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AFC Bournemouth, Fulham FC, and Nottingham Forest – will you please stand up? Make no mistake about it, though the English Championship (the country's second-tier league) is cauldron of competition, the Premier League is truly the tier for the exceptional. Thus, every year when three Championship squads fight tooth and nail to earn a coveted promotion to the Prem, it's special. Not only do the clubs gain a huge financial boon from competing on the largest stage possible, it's a badge of honor for all who wear the teams' colors, from players to fans. So as the season truly kicks into high gear, here's a quick look at the new kids on the Premier League block.
Ah, it started so sweetly for The Cherries, with a 2-0 win against Aston Villa on opening weekend. But any belief that life in the Premier League would be that easy have quickly proven to be a painful mirage. The Scott Parker-led squad hasn't scored a league goal since, getting walloped 4-0 by Manchester City the following week, followed by a 3-0 rout by Arsenal. And then there was the absolute massacre they suffered Saturday, dropping 9-0 to Liverpool. Not a promising start at all, but it must be said that the schedule makers have done them no favors in placing them against three of the top teams in the league so early on. Parker will have to come up with some solutions to offset their dearth of talent.
This isn't Bournemouth's first dance on the big stage, however, having ascended to the Premier League for the first time in 2015 and staying up for five seasons before being bounced back down the Championship. It can be done.
Known as a “yo-yo” for how the club has historically oscillated between divisions, the Cottagers won the Championship last year with an impressive 90 aggregate points and could very well bloom into a viable threat based on their cohesiveness thus far. Fulham manager Marco Silva definitely has a chip on his shoulder with something to prove after a few unsuccessful Premier League runs, including time with Everton and Watford. They also have crucial leadership with Captain Tom Cairney who spent considerable time with Hull City. Serbian forward Aleksander Mitrovic has been a man on a mission when it comes to producing offense, netting four goals in as many matches, which puts him in second place in the league. Fulham currently sits in 11th place with five points, owing to two draws – including an impressive outing against Liverpool – and a grind of a win against Brentford.
Though they’re currently three spots back from Fulham in the 14th place, The Reds doled out some big bucks this summer with Welsh defender Neco Williams and Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi, so they fully expect a return on that hefty $40 million investment. Nottingham is looking to make a splashy reentry into the Premier League after a lengthy 23-year absence. Ever since manager Chris Hughton was sacked in September of 2021, Steve Cooper has found a rhythm at the helm, building a culture that emphasizes the cultivation of young talent. If Cooper can forge a robust attack with Awoniyi as well as Jesse Lingard, there’s no reason they can’t build on their four points and elevate in the rankings.
Watch Premier League coverage on USA Network, featuring Premier League Mornings, select matches, and Premier League Goal Zone (check listings for games/schedule). And catch up on all the action on Peacock.
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