Premier League: Early contenders for relegation

Samuel Greco Schwartz Roar Rookie

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    With some sides not making the best of starts to the 2017-18 Premier League campaign, we look at where these teams need to improve as we prepare for the return of Premier League football following the dreaded international break.

    Brighton and Hove Albion
    Lack of firepower upfront

    Along with Crystal Palace, Brighton and Hove Albion are the only team which are yet to score in the Premier League season. The Seagulls have collected just the one point from their first three matches and sit just above the relegation places in the first international break.

    Brighton manager, Chris Hughton is relying on Sam Baldock, Tomer Hemed and Glenn Murray to provide the goals for his side. However, all three of these strikers have limited Premier League experience and lack the consistency required to play top flight football week in, week out.

    After failing to score in their first three outings, Chris Hughton must find a solution to their problems upfront to ensure that they remain a competitive outfit this campaign. The Seagulls have the chance to find their feet in the top flight as they face West Bromwich Albion next at the Amex Stadium before their south coast derby against rivals, Bournemouth.

    Bournemouth
    Nothing to show from their first three matches

    Bournemouth’s position on the table doesn’t necessarily reflect their performances. Although they’ve lost all three of their fixtures this campaign, the Cherries have shown signs of promise in all three encounters.

    Eddie Howe’s side put in an admirable display against Premier League big hitters, Manchester City and will feel that they deserved at least one point from the affair at The Vitality. They put on a resilient performance and kept Pep Guardiola’s side quiet for most of the match. Raheem Sterling’s 97th-minute winner would have come as a bitter blow for Eddie Howe and his men as they looked to collect their first points of the season.

    Following the international break, they’ll visit an Arsenal side low on confidence who sit just above them on the table. Eddie Howe’s team have shown they’re more than capable against the so called bigger teams and he’ll look to take all three points from their encounter at The Emirates.

    Crystal Palace
    Is Frank De Boer the right man for the job?

    Brought in over the summer, the Dutchman was expected to provide stability to a Crystal Palace side which has struggled of recent. De Boer was brought in by owner, Steve Parish with the ultimate goal of bringing a more attractive style of football to Selhurst Park.

    However, it’s fair to say that De Boer’s total football approach is proving to be a disaster. In their first match of the campaign, the Eagles were comfortably beaten 3-0 by promoted side, Huddersfield. They showed signs of improvement in their following match against Liverpool however they succumbed to a 2-0 defeat in their most recent outing against Swansea.

    Along with West Ham boss, Slaven Bilic, Frank De Boer is hanging onto his job. The deadline day signing of fan favourite, Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool will come as welcome relief as De Boer hopes to kickstart his side’s campaign.

    However, if the Crystal Palace boss doesn’t win his next game against Burnley, he could be the first Premier League manager to face the sack this season.

    West Ham United
    Does Slaven Bilic have the support of his employers?

    It seems that Slaven Bilic’s days as Hammers boss may be numbered. The Croatian has been criticised for his transfer activity on deadline day by co-owner, David Sullivan. Although, West Ham were able to secure the signatures of Manchester City’s Joe Hart and Bayer Leverkusen’s, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez early in the transfer window.

    West Ham manager Slaven Bilic

    (Source: Wiki Commons, Author: joshjdss)

    Their performances so far, this campaign reflect their league position as the east London outfit sit bottom of the Premier League. The Hammers have been appalling in all three of their matches, particularly their latest encounter with Newcastle. Bilic’s men went down 3-0 to a side which many predict to be relegated this campaign.

    The Hammers will look for a positive result in their first home match of the campaign as they take on high flying Huddersfield at the London Stadium. Unlike his Palace counterpart, Bilic may have more time to turn results around, however if he fails to collect points from their next encounter, he can expect the full wrath from the owners and fans alike.