BT Sport presenter Robbie Savage before the match
As we enter the opening weekend of the Premier League, spending and big-money deals has been the real highlight this summer with even the so-called unfashionable clubs making a splash.
Middlesbrough, under the guidance of Aitor Karanka, have been one of the most active clubs in the market and have brought in the likes of Alvaro Negredo, Marten de Roon, Victor Valdes and Antonio Barragan.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka before the match
But Savage still feels Boro lack quality, and tips them to go down with SwanseA and Hull.
“Karanka did a super job to take Boro up after the heartbreak of Wembley 12 months earlier, and Negredo is a good acquisition up front, but I’m not convinced they have the quality to stay up,” Savage wrote in his column for the Mirror.
Of the Swans, he added: “I fear the exit of skipper Ashley Williams and Andre Ayew will be too great a handicap.”
Savage’s assessment of Hull, which came before their opening-day win over defending champions Leicester, was even more damning, predicting the Tigers to finish rock bottom.
He said: “Going down. No manager, one fit central defender and no improvement on the side who came down in 2015. Absolute shambles - has there ever been a club less prepared for a season at this level?”
His third team, however, is Watford, a surprise inclusion considering their vast improvements over the past 18 months while adding Burnley will struggle but ultimately survive.
“At the bottom I can’t see anything other than a struggle for Hull. Burnley have got their work cut out too, but I think they will survive,” Keys wrote in his blog.
“If you’re looking for a couple of surprise strugglers try Swansea and Southampton. I don’t think Guidolin will last very long at Swansea. I think Watford are in for a long season as well. You can’t keep changing managers like they do and keep dodging bullets.”
Burnley manager Sean Dyche
Surprisingly, both Savage and Keys have predicted Burnley to survive whereas most Premier League observers would perhaps have tipped the Clarets for the drop due to their lack of spending.
Hull are also standouts for the drop, yet the Tigers’ opening day 2-1 win at home to Leicester City showed they have the fight to stay up and there is still plenty of quality at the KC Stadium.