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The 6 Premier League clubs facing relegation scrap

A number of Premier League clubs know that the threat of relegation is looming this season, including Liverpool’s Merseyside rivals Everton.

Another campaign gets underway on Friday night, as fans of the 20 top-flight teams get ready for more joy and heartbreak in 2022/23.

It could be that it is more of the latter for Southampton, Brighton, Leeds, Wolves, Everton and Brentford, as they look to avoid the drop.

Here’s what fans of those looking over their shoulders had to say ahead of the new season.

SEE ALSO: Guide to the 3 promoted sides

 

Southampton – Time up for Hasenhuttl?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 27, 2021: Southampton's captain James Ward-Prowse during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Southampton FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 15th, 40 points | Top Scorer: James Ward-Prowse (11)

Things stagnated at Southampton last season, with their eventual 15th-place finish uninspiring and leading to pressure building on Ralph Hasenhuttl.

The ‘Alpine Klopp’ has kept his job, but many believe a long campaign could lie ahead of them, with much relying on the quality of captain James Ward-Prowse.

TIA Predicted Finish: 17th


The View From Southampton

Luke Osman (@lukeosman_)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, March 1, 2021: Southampton's manager Ralph Hasenhüttl before the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Southampton FC at Goodison Park. Everton won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was… really good, and then really bad. Southampton tend to go through two-monthly phases of looking like one of the best of the rest before then looking like the worst team in the league.

We were pretty fortunate that we’d picked up enough points during a purple patch around the turn of the year to stave off the threat of relegation.

This season will be… potentially more of the same. We’ve recruited several young players, so inconsistency is expected.

Our key player is… James Ward-Prowse. He’s been magnificent over the past few years and is the glue that holds this team together.

Is Hasenhuttl still the right man for the job? He doesn’t feel quite so safe in his job now.

The new owners have invested upwards of £50 million with no players sold, so perhaps there will be greater pressure on him to deliver a consistent performance across the campaign.

We’ll finish… 14th. Right now, I’d say we’re in trouble, but it’s widely anticipated that further additions will come at the top of the pitch, which gives me a bit more optimism.

Liverpool will finish… 2nd. With the loss of Sadio Mane considered, as well as Man City‘s signing of Erling Haaland, I can’t see Liverpool running them anywhere near as close.

 

Brighton – Potter’s final hurrah before England job?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 30, 2019: manager Graham Potter before the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 9th, 51 points | Top Scorer: Neal Maupay (nine)

Despite often being easy on the eye in 2021/22, Brighton were again guilty of displaying a lack of substance at both ends of the pitch, finishing ninth.

Relegation is unlikely this time around, but more ruthlessness is required in what could be Graham Potter’s final season in charge.

The Brighton boss is the bookies’ favourite to replace Gareth Southgate as England manager, should he leave after the 2022 World Cup, but a drop in standards at the Amex could change that.

TIA Predicted Finish: 13th


The View From Brighton

Kieran Maguire (@KieranMaguire)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 30, 2021: Liverpool's former player Brighton & Hove Albion's Adam Lallana waves to the home supporters after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Brighton & Hove Albion FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was… a great start, rubbish bit in the middle (three wins out of 25) and an amazing finish which papered over the cracks.

This season will be… similar to last, some periods of good results interspersed with one win in 12. The pundits will like us.

Our key player is… Alexis Mac Allister. He has been given the responsibility of the Bissouma role in the team, breaking up opposition play.

MacAllister had his best season for us in 2021/22, but was more of a No. 10. He scored a worldie winner at Goodison Park and has come to terms with the Premier League demands, but could either kick on or stagnate this season.

Does anything need to change under Potter? The big challenge under Potter is changing us from a team that is good in 80 percent of the pitch to one that creates and finishes more chances.

If he did manage to solve that, though, one would easily suspect he would not be the Brighton manager for too long, as bigger clubs would come calling.

We’ll finish… 14th

Liverpool will finish… 2nd

 

Leeds – Life without Phillips and Raphinha begins

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, February 23, 2022: Leeds United's Luke Ayling looks dejected after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 6-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 17th, 38 points | Top Scorer: Raphinha (11)

Leeds experienced a tumultuous time of things last term, with the godlike Marcelo Bielsa replaced by Jesse Marsch after some dire results.

The American is still under pressure to prove his worth, despite keeping Leeds in the Premier League, and losing Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha has not made life any easier.

It could be another long season at Elland Road, or Marsch could spring a surprise and quieten the lazy Ted Lasso comparisons.

TIA Predicted Finish: 18th


The View From Leeds

Freddie Smith (@fbsmith3)

LEEDS, ENGLAND - Sunday, September 12, 2021: Leeds United's substitute Daniel James, making his debut for the club, and Liverpool's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (L) during the FA Premier League match between Leeds United FC and Liverpool FC at Elland Road. Liverpool won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was… a mess. Injuries galore, players performing below par and poor recruitment resulted in what looked like an inevitable return to the Championship.

Leeds ultimately managed to secure survival on the last day of the season, however, preserving their Premier League status to everyone’s utmost relief.

This season will be… more controlled and calm. Having invested heavily this summer, Leeds will be hoping for a steadier campaign and lower mid-table mediocrity would please most of the Elland Road support.

As a Leeds fan, you learn to expect the unexpected, though.

Our key player is… Patrick Bamford. If he can remain fit and get firing early in the season, Leeds stand a good chance of staying clear of the teams fighting at the wrong end of the table.

Illan Meslier won us so many points last season and will be another key player again this year.

