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Coming down...

A look at the three teams who suffered relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2019-20 campaign

14 August 2020

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In our second look at our opponents in 2020-21, we begin with the three teams newly arriving from the Premier League...

We'll begin with the side who finished bottom of the top flight last term - Norwich City.

Rovers were the visitors to Carrow Road on the night that promotion was confirmed for the Canaries at the end of 2018-19, but it's mainly been a year to forget on the pitch for the Norfolk side throughout their return to the Premier League.

It was a baptism of fire for their first game of last term, with Liverpool running out comfortable winners at Anfield, but Daniel Farke's men did earn an impressive home triumph against Manchester City on home turf in 2019-20.

However, further wins were few and far between and relegation was confirmed soon after football's return from lockdown.

Following their return to the Championship, City are expected to have the vultures circling for some of their star talent, with the likes of Emi Buendia, Todd Cantwell, Max Aarons and Ben Godfrey all linked with moves away already this summer.

Their post-lockdown form will have been a concern for Farke, who will hope there will be no hangover going into this upcoming season.

You can expect a warm welcome back to Carrow Road for Elliott Bennett and Bradley Johnson when Rovers make the long trip to Norfolk in 2020-21, with both players helping City to promotion via the play-offs in 2015 under Alex Neil.

Next up is AFC Bournemouth, who were maybe the surprise package for all the wrong reasons in 2019-20.

Having stabilised themselves as a Premier League club for the last five seasons, not many were expecting the Dorset side to be in any danger of relegation.

However, it was a troubling campaign for the Cherries, who struggled for wins and consistency throughout the campaign.

They recorded only 10 victories in all competitions, and despite winning at Everton on the final day, a victory for Aston Villa at West Ham United ensured Bournemouth would drop back into the second tier.

It's already been a summer of change at the Vitality Stadium, with Howe stepping down from his post after eight years at the helm.

His trusted lieutenant across that time, Jason Tindall, has been handed the reigns, signing a three-year deal earlier this week.

Like Norwich, Bournemouth are likely to see more key figures follow Nathan Ake out of the door this summer. 

The Dutch defender joined Manchester City earlier this month, whilst the likes of David Brooks, ex-Rovers man Josh King and England international Callum Wilson are all expected to fetch bids from Premier League clubs.

We finish this preview by taking a look at Watford who, like Bournemouth, spent five years in the top flight prior to relegation being confirmed last month.

A disastrous campaign saw the Hornets change permanent managers a whopping four times in 2019-20, with the club lacking stability on the pitch throughout the season.

Javi Gracia was the first boss to depart in September, with Quique Sanchez Flores returning for a second spell in charge of the Hertfordshire club.

The Spaniard lasted just 12 games before Nigel Pearson was drafted in in an attempt to steady the ship and keep the team in the top flight.

There was a point where it looked like the Hornets would remain a Premier League club, particularly after wins against Norwich City and Newcastle United, but defeat to West Ham United saw Pearson depart to allow Hayden Mullins to be installed as caretaker chief.

Mullins took charge of the final two encounters against Manchester City and Arsenal, but Watford couldn't garner anything from either game and dropped through the trapdoor.

With still no permanent boss appointed, it could be a big next few weeks for the Hornets.

To read our preview for the teams coming up from League One, please click here.

Check back early next week as we take a look at the three city clubs we'll be facing down in the south-west - Swansea City, Bristol City and Cardiff City.


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