Every year, the second tier of English football, the Championship, witnesses three teams—out of 24—gain promotion to the Premier League. The teams finishing first and second gain automatic promotion, while the teams finishing from third to sixth go into playoffs, where the winning team earn the third and final ticket to next season’s Premier League.
After a breathtaking 2021/22 Championship season, we have Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest joining the Premier League for the 2022/23 season. They will be replacing the down-going Norwich City, Watford and Burnley after their relegation from the topflight last season.
In this article, we take a look at the three newly-promoted Premier League teams.
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This time last year around, things were certainly not going as planned for one of the oldest professional clubs in London, Fulham. Their manager Scott Parker had decided to resign, and to add to troubles, the club had ended their 2020-21 season 18th in the Premier League, 12 points from safety, resulting in their relegation to the Championship. With players leaving and things falling apart, it was Marco Silva, former Everton, Watford and Hull City boss, who stepped in as the head coach for Fulham. Things have only gone uphill since then.
Fulham sealed their return to the Premier League for the 2022-23 season in some style as they dominated the Championship by finishing the season top of the table with 90 points from their 46 games and were the highest-scoring team in the league with a total of 106 goals. This season as well all eyes will be on their Serbian goal-scoring machine, Aleksander Mitrović, who contributed to 43 of his side’s 106 goals last season. He will be supported up by the ex-Liverpool player Harry Wilson, who himself had a breakthrough season last year, Jamaican winger Bobby Decordova-Reid, and Neeskens Kebano, who last season contributed to a total of 27 goals and 32 assists among themselves. With the second-best defensive record in the league, Marek Rodák was outstanding for Fulham in goal as he recorded 14 clean sheets in his 33 appearances. Fulham’s defence is led by the ever-consistent Tim Ream, who started in all of the 46 league games for the club. In the midfield, club captain Tom Cairney and Harrison Reed, who love to dominate the game by pressing forward and their attacking style of play, will once again be relied upon.
On the transfers front, Fulham will need to add some strength and depth to their squad to have any chance of finishing well above the relegation zone. They have been heavily linked with former Liverpool midfielder Marko Grujic, Bologna winger Musa Barrow and Wolsburg’s Kevin Mbabu and have already brought in Andreas Pereira and João Palhinha from Manchester United and Sporting CP respectively.
Marco Silva has plenty of Premier League experience considering his time with Everton, Watford and Hull. The Cottagers dominated the Championship, but they will be very much aware of the competition and the quality of football the Premier League possesses. They will be aiming for a mid-table finish and avoid getting relegated again in their first season back in the topflight.
Fulham kick off their Premier League season with a home game against last season’s runners-up, Liverpool.
Next on the list we have another team who did not fail to impress their fans with their impressive style of play last season. With three promotions in six years, Eddie Howe led Bournemouth to a place in the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history. This fairy tale ended when, after spending nearly five seasons in the English topflight, Bournemouth suffered relegation at the end of the 2019-20 season. Howe then left the club by mutual consent, and the Cherries finished sixth in the table in the Championship next season, ultimately succumbing to a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Brentford in the promotional playoff semi-finals.
Last season, Bournemouth and their fans found a new hero in Scott Parker. The 41-year-old took over the reins from then-interim boss Jonathan Woodgate after leaving Fulham and guided Bournemouth to a second-place finish in the Championship in his very first season.
Apart from Parker, new heroes arose for Bournemouth over the course of last season. Ex-Liverpool starlet Dominic Solanke finished the season with 29 league goals and 7 assists to his name. Another one of the pivotal factors contributing to Bournemouth’s success was their fierce defence. The team held the best defensive record in the Championship last season, conceding just 39 goals. Mark Travers, their 23-year-old Irish goalkeeper, stepped up in the shoes of Asmir Begović, who had left for Everton, and managed to win the hearts of every Cherries fan. He repaid the faith shown in him by Scott Parker by starting in 45 of the 46 league games and recording 20 clean sheets. Tavers stepped up for his side whenever needed and made a plethora of vital saves in goal in the dying moments of many games, which preserved quite a few narrow leads for Bournemouth. One cannot forget his five saves from five shots in the game against Queens Park Rangers, which ultimately handed Bournemouth a narrow 2-1 victory.
On the transfers end, the club have so far managed to bring in defender Ryan Fredericks from West Ham United and midfielder Joe Rothwell from Blackburn Rovers.
In conclusion, Scott Parker will be eagerly waiting for his return back to the Premier League. For a club filled with ambition and hunger for competing in the topflight, it will be interesting to see Bournemouth back among the very best.
Bournemouth kick-start their 2022-23 Premier League campaign against Aston Villa at the Vitality Stadium.
Lastly, we have a team with a rich history. Nottingham Forest have to their name one league title, two FA Cups, four league cups, one FA Charity Shield, two European Cups and one Super Cup, but their fans have had to endure a 23-year-long wait to see their side return to the English topflight.
If you would have asked any Forest fan about their chances of making it back to the Premier League at the beginning of the 2021-22 campaign, they would have chuckled at the near-impossibility of the task, what with the Tricky Trees having endured their worst start to a season in 108 years and the prospect of relegation already looming on the horizon.
However, replacing Chris Hughton with Steve Cooper as their head coach managed to bring about a complete U-turn in the club’s fortunes. Forest slowly and steadily began to rise up the table and managed to secure a fourth-place finish in the Championship. The drama continued when they managed to win by the narrowest of margins in a penalty shootout in the semi-final of their promotional playoff game against Sheffield United. They confirmed their place in England’s topflight when they managed to beat Huddersfield Town 1-0 at Wembley in the final. One also cannot forget their FA cup run, during which they knocked out Premier League sides Arsenal and Leicester City in their third and fourth round matches respectively. Their FA Cup run ended when they succumbed to a narrow 1-0 defeat at the hands of Liverpool in the quarter-final.
Brennan Johnson was the top goalscorer for Nottingham Forest last season with 16 league goals and 10 assists. Lewis Gabban, Sam Surridge and Ryan Yates bagged a total of 29 goals among themselves. Joe Warall, Jack Colbak, Scott McKenna, Djed Spence (on loan from Middlesbrough), Olympiacos loanee Philip Zinckernagel and Manchester United loanee James Garner were among the other players who were remarkably consistent. Their goalkeepers Brice Samba and Ethan Horvath managed to achieve a combined total of 17 clean sheets in the Championship.
As far as Forest’s transfer business is concerned, they have loaned in goalkeeper Dean Henderson from Manchester United while having also onboarded Wayne Hennessey from Burnley and Ryan Hammond from Millwall. They have also bought striker Taiwo Awoniyi from Union Berlin as well as defenders Giulian Biancone (from Troyes), Moussa Niakhaté (Mainz), Omar Richards (Bayern Munich) and Neco Williams (Liverpool).
The Forest fans enjoyed one rollercoaster of a season last time round and will want the club to regain their past glory. However, it begins with one step at a time, and survival is what Steve Cooper will be looking for in Forest’s first season back in the Premier League.
Nottingham Forest kick-start their 2022-23 Premier League campaign with an away game against Newcastle United.