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Just How Bad Are Burnley, Luton And Sheffield United?




Seven games into the Premier League season, the three promoted sides are all, unsurprisingly, struggling to adjust to life in their new division.


Tuesday night was host to an extremely important game between two of the sides, Luton and Burnley, in which Burnley ran out 2-1 winners, grabbing their first win of the season. It was only the second win the promoted clubs have between them.


Just how bad have the three promoted sides been then, and how well-equipped are they to try and survive relegation come the end of the season?



Can Luton do the unexpected?

It is no surprise that Luton are favourites to go straight back down this season. They were one of the smaller teams in The Championship last season, with one of the smallest budgets in the division, and the same goes now they are in the Premier League.


Nobody expected them to be here, yet they are. It will be extremely difficult for them, and they have already tasted defeat in 5 or their first 7 games this season.


They lost heavily to Brighton on the opening day of the season, and at times, some of the defending on display has been extremely poor.


But can they do the unthinkable, and shock the footballing world, by staying in the Premier League?


In terms of their players on paper, no, they should go straight back down. With a vastly inferior budget to the rest of the Premier League, Luton had to rely on signing players from the lower leagues, as opposed to the big-money signings Burnley and Sheffield United made.


But their spending has been smart. They have brought in players who, even if they do go down, will help them be much more competitive in The Championship next season, and help guide them back to the Premier League.


This season, it gives them a chance to get some experience at the highest level. All it takes is a few players to perform well throughout the course of the season and they have a chance.


Their manager, Rob Edwards, is fairly new to management, but has already had a successful few seasons. In the 21-22 season, Edwards managed to get Forest Green Rovers promoted from League Two, before moving on to manage Watford.


His time at Watford was less successful, and after 3 wins in 10, Edwards faced the sack. Luton then took a chance on him, and he guided them to a third-place finish and subsequently won The Championship playoff final against Coventry.


He is an up-and-coming talent in the management industry. His attacking style of play is easy on the eye, and it makes them a pleasure to watch at times.


Even throughout their seven games so far, it is clear to see that they are growing into life in the Premier League, and they are starting to be more and more confident.


Their first four games were all against teams who finished in the top 10 last season, and so their start could be deemed fairly harsh. They then managed a 1-1 draw at home against Wolves, before beating Everton at Goodison Park.



Even during their loss against West Ham, it was clear to see how much they had improved from their opening game. They were tighter at the back, closing down more often, and not allowing opposition attackers to run at them.


The January transfer window will be huge for them, as it will for any club wanting to survive relegation, but Luton have areas they can improve in.


Goals are an issue for Luton. Carlton Morris has three so far this season, but two of those have come from the penalty spot. If they could find someone to come in and score ten goals, from open play, that could change their season.


So, do Luton have a chance of staying up? At the start of the season, there seemed little to no chance of that happening, but now, they are looking more and more confident, and there is every chance they could achieve this.


They have already won away from home, something that Nottingham Forest struggled to do last season, and they look more than capable of beating the teams that should be around them all season.


It will be a long and difficult season for Luton, but if they keep believing, and if Rob Edwards keeps his players' heads up, they could at least make it a very entertaining relegation fight.



Can Kompany keep his Clarets clear of relegation?

Burnley were almost expected to return to the Premier League last season. Despite them losing a number of key players when they were relegated, they signed well, and performed brilliantly throughout the season, to finish top of The Championship.


Kompany has done a brilliant job since joining them, and there is no doubt that players are finding a move to Burnley a good option because he is in charge.


Manuel Benson and Anass Zaroury were standout performers last season, and Kompany will be hoping for more of the same this season.


It was not just last season that Burnley invested in their squad, as Kompany and the Burnley board have invested heavily into the squad again this season.


Jordan Beyer, James Trafford, Aaron Ramsey, Sander Berge and Zeki Amdouni have all made big money moves to The Clarets. It is not just the big-money signings who will make an impact for them this season.


Luca Koleosho signed from Espanyol for a rumoured £2.6 million, and, despite only grabbing himself one assist in seven games, has impressed Burnley fans with his defensive and attacking abilities.


Having Vincent Kompany in charge is doing Burnley wonders at the moment. Despite not achieving much with Anderlecht, he joined Burnley following their relegation to The Championship, and instantly impressed fans and neutrals with his attacking style of play.




This attacking philosophy meant goals came from all over the pitch. In The Championship, loanee Nathan Tella finished as their top scorer with 17 goals, as Manuel Benson and Jay Rodriguez both finished in double figures.


Even defenders Connor Roberts and loanee Ian Maatsen grabbed themselves 4 goals each. Lyle Foster had a relatively quiet season for Burnley, but he has certainly hit the ground running in the Premier League.


He already has 3 goals to his name, and has missed some recent matches after his sending off in Burnley’s draw against Nottingham Forest.


Whilst Luton need a striker to score goals from open play, Burnley have that in Lyle Foster. His hold-up play allows the wide players to come into the game, whilst also possessing the ability to beat his man. He will be vital for them this season.


Like Luton, Burnley had an extremely difficult start to the season, In their first 3 games, they played Man City, Spurs and Aston Villa, all of whom finished in the top 7 last season.


