4 EPL teams who could face a relegation battle in 2018/19
With the 2018/19 Premier League season underway, and all of the teams involved having played two games, it’s already beginning to become clear which sides are likely to succeed and challenge for the title – and which sides might end up struggling.
Last season saw Crystal Palace and Everton recover from disastrous starts to finish in respectable league positions, while West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Swansea City simply couldn’t turn the tide and survive.
But which clubs are likely to find themselves in a relegation battle in 2018/19? After two games it might seem tricky to make a call, but based on their early form – as well as some history and hunches – it’s likely that we’ll see these four clubs in a dogfight come the Spring.
#1: Cardiff City
It was a surprise to most observers when Cardiff achieved promotion into the Premier League in 2017/18 – finishing second in the Championship ahead of more fancied sides like Aston Villa and Derby County. But due largely to a miserly defence – no other Championship team conceded less than the Bluebirds – and a tough attitude, Neil Warnock’s men pulled off the impossible.
Now though, the real hard work begins. And unfortunately for Cardiff fans, the signs are already looking ominous. Despite a relatively calm-sounding start to the season, they’ve already lost 2-0 to Bournemouth and only managed a 0-0 draw with Newcastle – and both performances suggested they’re going to struggle with life in the Premier League.
What appeared to be a solid defence in the Championship was badly exposed by Bournemouth – who took 63% possession, managed 12 shots and even missed a penalty – and up front, Cardiff don’t appear to have enough firepower either – their top scorer in the league in 2017/18 was Callum Paterson – a defender by trade, and even he only managed 10.
Throw in the fact that boss Neil Warnock has historically struggled in the Premier League – he was relegated with Sheffield United in 2006/07 and fired when he took QPR into difficulties in 2011/12 – and it’s practically a certainty that Cardiff are going to struggle this season.