Meet the newboys: How will Fulham and their relegated brethren fare
For the three teams who slide out of the Premier League each season, the pain of no longer being able to battle the best teams in the country is offset with their immediate favouritism to win the second tier the following year.
Welsh outfit Cardiff are the side given that particular honour this term, although Fulham and Norwich will fancy their chances of claiming some silverware of their own.
Here’s a rundown of those chances:
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been hard at work to prepare the Bluebirds for a crack at winning their second Championship title in three years.
Adam Le Fondre has signed from Reading, while Javi Guerra, Federico Macheda and Kagisho Dikgacoi all represent astute pieces of summer transfer business too.
The greatest benefit the squad has is the recent memory of winning the league and if they can keep hold of some of their Premier League purchases, they have to be fancied as champions.
Unlike Cardiff, the Cottagers had been an established top-flight side for 13 seasons when they fell through the trap door.
The substantial wage bill that comes with that status obviously had to be trimmed for the coming term, meaning nearly all of the west London side’s experienced players have flown the nest.
A vaunted manager and the £11m acquisition of Ross McCormack, the Championship’s leading scorer last season, should see them into the play-offs though.
Canaries fans must hold the least hope of springing back into the top tier this season.
Their squad looked one of Championship level for much of their relegation campaign and, although it hasn’t happened yet, most of their better players are surely expected to leave Carrow Road before the transfer window shuts.
A stint in step two awaits.
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