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As the 2020-21 Premier League season draws close, Norwich City, Watford and Brentford are gearing up to fight for their survival. With most of the attention focused on the Premier League 2021/2022 winner odds, it’s always hard to know what to expect from the promoted sides with every new season.
Of course, for Norwich and Watford, it’s a chance to put right what went wrong in the 2019/20 campaign. Both sides were relegated at the end of that campaign, with neither able to show the quality needed to survive. By contrast, Brentford are tasting the giddy delights of the English top flight for the first time since the 1940s, and their goal will be to make the most of their return to the big time. Let’s have a look at each individual team’s chances.
Whilst Norwich played some beautiful football in their last spell in the Premier League, the reality was that they simply did not have enough quality to survive, particularly in defensive areas. Having stuck with Daniel Farke as the man in charge, it’ll be interesting to see how the German coach approaches this latest attempt at Premier League survival.
They’ve been dealt a blow this summer with the departure of midfielder Emiliano Buendía, but they have re-invested the money made from the sale by bringing in Pierre Lees Meloufrom Nice and Billy Gilmour on loan from Chelsea. Other acquisitions include winger Milot Rashica, centre-back Ben Gibson, left-back Dimitrios Giannoulis and goalkeeper Angus Gunn.
It’s hard to know how Norwich will fare, but their experiences from two years ago should stand them in better stead to deliver a solid attempt at survival. Just as in the 2019/20 campaign, they start their season against Liverpool, and that will be a good litmus test for their survival hopes.
Having spent five successive seasons in the Premier League, Watford’s relegation saw the club’s tendency towards managerial upheaval finally catch up with them. Nonetheless, they dusted themselves down last season under Xisco, and worked their way back into the top flight by winning automatic promotion from the Championship.
It’ll be interesting to see how long Xisco lasts, as the club’s hierarchy do not tolerate poor results, and Watford may be up against it in terms of their survival hopes — if the football betting tips are anything to go by. They’ve made a few decent signings this summer, including left-back Danny Rose from Tottenham on a free transfer, which could prove to be a shrewd bit of business.
After agonisingly losing out in the play-off final at the hands of Fulham in the 2019/20 season, Brentford put things right by winning last season’s Wembley showpiece against Swansea City. Now, they have a maiden Premier League campaign to look forward to, with their brand-new stadium set to welcome a full crowd for the first time.
For Brentford, keeping their squad together has been the main aim, and they have largely done that. It will be interesting to see if striker Ivan Toney can continue his meteoric rise and hit the same goalscoring heights in the Premier League as he did in the Championship. Coach Thomas Frank will be relishing the chance to prove himself at the highest level, so don’t be surprised if Brentford pull up a few trees this season.