Friday, 9 September 2011

Premier League Relegation Battle: Who Will Survive & Who Will Go Down

We may only be a month into the new Premier League season, but there are several clubs who already have their eyes on next May. 
While the majority of clubs are targeting a top-half finish, a place in the Europa League or the Champions League and perhaps even the title, a select group of clubs will see finishing 17th as a success.
That is almost always the aim of a club that wins promotion up to the top flight, and in the case of this year's new entrants—Queens Park Rangers, Norwich City and play-off winners Swansea City—that is no different.
To survive a debut year in the Premier League is a highly lucrative achievement for a club which has made its way up from the Championship, and the windfall earned for doing so can fund the improvements necessary to consolidate their top-flight status. Upwardly mobile sides can look to the examples set by the likes of Stoke City and Bolton Wanderers as to what can be achieved.
But for the handful of clubs who only just scrapped their way to avoiding relegation, avoiding that fate for another year is often their main motivation. Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic and Wolverhampton Wanderers all went into the final game of last season fighting against the drop.
Here is a look at which of the aforementioned clubs are likely to escape the drop, and which sides are odds on to slip back down to the second tier of English football.  

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