After their return to the Premier League, we’ve priced up Sheffield United at 1/2 and 7/4 to finish higher than fellow new boys Luton and Burnley respectively, and 4/1 to finish higher than Europa Conference League winners West Ham.
On their return to the Premier League in 2019, the Blades upset the apple cart, recording memorable wins at Bramall Lane over Arsenal, Tottenham and Chelsea, ultimately finishing ninth in the table with manager Chris Wilder deploying an unfamiliar – to the rest of the league, at least – style with over-lapping centre-backs.
Not thought to have a large budget to work with, it may be that Sheffield United adopt the Norwich approach of staying within their means and going back down if needs be, though they’ll hope to be able to bolster their squad with free transfers and loan signings.
Tommy Doyle and James McAtee, on loan from Manchester City, both impressed hugely last season, though McAtee may have a role to play in Pep Guardiola’s first-team squad next term. Carney Chukwuemeka has also been linked, and if Mauricio Pochettino doesn’t have an immediate plan for the 19-year-old, the England U20 star may spend a season away from Stamford Bridge.
The Blades do have plenty of players who’ve operated at Premier League level previously with the likes of George Baldock, John Egan, Ollie Norwood and others all staying with the club after their relegation, though the talismanic Sander Berge continues to attract interest from top-flight clubs and may be ending his four-year stay with United.
Anel Ahmedhodzic had an excellent first season in South Yorkshire and will be key to Paul Heckingbottom should the Blades stay up.
Sheffield United are second favourites for the drop at 8/13 and their task hasn’t been made any easier by Bournemouth replacing Gary O’Neil with Andoni Iraola.
Though United can take solace in the fact that around half of the Premier League flirted with relegation at some point last season – including eventual Europa Conference League winners West Ham.
Nottingham Forest relied heavily on their home form towards the end of the season to stay up and will likely need to do the same again. Fulham flattered to deceive at times last season and will do very well to repeat their efforts that saw them finish in the top half last season. Everton have massive issues and look set to battle relegation again, while Wolves also seem to have off-field issues that jeopardised the future of manager Julen Lopetegui.