|Barclays Premier League Trophy|
The step up is no easy feat and they must adapt both physically and tactically if they are to survive. The three new teams aiming to battle through the season are Reading, Southampton and West Ham United. Reading and West Ham have already experienced the taste of the Premier League before being defeated but they are back with vengeance, aiming to once again take their place among Britain’s finest teams and the world’s finest players. Southampton are newcomers and will experience the Premier League for the first time. In this article, I evaluate the team’s chances and predict their finishing position.
|Reading crowned Championship winners 2011-2012|
(image: Daily Mail)
|Rickie Lambert, Southampton Striker|
|Mark Noble and Kevin Nolan|
West Ham United have already experienced the Premier League until their relegation in 2011 to the Championship under the management of Avram Grant. During the Championship season, they led for a period of time during the season but due to too many draws and too many losses at home they slipped out of the title race. They drew Cardiff City in the playoff semi-final as Blackpool drew Birmingham. West Ham progressed to the final after beating Cardiff 5-0 on overall aggregate. They then faced Blackpool at Wembley and after the scores were settled at 1-1. Ricardo Vaz Te made himself a hero by scoring the winner in the 87th minute. During the summer, West Ham made a number of practical and useful signings like James Collins and deadline day signing of Andy Carroll who of course has much to prove but was promising in his first game. If West Ham can maintain defensive qualities and manage to win away from home as well as at home then I believe they will finish 12th.