Friday, 30 September 2011

New boys can spring a surprise

You would have got decent odds on all three newly-promoted teams staying up in the Premier League this season, but early indications are that may yet happen.

Having runaway with the Championship last season, much was expected of QPR this term but it couldn't have started much worse. A 4-0 home defeat to Bolton on the opening day seemed to indicate that the R's could expect a relegation tussle.

But the takeover deal, which saw Tony Fernandes take charge at Loftus Road, has made a massive impact and the summer transfer business looks to have move the club to the next level. Those looking to place football bets won't see them as relegation favourites.

Neil Warnock has persuaded established Premier League stars to join the QPR revolution, with Joey Barton, Shaun Wright-Phillips and DJ Campbell already making a big impact.

Even though there are questions to asked about their defence, having already secured away wins at the likes of Everton and Wolves, Rangers are likely to have their sights set on a mid-table finish come may.

Swansea impressed many with their style of football last season and Brendan Rodgers has stuck with the same pass-and-move philosophy in the top flight.

The most impressive factor in the Swans useful start to the season has been their solid defensive form, which has seen the Welsh side already keep clean sheets against the likes of West Brom, Sunderland and Wigan. Fans of Betfair will be keen to see how they get on.

Goals have been harder to come by and that may yet be their downfall, but when teams have attacking pace as Swansea have, they will always pose a threat.

Of the three new boys, Norwich were tipped to be the most likely to return to the Championship after just a season, but they have started the best of the trio.

Paul Lambert took a different route to QPR, choosing to bring in Championship players that had something to prove at the top level – the likes of Bradley Johnson, and Steve Morrison – along with players who hadn't made the break through at other clubs.

Two wins and two draws from their opening six games is a solid start and many teams will struggle at a compact Carrow Road this season, but they will need to make sure they win the games against the teams in and around them in the table.

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