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Double Trouble: Ones to Watch

By | 28th September 2009

phil brown dejectedGiven the title of this article, I could be about to tell you about how the strike duo of Darren Bent and Kenwyne Jones will be leading Sunderland to new heights in the Premier League this season, but we will save that for a later date. I’d rather make a bold statement and talk about the bottom of the table at the moment.

I know it’s really early, but yes, I want to talk about the relegation battle. And as I see it, there are already two teams prepared for the drop. Now don’t be all surprised when I announce my two shoe-ins because there is nothing bold about these picks currently. The only bold part of my statement is that I’m making it with 31 games left to play for each of these sides. So without further adieu…

Hull City

It’s tough for me to be saying this, but I do see Hull making the drop this year. I really grew attached to them throughout the course of last season as they took the Premier League by storm – at least for the first half of the season. But, by the end of last season, they had tapered off drastically and seemed destined for relegation even after being in first for part of last season.

The Tigers were an exciting bunch to watch during the first half of last season, but as it came time to play each of their foes a second time, the surprise of Hull had worn off and teams knew how to deal with them. The start to this season has been even worse to them. With a whopping four points through seven matches Hull find themselves right where they belong – 19th place. Add that to the fact that they have already given up 19 goals while only scoring 6, and you’ve got yourself a big problem.

Hull’s newness and excitement factors have clearly worn off, and it now only seems a matter of time before they will be competing against lower level competition. Sorry Hull, but maybe if you start playing more exciting football like we were so used to seeing at the beginning of last season I’ll start being a bandwagon fan again. Until then, though, the relegation battle is yours to lose.

Portsmouth

I’m sure I’m going to be ridiculed for taking the easy way out on this one, but I’d love to talk to somebody who honestly believes at this moment that Pompey are going to stay in the Premiership next season. Myself and the rest of the empty seats at Fratton Park this past weekend need some convincing. Paul Hart and his squad are in need of a big hug.

It is widely accepted that forty points is the magic number to avoid relegation in the Premier League each season. Most teams cut into that number by the third match at the latest. Portsmouth? Well let’s just say that they have closed out August and September in style. Zero points and counting! They do have hope, though. If they are going to get any points it will be over their next six matches. Five out of the six are managable enough to get some points out of them (at Wolves, Tottenham, at Hull, Wigan, at Blackburn, and at Stoke). This is where they could build momentum heading into the meat of the season, but I don’t see that happening.

Portsmouth trailed off at the end of last season, and almost got themselves relegated. Cathal Breathnach of Football Corner even predicted they would get relegated in the middle of last season. At the time we thought he was nuts, but then Portsmouth went into a tailspin that nearly found themselves facing the likes of Cardiff and Preston on a week-to-week basis. This time around, I’m going to make the prediction even earlier than our dear friend Cathal. My prediction is certainly not as bold as his, but it’s a prediction I would fancy a punt on.

I’m not trying to break so many hearts so early into the season, but the truth hurts. I hope all of you aren’t Pepsi drinkers, because Coca-Cola will be sponsoring your league next season.

Now’s your chance to try and convince Taylor otherwise, so let’s hear what you have to say!



Reader Comments

The below views are those of our readers and do not reflect the opinions of Premiership Talk or its employees.
  1. Thomas O'Loughl says:

    Like last season and as you acknowledge it looks like there will be a lot of teams in the relegation struggle this season, credit to the promoted teams as they have shown they are capable of matching premier league opposition.

  2. Taylor Fisher says:

    Thanks Thomas! I figured I would stick w/ the obvious choices now, and not pick a third team at the moment. Too many teams are tied on points at the bottom, so I decided to play it somewhat safe this week.

  3. Thomas O'Loughl says:

    Good article Taylor, two clubs in real crisis. Hull got lucky last season, very similiar to Bolton in 01/02, great start but very lucky to avoid relegation. This season they won't be so fortunate unless a miracle happens. Portstmouth are going nowhere either but they are only 6 or 7 points behind safety so they are not down yet.

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