Is he right?
On the first Match of the Day of the season Alan Shearer stated that there were 7 safe teams in the Premier League and the other 13 will be in a relegation battle. Is he right? Are there really 13 teams bad enough to drop down to the Championship?
Well let’s start with the 7 teams that will be safe. Manchester City and Chelsea are set as favourites for the league with Arsenal and Liverpool looking most likely to get third and fourth. Manchester United have started poorly but will be pushing for a Champions League spot by the end of the season along with Everton and Spurs. These teams all have world class players and strength in depth to do what they have done in previous seasons.
That leaves the other 13 to fight it out for 8th to 20th spot but surely there are some teams that have the capabilities to not have to worry about relegation?
There are teams that have cemented their place in the Premier League and have built good enough squads to get enough wins under their belt to get into the top ten. In my opinion the teams that will get 8th, 9th and 10th will be Newcastle, West Ham and Stoke. All have experienced managers who know how to change their team and tactics to get results.
Three other teams may struggle for form throughout the season but should be strong enough to stay away from the relegation zone. These are Villa, Sunderland and Southampton. If Liverpool hadn’t taken the Saints best players they would be pushing Everton and Spurs close for 7th, they still have some good players and in Ronald Koeman, a manager that will do well in England.
That leaves just seven teams that will be fighting all season long to stay out of the bottom three. Hull had a good season last year but teams will start to figure them out, their saving grace may be being eliminated early from Europe, which could have put a lot of pressure on a small squad. Since Swansea have been in the Premier League they have played attractive football, retaining possession well. Against top teams they may struggle but their style of play will help them in the long run. QPR probably have one of the biggest squads in the league, that’s how Harry Redknapp likes it. If he can keep that squad happy and keep his job, QPR may stay up. The last four teams, West Brom, Leicester, Palace and Burnley are the weakest teams in the league due to their small squads. Leicester and Burnley don’t have enough Premier League experience to be competitive. Every season West Brom find themselves in a relegation battle and Palace are in turmoil at the moment.
By March most teams will either feel that they are safe from relegation but like last season there will be 7 or 8 teams still fighting for safety.
So is Alan Shearer right? I can see where he is coming from as there are a lot of weak teams in the Premier League and there are only seven teams secured of where they will most likely finish. However, if you look deeper into what each team has to offer with squad depth, experience in the Premier League or what manager a team has it easy to say that it won’t be 13 teams in a relegation scrap, more like 7 or 8.
I am sure not every fan will agree with me but below is how I think the table will look at the end of the season. If you have a different opinion let me know on twitter @colin_render
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- Tottenham Hotspurs
- Newcastle United
- West Ham
- Aston Villa
- Crystal Palace
- West Brom