Will second season syndrome hit Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth?

Will second season syndrome hit Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth

Last season was just the fourth time in Premier League history that all three of the newly promoted sides —Fulham, Bournemouth and Nottingham Forest — avoided the drop. It’s an incredibly rare feat and one we are unlikely to see again next May as, while many are tipping Championship winners Burnley to survive under Vincent Kompany, both Luton Town (4/11) and Sheffield United (4/7) are heavily favoured in the Premier League relegation betting.

Who will be joining them back in the second tier of English football isn’t as obvious, with very little to separate the likes of Nottingham Forest (9/4), Wolverhampton Wanderers (2/1), Everton (3/1) and Bournemouth (5/2) in the relegation market. Dreaded second season syndrome could kick in for Forest and the Cherries, while even Fulham aren’t guaranteed safety as they are also as short as 3/1 for relegation with some operators.

That said, let’s take a look at those three sides and consider their chances of relegation after upsetting the odds last season.


One of the surprise outfits of last season, Fulham didn’t only avoid relegation — they did so comfortably as they finished 10th and notably two places ahead of their local rivals Chelsea. Marco Silva’s side have set the bar high going into this season, but it’s going to be very difficult for the Cottagers to replicate that success.

The good news is that Silva turned down an approach from the rising Saudi Pro League this summer and his presence in the dugout will be a big boost. However, the talismanic Aleksandar Mitrovic has been linked with a move to the Middle East for most of the window and there’s a good chance the Serbian could still depart Craven Cottage.

Calvin Bassey has been brought in to bolster the defence after failing to impress following a move to Ajax from Rangers, while Raul Jimenez comes in from Wolves. Neither of those signings are going to set the league alight and it does appear Fulham will find it a bit harder this season, but they should have enough quality to avoid the drop.


The side most considered to be the likeliest to suffer relegation out of the three newly promoted sides last season, Bournemouth had a nightmare start to the season and Gary O’Neil was drafted in to replace Scott Parker after just four games.

O’Neil did the unthinkable and steered the Cherries clear of relegation and they could have finished even further away from the bottom three if they didn’t have such a bad end to the season — losing all of their last four games.

There have been big changes at the Vitality Stadium this summer, with O’Neil somewhat harshly replaced by Andoni Iraolo and four fresh races have been brought in — Milos Kerkez, Romain Faivre, Justin Kluivert and Ionut Radu. Bournemouth could find themselves back around 15th.

Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest returned to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years after winning the 2021-22 Championship play-offs, and their transfer blueprint of signing everyone and anyone ultimately worked as their 20+ summer arrivals helped them avoid relegation by four points.

Forest left it last though, with two wins and two draws in their final four games guiding them to safety when they looked all but out. Steve Cooper’s side will likely be around the bottom three for much of this season, but hopefully, their experience of last term can help.

The recruitment team at the City Ground certainly haven’t been as busy this offseason, with Anthony Elenga, Chris Wood, Matt Turner and Ola Aina their summer signings. Forest are still the likeliest of the three sides to suffer relegation though. 

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