Last Updated: 08/08/18 9:56pm

Soccer Saturday pundits pick their three to face the drop

After predicting how the top six will end up this season, we challenged the Soccer Saturday pundits to name the three sides who will face relegation.
Cardiff are Sky Bet’s odds-on favourites to go down as they have struggled to match the investment of Fulham (15/8) and Wolves (8/1) following promotion, while Huddersfield (11/10), Watford (15/8) and Brighton (15/8) are also expected to struggle.However, the pundits are expecting another couple of names to be dragged into the mix… Paul Merson: Watford, Huddersfield, Cardiff (20/1 with Sky Bet) Paul Merson thinks Javi Gracia’s Watford will struggle this season Watford started so well but struggled after that last season, they came good again and finished in mid-table but there was too much of a spell where they couldn’t win a game. If they don’t start the season well, they got over a third of their points in the first eight games last season, it could be difficult. They were virtually safe by halfway last time, but it’ll be tough without a good beginning to the season.Huddersfield won two of their first three last season, I just don’t know if they can do it. They won’t be beating the likes of Manchester United at home, and just going by the same thing as the tennis rankings – you’ve got to keep beating the same quality opponents year-on-year or you’re in trouble, and I think they will be.I don’t see Cardiff having enough quality in the team. That’s not being disrespectful, what Neil Warnock did last season was manager of the season material. It’s like what he did at Rotherham when he kept them up after they were going nowhere.They get the ball forward quickly, it’ll work for the first five to six games, and they need to get off to a flyer, but it could catch up with them after that. Neil’s one of the best Championship managers you’ll ever see, but he’ll be the first to admit he’s not the best in the Premier League, and it comes across to me like he doesn’t really enjoy it, it’s not his cup of tea.Charlie Nicholas: Cardiff, Newcastle, Fulham (66/1 with Sky Bet) Fulham’s lack of firepower in attack will cost them this season, says Charlie Nicholas Cardiff have failed to get anybody of significance in. The facts are Fulham and Wolves have spent big and some of the sides around the relegation battle are spending a decent amount and Cardiff can’t get anyone in. You have to spend significant amounts to get your targets and they look well detached from the rest of the pack right now.Newcastle are right on the edge of it with what has been going there this summer. They did well to get the money they did for Aleksandar Mitrovic but they still can’t get quality in, although I do like Kennedy. The only thing keeping this club together is the relationship between the fans and Rafael Benitez, but I genuinely hope I’m wrong with fearing it could all fall apart.The other one for me is Fulham as I think they need another striker and I’m not sure their defence is of high enough standard.Phil Thompson: Cardiff, Huddersfield, Bournemouth (40/1 with Sky Bet) Phil Thompson believes David Wagner and Huddersfield will face the drop this season Fulham and Wolves have signed well, but I can’t see anything other than finishing bottom for Cardiff. I think Huddersfield struggled after their energy levels dropped a bit last season and I don’t think they’ve strengthened enough again.I know Bournemouth have just broken their transfer record by bringing in Jefferson Lerma, but I think they were found out a bit last season. They’re not strong enough defensively so really need one of their strikers to step up this season, otherwise they’ll be in real trouble.Matt Le Tissier: Cardiff, Huddersfield, Watford (20/1 with Sky Bet) Neil Warnock’s previous Premier League struggles do not bode well for this season, says Matt Le Tissier I think Neil Warnock has struggled in the Premier League as a manager. He’s a fantastic Championship manager, but the Premier League doesn’t seem to suit his style and the Cardiff squad doesn’t fill you with confidence, especially with their lack of experience at this level. I do like the signing of Bobby Reid though, who had a fantastic goalscoring season at Bristol City.I think Huddersfield’s lack of goals might just catch them out this season. A decent start carried them a long way last season and when you get 37 points you need to improve.This might be the third season in a row that I’ve tipped Watford to go down, so they’ll probably be quite happy to see me backing them to go down. However, I just think this team is lacking the attacking flair and a prolific striker, with Troy Deeney struggling to recreate his early Premier League form. Fantasy Football is back! Fantasy just got real. Pick your Sky Sports Fantasy Football team for free here.

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