What Do Promoted PL Teams Need Most to Survive?

    An ever-more-competitive European Premier League can make life difficult for newly promoted teams, yet there are ways for them to survive and even flourish.

    Undoubtedly, newly promoted teams will experience some setbacks during their initial season back in the top flight. But how these sides respond to such setbacks will ultimately determine their success or failure.


    Not scoring goals in the Premier League can be as difficult as keeping them out, with 40 promoted clubs losing their Premiership status after just one season since 1995/96 when its points system was introduced.

    Average promoted teams typically concede around 58 goals annually, with those that remain successful having kept this total under 50 goals per season. Therefore, while an impressive attacking performance might win fans’ approval, Premier League survival ultimately rests with its defence.

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    Experience is often touted as being crucial to Premier League survival, yet its influence is far from decisive. Teams averaging 25 years or older on average in their starting XI fare slightly worse than more experienced opponents – perhaps because experienced players are better settled with dealing with its pressures or have developed defensive habits tailored towards its tempo and physicality.


    Defense is of greater significance in the Premier League than attack; conceding fewer goals makes avoiding relegation easier than scoring them.

    Newcomers might be tempted to switch up their style in order to produce more engaging football, but this may actually prove counterproductive. Adherence to their style that got them promoted may be best practice.

    At times it can seem inevitable for newly promoted sides to experience some heavy defeats during their initial season back in the Premier League, particularly against some of England’s elite clubs. Yet Norwich City proved that turning defeats around is possible as they demonstrated two seasons ago.

    Paul Heckingbottom’s side were in deep relegation danger after an inauspicious start, yet they managed to eke out survival thanks to an advantageous fixture list. Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest may not be so fortunate but should take note from Paul’s experiences to ensure they give themselves every chance of staying up.

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    Defense may win championships in America, but in England often it’s potency that ensures success. Over the last 30 Premier League seasons only one promoted team with an offensive record that made up one of the top ten was ever relegated – Ian Holloway’s Blackpool side from 2010-11 was an exception. Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest may not have Sheikh Mansour or Newcastle’s Saudi Arabia PIF to spend on new players this summer but will have enough cash available to them for purchasing new signings this summer.

    As long as they can make their respective home grounds a fortress, all three teams stand a good chance of avoiding the drop zone by May. Teams who averaged 6.7 home wins in their debut Premier League season have survived in the past; even Hull managed it with only three home wins – no mean feat! But what other lessons can they draw from past promoted sides’ successes (and failures)?

    Team spirit

    Team spirit is an essential factor for team’s success, helping teams overcome difficulties and remain focused on their goal. Additionally, it creates a sense of unity among teammates that encourages them to work towards improving the company together as one unit. Finally, team spirit builds strong bonds among teammates while creating an enjoyable working atmosphere where all can have fun while contributing towards reaching its purpose.

    Promoted sides often experience some crushing losses upon their return to the Premier League, where some of the world’s wealthiest clubs boast decades-long advantages over newcomers like Crystal Palace. But even such difficult early matches can be overcome, as was shown by Palace last season.

    Since 1995, over half of all newly promoted teams have survived their inaugural Premier League season, and those scoring eight or more points in their initial five fixtures tend to do better than others.

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