THE Sky Sports pundits have predicted which of the relegated clubs are most likely to make an immediate return to the Premier League.
Leicester and Leeds followed Southampton into the Championship on a dramatic and heartbreaking final day of the season.
Sam Allardyce’s side were comprehensively beaten 4-1 by Tottenham.
Leicester were safe in the live table when Harvey Barnes fired them in front at home to West Ham.
But Abdoulaye Doucoure’s sweet strike rescued Everton, despite the Foxes holding on to take all three points against the Hammers.
And now the three crushed sides all face a return to the second tier – with Roy Keane, Micah Richards and Jamie Carragher unconvinced there is a standout candidate to jump straight back up again.
Richards said: “It’s hard. I mean probably Leices… it depends who they keep, who stays and who goes.
“We always talk about Southampton being a stable club, the way they recruited and brought players in then sell them on.
“So you would stay Southampton are quite stable. It’s an open-ended question.”
Keane seemed to suggest Leeds’ managerial situation could be problematic – with Allardyce set to leave Elland Road after his brief and unsuccessful four-match stint.
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It is a similar situation at Leicester with Dean Smith brought in for the final eight games of the season but unable to retain the Foxes’ top-flight status.
Carragher agreed, and referenced the fact that Saints have already lined up Russell Martin from Swansea to take over at St Mary’s.
The ex-Liverpool defender added: “Southampton, even before the last game, know who their manager is next season, they’ve brought in Russell Martin straight away.
“It will be really interesting how long Leeds or Leicester actually take to appoint a new manager or whether these managers that are there stay on.
“Dean Smith said he’s not quite sure if he’s going to be there or not.
“I think they’ve got to be really decisive and announce that in the next week or so.”
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Of the three relegated teams, Leicester are set to see their expensively-assembled and highly-paid squad decimated the most.
Youri Tielemans and Caglar Soyuncu are two of the seven players out of contract this summer who look set to walk away for free.
James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Wilfried Ndidi and Timothy Castagne are all expected to be sold, too.
Fans on Twitter also shared their views in the replies.
One said: “Southampton will come back fairly easily as they have planned for this. Leeds might come up as their squad is full of Championship players, Leicester have a bigger issue as there will be a huge exodus in the summer.”
Another wrote: “Can’t see Southampton losing many players this summer. Leeds will lose players and Leicester might lose a good 40 per cent of the first team. Southampton might have the better chance to come back up.”
A third added: “Both Leeds and Leicester to bounce back, I have that hope.”
But a final user commented: “I truly think none of the three will come back up immediately.”
Source: The Sun