Last year we saw a pretty epic relegation battle, the ‘Survival Sunday’ was one of the most exciting days of the season, the league title was secured and there was relatively little to play for at the top of the table, the bottom however was wide open. There were still 2 relegation spots open and 5 teams involved in the scrap to fill them and throughout the afternoon countless permutations occurred until finally the curtain was brought down on Birmingham and Blackpool.
2 of the teams that survived had been promoted the previous season, it gave a sense of fluidity and proved that promoted teams could not just survive but even go on to finish high up the table. There was a sense this year that the promoted teams on paper were perhaps weaker than some of the sides to come up in recent years, but albeit in these early days we currently have 2 of the promoted teams in the top half of the table, and they both have a great chance of survival.
The last couple of years have seen a newly promoted team make a flying start to the season only to come crashing down in the second half, so it would be obviously entirely wrong to count Norwich and QPR out of the battle at the moment, but currently they are in very healthy positions. It is Swansea that have perhaps made the worst start to the season, however they have also had to contend with games against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.
Norwich arguably have the weakest side of the newly promoted teams but victories at home to Sunderland and away at Wigan were crucial and have propelled them up the embryonic table. QPR started the season with a pretty weak squad, but when their most recent take over was completed they have made some excellent signings, they have brought in players who are more than capable of keeping them in the Premier League, and if Neil Warnock would actually play DJ Campbell rather than Jay Bothroyd they may have picked up the home win that they are still seeking.
I personally would go as far to write off the chances of QPR being relegated they have a very solid squad and I think the chances of them going down are slim to none, as for the other 2 I think they will be in the relegation mix come May but I think there could be more teams involved than last year making it a bit of a lottery. Of the current bottom 3, I can only see rock bottom Bolton propelling themselves up the table as the season goes on. There are a lot of average teams in the league this year and that could lead to a highly exciting end to the season.