The latest version of the Premier League’s trap door isn’t far off being installed for 2014/15, with the teams expected to be scrapping to avoid it doing all they can to get a head start in the fight for survival.
At the time of writing some teams have done more than most to bolster their top-flight stocks, so we’ve decided to give a run down on the five most prone to sealing a spot in the Championship next season, starting with the most at risk first:
Since seeing their club sack Steve Clarke, the life of a West Brom fan essentially boils down to head scratching and perma-puzzled expressions.
They rightly got rid of Clarke’s successor, Pepe Mel, after he won just three of his 17 games in charge, but replaced him with Alan Irvine.
This is a man whose last managerial role ended in 2011 when released by then 12th-place League One side Sheffield Wednesday.
12 players have left the club already and just three have arrived, of which Man City reject Joleon Lescott is the best of a bad bunch.
This is the Championship runners-up’s second stab at Premier League survival, having finished 18th the last time they sat at the top table back in 2009/10.
Sean Dyche is a young manager whose stock is on the rise. Whether he stays in the job long enough to steer Burnley clear is the big question though, especially with the baptism of fire that is playing Chelsea and Manchester United in the first three games of the season.
It seems Villa’s youth-first policy has been abandoned for 2014/15, with old heads Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole arriving on free transfers.
uninspiring experienced pros like Nicklas Bendtner and Kieran Richardson have been linked with the club that have hovered perilously close to the dreaded dotted line for three straight seasons.
With well known managerial master Roy Keane on board to help iron things out now too, what could go wrong?
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