With the first game of the Premier League season kicking off yesterday, there are many questions about the season to come. These are four Premier League Underdogs who may shock you.
Premier League Underdogs
Despite finishing eighth in the table last season, it was a disappointing campaign for Everton. Dumped out of Europe in the group stages and struggling to play decent football, the Everton faithful weren’t happy. Sam Allardyce was let go at the end of the season and has been replaced by former Watford coach Marco Silva.
As well as a manager change, there has also been significant transfer business conducted by the blues. The exciting Richarlison was signed from Watford for big money, whilst Yerry Mina, Lucas Digne and Andre Gomes have also joined the squad. These signings could be the providers of the class and verve which would propel the toffees into the European qualification spots whilst also potentially challenging ‘the big six’.
Whilst most of the plaudits for transfer business has been going to their red neighbours, Everton fans shouldn’t be worried. They have conducted some impressive business themselves. With a new hungry manager and a bolstered squad, European qualification looks to be an achievable goal.
After another poor season for the Hammers, change was needed. Change happened. Experienced manager Manuel Pellegrini has taken the reigns.
With a Premier League medal on his CV already, the new West Ham manager clearly has the tactical know-how to take West Ham to the next level. In order to do this, however, he has made some very impressive signings, pairing premier League experience with exciting young talent.
Pellegrini has brought in Jack Wilshere and Lukas Fabianski, who both have seasons of experience in the top division, as well as exciting names such as Andriy Yarmolenko and Felipe Anderson. The squad now has the talent required to push for European qualification and finish comfortably in the top half this season. With the London Stadium starting to feel like home, this season could be the start of something big for the Hammers.
Fulham were promoted through the play-offs last season beating Derby and Aston Villa on their way up. The West London outfit will be looking to shake the tag ‘yo-yo club’ which has been associated with them due to their frequent movement up and down the divisions.
In order to buck this trend, they have spent over £100 million. Again, the signings have been a mix of foreign talent and proven Premier League players. Jean Michael Seri and Andre Schurrle are the ‘stars’ whilst Alfie Mawson and Timothy Fosu-Mensah are the Premier League-experienced players.
Fulham now have a formidable squad with the likes of Ryan Sessegnon and Tom Cairney being retained. The club will be looking to avoid relegation at least. A comfortable mid-table finish looks like an achievable ambition with perhaps a push into the top half of the table.
The winners of the Championship last season, Wolves will be looking to showcase their talent and exciting football in England’s top tier. To do this they have invested in some highly rated talent. Euro 2016 winners Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho have both joined the West Midlands outfit, as well as Middlesbrough winger Adama Traore.
Moutinho and Patricio both have bags of experience and talent. Traore has outstanding take-on stats and will terrorise full-backs in the Premier League next season. Wolves already have a quality squad as well, their most noticeable talent it Ruben Neves. The Portuguese midfielder scored some spectacular goals for Wolves last season. He seems to have quality worthy of a Champions League player. Keeping him was a major success for Wolves and now they can kick on.
Much like Fulham, Wolves should easily avoid the drop and could finish in the top half with the talent they have.