In the Relegation battle, but will survive:
17. Reading: Reading was the class of the Championship last season and they have continued to improve the club over the summer. I look forward to watching this team. Of the newly promoted sides, Reading appears to be the best positioned to stay up.
16. Queen’s Park Rangers: What a dramatic ending to last season! Mark Hughes’ side played heroically against Manchester City on the last day. It appeared that they would be the spoilers for the title race, only to end up escaping relegation by a Bolton loss. The loss of Joey Barton for an extended period of time can only help this club. Perhaps they will be able to move him on to another side who wants players with “Premier League experience.” The signings of Park-Ji Sung, Ryan Nelson, Andy Johnson, and Robert Green appear to be good moves that will solidify the club’s hopes of staying up.
15. West Bromwich Albion: Roy Hodgson managed this side well with limited funds and turned them into a solid mid-table team. He will be a hard act to follow.
14. Wigan Athletic: Once again, bigger clubs were unsuccessful in poaching Roberto Martinez, which bodes well for the Latics. I don’t know how they do it . . . it defies logic . . . but he keeps them up every year against overwhelming odds after dismal starts. They will play dismally in August and dazzlingly in March. You can count on it!