups in the English top flight.

Brighton (2-2-4, 8 points): 11/8

After being promoted to the Premier League, Brighton made a few key signings to bolster their midfield. But like Huddersfield, their lineup is still a couple of notches below the Premier League standard. It’s quite possible that Brighton will be buoyed by other underperforming teams, but that involves putting a lot of faith in something completely out of their control.

If they don’t keep snatching wins against other bottom-table teams, they won’t finish north of 18th place.

Swansea (2-2-4, 8 points): 7/4

Swansea wasn’t great last season and they’re arguably worse now. Losing Gylfi Sigurdsson to Everton and Fernando Llorente to Tottenham has gutted the Swansea attack, and the Swans are suffering because of it. A lot was staked on Renato Sanches and Wilfried Bony carrying the club this season, but so far they’ve had pretty quiet seasons.

Bournemouth (1-1-6, 4 points): 2/1

It’s been a disastrous start for Bournemouth, with just one win in eight games. They sit above only Crystal Palace in the standings, leading by just a draw. That’s surprising considering their decent showing last season when they finished ninth.

After signing Chelsea players Nathan Aké and Asmir Begovic over the summer, the Bournemouth roster only improved. Perhaps it’s just momentary growing pains and the Cherries will bounce back. But for now, their spot in the Premier League is under threat.

Eaton Thatcher

Eaton used to write for MTS predominantly about boxing but also about soccer, football, tennis and basketball.

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