Many pundits are forecasting an immediate return to the Championship for promoted Premiership sides Norwich City, Watford and Bournemouth.
All three clubs were in action on the opening day of the new season with only Watford escaping with a point. They took advantage of a sluggish start by Everton to move into an early lead through Miguel Layun. It took a brilliant drive from Ross Barkley in the 76th minute to restore parity but Watford struck again through Odion Ighalo.
A stunning first-day victory for the Hornets was denied by Arouna Kone with just four minutes left on the clock. Watford have made major changes in the summer in the hope of prolonging their stay in the top flight. Quique Sanchez Flores has been installed as coach with ten new players brought in to strengthen the squad.
If Watford could take some encouragement from their first game, there was nothing but frustration for Norwich as they slumped to a 3-1 home defeat against Crystal Palace. The match looked to have gone beyond reach for the home side when Palace moved into a two-goal lead at the start of the second period.
Nathan Redmond produced a stunning strike to give the Canaries hope before a Cameron Jerome overhead kick was controversially ruled out for dangerous play. A late penalty appeal was also denied before the visitors sealed the points through Yohan Cabaye. Norwich boss Alex Neil felt that the disallowed goal was the turning point of the match.
Meanwhile, Bournemouth held their own for long periods of the game against Tim Sherwood?s Aston Villa but went down to Rudy Gestede goal in the 72nd minute. The goal scorer was a £6million signing from Blackburn as Villa look to replace leading scorer Benteke following his move to Liverpool.
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe was far from despondent afterwards, although he acknowledged that life is going to be difficult in the top tier. He has already warned the club?s supporters to get used to losing matches and is under no illusions about the task facing them this season. The Cherries were playing their first ever match in the Premier League and are very much the minnows in the division.
The bookmakers are only offering a little better than even money about each of the three clubs getting relegated this season. Watford are at home to West Brom in their second game while Norwich travel to Sunderland, beaten 4-2 by Leicester on the opening day. Bournemouth travel to big-spending Liverpool in next week?s Monday night game.