Will Marsch prove the sneering detractors wrong? It all depends on how well Leeds do in the first 10 to 15 games of the season.

If it’s clear that Marsch has the team pressing high, playing intensively and looking threatening going forward, then I should think most will be happy with the American at the helm.

If there appears to be a lack of cohesion or plan, then things could turn.

We’ll finish: 14th. Losing Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha is a huge blow, but the signings of Brenden Aaronson, Luis Sinisterra and Tyler Adams in particular will hopefully help to ward off any threat of relegation.

Liverpool will finish: 2nd. Losing Sadie Mane will be a blow to Jurgen Klopp’s side, but acquiring Darwin Nunez, who looks like an exciting prospect, and keeping hold of Mo Salah will undoubtedly see Liverpool challenge hard for the title once again.

 

Wolves – Another dour season at Molineux?

WOLVERHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 29, 2021: Wolverhampton Wanderers' manager Bruno Lage during the FA Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers FC and Manchester United FC at Molineux Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 10th, 51 points | Top Scorers: Raul Jimenez, Daniel Podence (six)

With all due respect, neutrals weren’t opting to watch Wolves last season, with their matches invariably low-scoring and defence-minded.

They tailed off as the campaign went on and there is a feeling that they may now only go downhill under Bruno Lage from this point.

More signings are needed in order to quell the growing negativity at Molineux.

TIA Predicted Finish: 12th


The View From Wolves

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 13, 2022: Wolverhampton Wanderers' Rúben Neves during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Goodison Park. Wolverhampton Wanderers won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sam Cook (@77ClubPodcast)

Last season was… one of the most boring to watch that I can remember – certainly of the last 10 years. It was also one of the most disappointing.

This season will be… no different I imagine. Another incompetent window from the powers that be.

Our key player is… Ruben Neves, but I’m going to stick my neck out and say Max Kilman is going to have a big part to play this season.

Do you think Neves will stay put? I think he will. He’s on a long-ish contract and I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll take the armband this season.

We looked to have been moving more towards a back four in pre-season and that, for me, wouldn’t include Conor Coady.

We’ll finish… an optimistic 15th.

Liverpool will finish… 3rd

 

Everton – Another relegation fight for Lampard?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 13, 2022: Everton's manager Frank Lampard during the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers FC at Goodison Park. Wolverhampton Wanderers won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 16th, 39 points | Top Scorer: Richarlison (11)

Credit where it’s due, Everton‘s supporters effectively kept their team in the Premier League last season, following some raucous atmospheres created at Goodison Park in the spring.

The dust has settled now, though, and Frank Lampard’s side again look an average team who have made few reinforcements this summer, also losing key man Richarlison.

Relegation still shouldn’t be on the cards, but it’s hard to rule it out.

TIA Predicted Finish: 15th


The View From Everton

Dave Downie (@daviddownie17)

NEWCASTLE-UPON-TYNE, ENGLAND - Tuesday, February 8, 2022: Everton's goalkeeper Jordan Pickford during the FA Premier League match between Newcastle United FC and Everton FC at St. James’ Park. Newcastle United won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was… a reflection of how poorly the club has been run for several years, which almost resulted in relegation.

This season will be… sadly, similar to last season due to a lack of recruitment, given our financial restrictions.

Our key player is… Jordan Pickford. His goal-stopping ability will determine how low we finish.

Is Lampard the current choice as manager? A very difficult question to answer. To say no is an unfair response, as it includes him as part of the current predicament we are in both on and off the pitch.

I’m inclined to say yes because I think literally any manager would seriously struggle to do anything better right now, given the issues on hand right now.

We’ll finish… 17th

Liverpool will finish… champions.

 

Brentford – Second-season syndrome for the Bees?

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Liverpool's Sadio Mané (R) and Brentford's Ivan Toney during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season: 13th, 46 points | Top Scorer: Ivan Toney (14)

Brentford were a breath of fresh air in their first season in the Premier League, finishing 13th and playing some attractive football along the way.

Teams now know how to play them and Christian Eriksen has departed, however, so this could be a greater test of the Bees’ credentials.

TIA Predicted Finish: 14th


The View From Brentford

Billy Grant (@billythebee99)

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 25, 2021: Brentford's Sergi Canós during the FA Premier League match between Brentford FC and Liverpool FC at the Brentford Community Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Last season was… fun. Three distinct thirds.

The first third we burst into the Premier League and took teams on playing at times some great football, beating Arsenal and West Ham and playing a six-goal humdinger against Liverpool.

The second third was hanging on time as injuries to key players killed our early season momentum, while the third was normal service resumed.

Injured players were joined by Christian Eriksen on a short holiday to west London, with a great season topped off by a 4-1 hammering of Chelsea in their own backyard.

This season will be… interesting. We have brought in a few key players such as defender Aaron Hickey and midfielder Keane Lewis-Potter to bolster the side.

Our key player is… Christian Norgaard. Absolutely runs the ship.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Mikkel Damsgaard (L) of Denmark celebrates after scoring their side's first goal during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Semi-final match between England and Denmark at Wembley Stadium on July 07, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Morton - UEFA)

Is Mikkel Damsgaard the perfect Eriksen replacement? Interesting player.

Damsgaard is a great attacking midfielder. With Eriksen in the side, we had a great idea of the type of player we need to make us tick – a very good experienced player, which is very much against the grain of what we do normally.

But Eriksen has shown us what a difference one or two very good experienced players makes to the side, and as long as his injury does not limit the amount of time he plays for us, Damsgaard could be yet another exciting addition.

We’ll finish… 12th. One better than last season.

Liverpool will finish… champions.

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