Bradley Stratton: Albion hold advantage over Terriers heading into Premier League

Albion celebrate a goal last season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

Albion celebrate a goal last season. Picture by Phil Westlake (PW Sporting Photography)

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While Brighton go into their first campaign in the Premier League as one of the favourites to go down, they aren’t the first name at the top of the list of clubs who many expect to be relegated next season.

Albion and Championship winners Newcastle will be joined in the top flight by Huddersfield, after their penalty shoot-out win in the play-off final against Reading last weekend. The Terriers immediately replaced Albion as the bookies favourite to face the drop on gaining promotion, and with good reason.

Having had less time to prepare for life in the top flight than Brighton or the Magpies, the Yorkshire side immediately find themselves facing a rebuilding job with around a month until pre-season begins.

Their squad included five loanees who will return to their parent clubs, with Manchester City’s Aaron Mooy and Liverpool keeper Danny Ward playing crucial roles in helping them gain promotion. There is no guarantee any of those players will return, with Mooy linked with a move to the Amex.

Competing for signings in the top flight means contending with big spending sides, and the Terriers will have to break their reported wage cap of £10k a week to attract the quality of players needed for the top flight.

There’s also the matter of manager David Wagner’s future. The German masterminded Huddersfield’s rise from fighting relegation and built their promotion winning squad from the ground up.

Having previously coached Borussia Dortmund’s second team, Wagner is now being linked with the top job at the Westfalenstadion after Thomas Tuchel’s departure.

The chance of coaching one of Europe’s top sides may prove to be too tempting to turn down if offered to Wagner.

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