AT the start of any Premier League season, the promoted teams will often be among the favourites to be relegated at the end of the campaign. However, there remains just one season since the foundation of the competition (and football as we know it) in 1992 where all three promoted teams have gone straight back down, with Barnsley, Bolton Wanderers and Crystal Palace doing so in 1997-98. Based on the start the three such sides have made this season, this is a quiz question that could be getting updated come May.
Burnley, Luton Town and Sheffield United make up three of the current bottom four in the Premier League, with some of the lowest/worst cumulative numbers promoted sides have ever seen after 11 matches. Between them, these sides have just three wins and 14 points, both the lowest totals for promoted sides 11 (or 33 if you prefer) games into a season. It’s also the most losses and most goals conceded at this stage of the season for promoted sides.
Burnley’s only win so far has come at fellow promoted side Luton Town. The Clarets blitzed their way to the Championship title last season, amassing 101 points and losing just three league games. They were fancied to do well with their new style of play under Vincent Kompany, but instead they have become the first team in English top-flight history to lose each of their first six home games in a season. They also netted a league-high 87 goals in the Championship last season, while are currently the Premier Leagues lowest scorers with eight. They also rank 19th in the division for most shots (114), with only Sheffield United having fewer attempts so far (96).
Sheffield United’s only victory came in their last game against Wolves, courtesy of a penalty in the 10th minute of added time. Before that win, they had made the worst start after 10 games for a side in Premier League history, with just one point and a goal difference of -22. In fact, their 29 goals conceded after 10 games was the most by a side in the competition at this stage. The Blades’ struggles have been at both ends of the pitch, with the fewest shots (96), joint-second fewest goals (9), most shots (213) and shots on target faced (83), and the most goals conceded (30).
Like Burnley, Luton’s only victory in the Premier League so far has come away from home, beating Everton 2-1. With this their debut season, they became just the second team after Swindon in 1993-94 to lose each of their first four Premier League games. However, they do play Manchester United next so things might be starting to look up for Rob Edwards’ side…
As previously mentioned with Sheffield United, the problems for all three sides this season are at both ends of the pitch. There are six teams to have conceded 20+ goals in the 11 games so far, with each of the three promoted sides doing so. They all rank in the bottom six for goals scored, Sheffield United and Burnley rank in the bottom three for shots on target faced, while each of the three sides are the bottom three for overall shots on target. Indeed in Luton’s case, their 28 shots on target is only four more than Erling Haaland has managed by himself.
There’s still a long to go of course, but based on Opta’s current predictor model, Luton are 66.8% likely to be relegated, Burnley 79.6% and Sheffield United 81.9%. Might be time to update those quiz books.