Top 8 Relegation Candidates in the 2010/2011 English Premier League
With just days to go until the new Premier League season kicks-off, people are making their predictions for which clubs will make the top-four, which big clubs will struggle, and who will end up on top of the league come the end of the season.
With that in mind, I have decided to have a look at the other end of the table and see will be fighting for every point this season.
The three newly promoted teams are always among those who the bookies make favourites to go straight back down—and this season is no different.
So let's start with the three new clubs and their chances for survival.
Last Season: 6th in Championship, promoted via play-offs
Blackpool will become the 44th different club to play in the Premier League when the kick-off their season against Wigan on Saturday.
They will also be most peoples favourites to finish bottom.
Led by charasmatic manager Ian Holloway, this time last year Blackpool were second favourites to get relegated from the Championship. There were a few shocked faces when Blackpool beat Cardiff City and Wembley to seal their return to the top-flight of English football after a 39 year absence.
This is a small club whose entire weekly wage bill is less than Manchester CIty's Yaya Toure. Captain Charlie Adam (pictured) who is a product of Glasgow Rangers' youth system, was their top goalscorer last season and much will rest on his shoulders if Blackpool are to survive.
West Bromwich Albion
Last season: Runners-up in the Championship
After getting relegated in 2008-09, West Brom bounced straight back up by finishing second in last years Championship.
Managed by former Lazio and Chelsea midfielder Roberto Di Matteo, the Baggies play reflected the style of the Italian and their positive play saw them score 89 goals in 46 games.
Di Matteo has bolstered his squad with experienced signings in Nicky Shorey and Steven Reid and in Ishmael Miller he has a powerful forward on his hands. After missing most of the promotion campaign through injury, Miller will be looking to make the most of his opportunity to shine at a higher level.
However, they conceded more than a goal a game last season and while they may play some exciting football, they will let in too many goals to be able to survive.
Last Season: 1st in the Championship
12 years after finishing second in the Premier League for the second season in a row, Newcastle were relegated to the Championship after having four managers during the 08/09 season.
In came Chris Hughton to guide the club back to the Premier League at the first time of asking, finishing 11 points clear of 2nd place West Brom. This was mostly due to Hughton being able to hang on to most of his experienced players.
Names familiar to Premier League fans include Alan Smith, Kevin Nolan, Joey Barton and Steve Harper. Striker Andy Carroll (pictured) is one to watch and will prove a handful for most defenders with his size.
Hughton has made a shrewd bit of business in bringing in Sol Campbell on a free transfer and with the backing of the St James' Park crowd, Newcastle will be a tough side to beat, especially as home.
If they get off to a bad start then they might struggle, but think they've got too much talent to get relegated.
Last season: 15th in the Premier League
Mick McCarthy's Wolves proved all their doubters wrong last term by finishing 15th and securing their second successive season in the top-flight.
Jody Craddock (pictured with Chelsea's Didier Drogba) emerged as a solid defender and also weighed in with five goals. Joint-record signing Kevin Doyle returns for his second season with the club and he will need to improve on his nine goals if Wolves are to stay up.
They have taken advantage of last season's relegated clubs, bringing in Stephen Hunt and Steven Mouyokolo from Hull and former Burnley midfielder Steven Fletcher.
Even with those three Stevens, the second season is often the hardest for clubs and I fear this will be the case for Wolves.
Last Season: 17th in the Premier League
West Ham only secured their place in this years Premier League with two games to go after a 3-2 win over Wigan. They only managed 35 points, which in many past seasons would have seen them relegated.
The biggest off-season move was Giofranco Zola being replaced as manager by Avram Grant. The former Chelsea boss will have a struggle on his hands to keep the hammers up this year.
Tal Ben-Haim should help to sore up the defense a bit, and alongside Matthew Upson could form a solid partnership. But a lot will depend on whether Grant can keep hold of his top players.
With big clubs sniffing around the likes of Scott Parker (pictured) and Carlton Cole, Grant will need to pursuade them that he is the right man to lead West Ham forward.
They have young English talent in Freddie Sears and Mark Noble and I think they'll have just enough to stay up.
Last season: 16th in the Premier League
Still the youngest club to have played in the Premier League having only been formed in 1932, Wigan have become one of the templates for smaller clubs wishing to become top-flight stalwarts.
After getting promoted in 2005, they have stayed in the Premier League and kept this record going with a 16th place finish last season.
The season had it's ups and down, and they took their first three points against a "big four" team when they defeated Chelsea 3-1. But under manager Roberto Martinez they also suffered some huge defeats including a 9-1 loss at Tottenham and then 8-0 thrashing at the hands of Chelsea on the last day os the season.
Defender Titus Bramble has moved to Sunderland and he will be missed. The biggest new signing is Argentinian striker Mauro Boselli who will partner Hugo Rodallega (pictured) upfront. These two look like they have goals in them and they will need to be at their best if Wigan are to stay up.
They will be there or there-abouts all season, but I think they'll survive.
Last season: 14th in the Premier League
Owen Coyle seemingly made the right decision when he left Burnley, who would go on to get relegated, to take the vacant managerial job at Bolton after Gary Megson's sacking last December.
They struggled for goals last time out, with Ivan Klasnic and Matthew Taylor finishing joint-top scorers in the league with eight a-piece. Veteran striker Kevin Davies (pictured) will once again lead the attack and as ever I expect Bolton to be a tough team to beat.
They've added some class in midfield by signing Martin Petrov from Manchester City and Spanish under-19 international Marcos Alonso could surpise many after his move from Real Madrid. The left-back turned down a move to Benfica in favour of the North-West and will be eager to prove himself.
Last season: 12th in the Premier League
Last season was a historic one for Fulham in which they reached the final of the Europa league only to lose in extra-time to Atletico Madrid.
This is a remarkable achievement when you consider that just 13 years ago they were playing in the fourth-tier of English football.
A lot of this success is as a result of Mohammed Al Fayed's investment in the club, but they will surely miss the managerial ability of Roy Hodgson, who left the club to take over at Liverpool.
His replacement Mark Hughes will be out to prove that Manchester City made a mistake when they let him go.
Chris Smalling has left to join Manchester United and he has been replaced by Phileppe Senderos, formerly of Arsenal. Hughes has inherited a talented squad including Brad Hangeland and captain Danny Murphy.
Midfielder Zoltan Gera (pictured) provides the creative spark and Hughes will be keen to ensure that the Hungarian remains at the club.
If Hughes can hang on to his best players then Fulham will be fine and could surpise people, especially without the distraction of Europe this year. However, if he loses one or two key players, either to injury or transfer, then Fulham could well see themselves being dragged into a relegation battle.
Who will it be?
So those are my eight likely candidates for relegation. I think Blackpool, West Brom, West Ham and Wigan will be down there for most of the season. The others are capable of a run at the top-half if they get some form going, but they could also find themselves struggling. Their fans will be hoping that come the end of the season, they won't be the ones crying their way down to the Championship.
The likes of Stoke, Birmingham and Sunderland could also find themselves down there, but for those three I think they'll be pushing on and challenging Everton and Aston Villa for a top seven spot.
Will I be right? Only time will tell.