Newly promoted teams are expected to be tussling to dodge a relegation spot in their first season.

The wave of cash they receive for promotion has changed this slightly, though, with teams able to attract players previously unattainable for a side just a few months removed from the Championship.

Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham were the three best teams in the second tier last season. Despite very different approaches to recruitment, they will be compared this year, it is always mentioned when they face each other, and their success will be relative to one another.

Each team has the opportunity to make others look bad with a great season or look good if they replicate Derby’s 2007/08 campaign.

The Premier League is hard to predict as it is. Promoted teams, without last season’s record to go on, are even tougher. This is what makes the ‘best promoted team’ betting market so fascinating.

Let’s take a quick look at the credentials for each team…

 

Cardiff City

Neil Warnock’s side are the underdogs in this one at 9/1. Hardly surprising, really, given their summer dealings compared to Wolves and Fulham and how they got here.

Cardiff are a functional unit, they overachieved last season. Finishing above their fellow promoted teams would be a remarkable achievement.

As with most bottom-half teams, Cardiff’s season will swing on their home form. They won 16 of 23 at home last season, conceding just 16 along the way.

The defence has to be rock solid for Warnock’s team to stand a chance at survival, let alone outperforming Wolves and Fulham. A lot depends on how new signing Josh Murphy performs.

Cardiff are the favourites to go down. Their 9/1 price is a little short if anything. Even guiding this squad to safety would be a surprise, finishing above their fellow promoted sides is certainly a step too far.

 

Wolverhampton Wanderers

It’s no surprise Wolves are favourites at 2/5 having run away with the Championship last term. A helping hand from Jorge Mendes has seen the Midlands club completely revamp their playing staff over the last 18 months.

This summer has been another wild one at Molineux. Raul Jimenez, Rui Patricio, Jonny Castro and Joao Moutinho have all arrived, while Barry Douglas was surprisingly sold to Leeds.

On paper, Wolves have a squad capable of a top half finish. We’ve seen this before, though. Translating all that quality into a comfortable season in the Premier League is not simple.

The uncertainty that comes with promotion means Wolves aren’t great value here. There’s a chance they cruise straight into upper-mid-table, but there’s still that risk things go wrong and Molineux is home to another Premier League relegation scrap.

 

Fulham

Fulham are going to be fun this season. The combination of talented youth and several big-name summer signings, including Andre Schurrle and Jean Seri, will make the west London club a good team to watch, even if results don’t match the talent at Slavisa Jokanovic’s disposal.

Fulham will score plenty of goals this season. Teams at the bottom are often expected to hold tight and try to scrape a win (Tony Pulis style) but clubs that have really struggled in recent seasons have been the ones short of final third quality.

Jokanovic’s side might lose heavily on occasion but have the firepower to win matches.

At 5/2 to finish above Wolves and Cardiff, Fulham are the best pick in this market. They have the quality to outplay fellow non-top-six teams, and have added to their squad intelligently, bringing in players that fit into the way they played last season.

 

*Odds subject to change - correct at time of writing*

About the Author
By
Sam Cox

Sam is a freelance sports writer, specializing in football, cricket and Formula One.

He follows most sports, but particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – namely baseball, basketball and American football. Watching, writing and talking about sport takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or settling down for Super Sunday and Redzone.