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Predicting the Fates of the Premier League's Newest Clubs

29/05/2014 17:09 BST | Updated 29/07/2014 10:59 BST

After QPR sealed their return to the top-flight by narrowly beating Derby in the Championship play-off final, the 20 teams of the Barclays Premier League were confirmed for next season.

The three teams coming up are already relegation candidates, but it's highly unlikely that all three will go down, so let's get down to predicting their collective fates for Premier League 2014/15.

3. Leicester City

Leicester finished top of the Championship and by all accounts had run away with the league by the end of the season. It was an impressive showing by Nigel Pearson's side and fans will be hoping that they can make the step up to the Premier League as easily as they opened up a nine point gap in the Championship.

There is not an awful lot of Premier League experience to be seen, however and a few new faces might have to be brought in to supplement what is already there.

The Foxes managed 83 goals last term, but one surely has doubts about whether top goalscorer David Nugent and star-performer Danny Drinkwater can replicate their sparkling form in the Premier League. The likes of Anthony Knockaert may have to chip in with as many goals as possible if they are to beat the drop.

The Foxes' Thai owners have made noises about spending hugely and wanting to get into the top five of the league. As such, the club has quickly been linked with Fraizer Campbell and Gareth Barry while they have already signed Matthew Upson from Brighton and Marc Albrighton from Aston Villa. Their shopping has started early and they are doing business effectively which is always good news for a side coming into the top tier.

Nonetheless, unless more big-name signings are made, then there will be a lack of top-flight quality on the team-sheet come August. In the Championship, however, Leicester were a side that were greater than the sum of their parts and Pearson will be looking to create the same fantastic team-spirit next season against some of Europe's biggest sides.

2. Burnley

Boss Sean Dyche has already stated that it will be a busy summer for the club in the transfer window, but surely his main priority will be keeping hold of Sam Vokes and Danny Ings. Ings scored 21 in the league while Vokes managed 20 and their deadly partnership might just be what is needed to keep their side in the Premier League and to progress further.

Despite having two of the most prolific strikers in the league last term, Burnley actually only managed 72 goals over the course of the league season. This isn't an awful lot for a side that boasts two of the best strikers in the league and you would expect them to average closer to two goals per game given their forward line. Other players will need to start finding the net next season if they are to stay up, especially if their two regular goalscorers struggle to make an impact against some of the Premier League's meaner defenders.

At the other end of the spectrum, however, Burnley did boast the best league defence of the 2013/14 Championship season and if they do manage to survive their first season back in the Premier League, then it will most likely be based on a solid defence. Reinforcements will probably be added, but Sean Dyche has proved his ability to build a solid side and this will be instrumental if the Clarets are to stay up next season.

1. Queens Park Rangers

Harry Redknapp's group of gnarled, old and mostly overpaid veterans have by far the most Premier League experience of the three promoted sides and should have won the Championship by a significant margin. In reality though, it is not difficult to make a compelling case to suggest that they do not even deserve to be in the Premier League next season. They were dominated for large parts of the Championship play-off final by a young, vibrant, attacking and ultimately more exciting Derby side.

There is more than one way to win a game of football though and Redknapp's side arguably deserve more credit than they are receiving for their dogged display of defending after Gary O'Neil was sent off for preventing what probably would have been a Derby winner.

The club's wildly vast, yet misspent riches are well documented and they may spend heavily during the summer once more to try and stave off potentially life-threatening relegation. One would hope, however, that owner Tony Fernandes has learned from the past and will be more cautious with his money this time around. Veteran players looking for one last pay day can only get you so far and they need to compliment the goal-scoring prowess of Charlie Austin with some other vibrant players.

Redknapp has said that he has learned from his past transfer mistakes and will look to sign hungry players who have the will and desire to keep the club up. Despite this, however, there are already reports of the R's looking at Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand. Frankly, with the financial trouble already surrounding the club, if they pay these two for even one season then neither Redknapp nor Fernandes have learned anything.

The ridiculous transfer policy of recent years makes it difficult to predict where they will be come next year, but even the slightest bit of tactical nous, fiscal prudence and general common sense should be enough for a club with Tony Fernandes' riches backing them to stay up.

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