Bournemouth to survive debut Premier League season, while Norwich and Leicester face the drop, writes Jimmy Bullard

The Cherries played some wonderful, attacking, football in the Championship

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The Independent Online

The Premier League is back this weekend and I can’t wait. The buzz around the first game of the season is something else and there is nothing quite like it. As a player, you’ve been waiting ages for the first match to come around, you’re at the peak of your fitness and you’re ready to go. The fans are always well up for it, the pitch is lush, the sun’s out and the stadiums are bouncing. You mark my words, every game will start off at one hundred miles an hour!

I’ve spoken a lot in my recent columns about the big boys, but I can’t tell you how important it is for the promoted teams to get their first points on the board as quickly as possible. Getting a win early doors breeds huge confidence and really sets the barrier for the rest of the campaign. I remember my first game in the Premier League for Wigan Athletic where we went toe-to-toe with Chelsea all game, only for the boy Crespo to pop up in the last seconds and drill a worldy into the top corner from 25 yards out. We didn’t let it get us down though and kept believing, which saw us go on a nice little run after the first couple of games. The new boys need to try and do the same thing if it doesn’t go their way on day one and make sure they stick together.

On the subject of the promoted sides, I can’t wait to see Bournemouth this season. They played some wonderful, attacking, football in the Championship and I’ve no doubt they’ll stick to their guns and keep playing that way in the Premier League. Dean Court will be packed to the rafters and absolutely rocking this weekend, which won’t be an easy game for Aston Villa. I really fancy Bournemouth to stay up because they will make that ground a fortress and I’m backing them to get three points this weekend.

 

Looking to teams that I think will be in a dogfight, Leicester and Norwich are two sides that I think we’ll go down. I’m not sure Norwich have a squad that will be good enough to stay in the division and I just think Leicester will fall short too. They played with a lot of grit and determination and earned the right to stay in the Premier League last season, but they lack the quality and I think they’ll ultimately pay the price for that this time around.  As for the third team to go, it’s a toss up between the rest with Watford and Sunderland the two most likely to join the others in the relegation zone in my eyes.

I think the likes of West Brom and Villa will be all right though. I rate Tim Sherwood as a manager and think he is the right man to take Villa forward. Tony Pulis will make West Brom difficult to beat and he has a great track record of making sure his teams stay in the Premier League.

Whatever happens this season, there’s nothing more special than day one of the campaign and I can’t wait for it all to get started.

Jimmy Bullard has teamed up with Carling as part of their Shirt Amnesty, giving fans the opportunity to exchange their shirt with the name of a recently sold player, with a new one. Follow all of the action @Carling on Twitter.

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