New West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke has a lot to prove
The 2011/12 Premier League season had numerous surprises and one of those surprises was the fact that not one of the promoted teams was relegated.
While it is always hard to predict who may be relegated or even win a championship, especially at this current moment in the off-season, there are always certain factors that one can look at to get candidates for either position.
West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and Reading are the three teams that will get relegated from the EPL next season due to various weaknesses with each squad.
At the current moment, each club has a lot to do to if they want to stay in the league and that is why they stand out.
Here's a look at why these three teams will be relegated next season.
West Bromwich Albion
With Roy Hodgson gone, West Bromwich Albion called upon Steve Clarke as a replacement. The Scottish manager certainly has experience in the Premier League, but all of that has been spent as an assistant coach or manager for a variety of clubs.
Hodgson was able to navigate some problems with his squad last season to end up with a mid-table finish but it's hard to see the exact same happening with Clarke in charge.
West Bromwich gained more points in away games last season and that is one area Clarke will have to fix. They have let in 52 goals during the season as well and he will have to take a look at that too.
Clarke will have a lot to do and the pressure is certainly on him with teams below them such as Swansea City, Norwich City and Sunderland, as well as, Wigan Athletic, QPR and Aston Villa all looking to improve.
Who Do you Think Will Get Relegated?
Stoke did end up nine points clear of the relegation zone, but they will be in the fight next season. The three teams below them not in the relegation zone were Wigan, Aston Villa and QPR. Wigan may be close to Stoke again but with Roberto Martinez still in charge, they are in good hands.
Aston Villa and QPR are sure to have better seasons with Paul Lambert now in charge at Villa and Mark Hughes with a full season at QPR, as well as the clubs finances, at his disposal.
A lot of teams seemed more capable of handling Stoke City last season and, with their style of play unlikely to change, that does not bode well for the squad.
Stoke City had seemingly rectified its problem scoring goals in the 2010/11 with 46 goals compared to 34 the year before. Last season they scored 36 goals and let in 53, five more than the 48 they conceded in the two previous seasons.
Reinforcements may be slow in coming with Tony Pulis reportedly being told he needs to sell before he can buy this summer.
Stoke will have to fix its goal output and Tony Pulis will have to find another tactical plan if the team is to survive.
It's interesting to note that the team that won the Championship last year could be the one team that goes back down. Reading only had a one point advantage over second place Southampton and a three point advantage over West Ham and weren't necessarily the strongest team in the league.
The team's new owner may try to rectify problems with money but that isn't always the best solution. The decision this new owner makes will be key as to how Reading progress but there are some similarities to QPR.
They both won the Championship and had great financial backing heading into the season, yet QPR struggled with a arguably a more talented squad. In fact, they probably made too many additions to the squad before the season began.
New additions will be needed but Reading's hierarchy should be careful not to go after players that are out of their reach and fail to get those who are.
The one thing that stands out is the lack of goals that Reading scored in the Championship. While it's hard to classify 69 goals as a low amount, Reading's attackers will be facing better defenses in the Premier League and that could cut their total by a good amount.
Decision-making and goal-scoring will be key for Reading's survival.