They earned a hard-fought draw away to Nottingham Forest before having to play Man United and Newcastle, two games in which they also tasted defeat.


It was seventh time lucky for Burnley though, as their rearranged fixture against Luton gave them their first win of the season. It was a fairly even game, but Lyle Foster gave the visitors the lead in first-half stoppage time.


Burnley were pegged back late on, as with 6 minutes to go, Adebayo equalised for Luton. But Burnley showed why they were so good last season, as a minute later, Jacob Bruun Larsen hit an absolute stunner to give Burnley their first Premier League win of the season.


It was a performance expected by Kompany’s men. It was tight and cagey at times, but their quality shone through in the end, and even when they had a slight setback, Kompany rallied his side to pull through.


Will Kompany manage to keep the Clarets in the Premier League? They are growing more and more confident each game, and it should only be a matter of time before things click and performances improve.


They have some brilliant players in their squad, capable of doing damage to any team in the league. They have proved they can score goals, like they did against Spurs, and displayed their defensive side of the game against United.


Burnley will come good in the end. If they are still struggling come January, they have the finances to back themselves and bring in the players they need to make the difference.


It might not be completely comfortable for them throughout the course of the season, but out of the three promoted sides, Burnley are best equipped for Premier League survival.



Will Heckingbottom face the sack, or will he turn things around for Sheffield United?

Sheffield United were slightly fortuitous to get automatic promotion from The Championship last season. Their final few months of the season saw their standards slip dramatically, almost letting Middlesbrough or Luton take their spot.


In the end, they pulled through, and finished 11 points clear of Luton in 3rd, and enjoyed their promotion back to the Premier League.


Sheffield United’s strikers were on fire in The Championship, with Oli McBurnie and Iliman Ndiaye both scoring 15 goals throughout the course of the season. Man City loanee James McAtee also impressed, grabbing 9 goals for himself.


New signing Anel Ahmedhodzic impressed both in defence and attack, as the centre-back got himself seven goals, whilst improving Sheffield United’s defence massively.


There was an abundance of experience within their ranks also, through the likes of Billy Sharp, Ciaran Clark, Oliver Norwood and John Egan. The balance between experience and youth was just right.


Coming into the Premier League, Sheffield United were expected to invest, in an attempt to stamp out the mistakes that almost cost them promotion.


It did not go to plan to start with, as The Blades lost Sander Berge to rivals Burnley, and Iliman Ndiaye made the move to Marseille. These were not the kinds of players Sheffield United needed to lose before attempting to survive in the Premier League.


Their incomings were also less than exciting to start with. Auston Trusty arrived from Arsenal, and the arrival of Anis Slimane failed to excite the fans. It took Berge and Ndiaye leaving for Sheffield United to get going in the transfer window.


Gustavo Hamer, one of the better players in The Championship, arrived at Bramall Lane. Vini Souza made the switch from Lommel SK, and Cameron Archer transferred from Aston Villa.



With the signings coming in and getting more exciting, the expectations of survival relegation were rising. They heightened even more when they managed to get James McAtee back on loan from Man City.


Things went from bad to worse when Sheffield United started their season. They kicked off with a home game against Crystal Palace and only managed a single shot on target.


They then went on to play Nottingham Forest away from home, and lost 2-1, managing just 3 shots on target. Even when they took the lead away against Spurs, they capitulated in the final few minutes, conceding twice in stoppage time.


Their defending this season has been awful, borderline ridiculous, at times. They cannot go through the entire season defending how they have done, or they will finish bottom of the league.


They showcased this in their 8-0 defeat to Newcastle. A Premier League side cannot defend like that in any game, let alone in front of their own fans. National League teams defend better than that on a weekly basis. They need to go back to basics.


There is no surprise that they are the only side so far to not taste victory in the league. They had by far the worst Summer transfer window, have not performed on the pitch in an attacking or a defensive sense, and most Sheffield United fans did not want Paul Heckingbottom in charge towards the end of last season, let alone at the start of this season.


There are big issues at Sheffield United at the moment. One win could transform that, as they do look like a side devoid of confidence, but that win does not look like it will come anytime soon.


Heckingbottom will not last the season. It would be surprising if he makes it until January, let alone the end of the season, but only time will tell.


Sheffield United cannot use the excuse that they have had a difficult start to the season. They have played Crystal Palace, Everton and Nottingham Forest, and only got one point.


These are worrying times for The Blades, and the longer this goes on, the more painful it is going to get for their fans. Relegation may well and truly be their destination this season.


All in all, it has been difficult for all 3 sides during their start to Premier League life. Burnley have had the toughest fixtures out of the three, but won a crunch game against rivals Luton to give them hope that times will change.


Luton also had a difficult start, but they have grown in confidence each game, and seem to be adjusting to life in the Premier League well. They got their first win away against Everton the other week, which will give their players an abundance of confidence.


Everything seems to be going wrong for Sheffield United. Their start has been anything but difficult, and they have had games they easily could have picked up three points in. They still await their first victory of the season, and with the way they are defending at the moment, that could be set to continue for some time.

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