Premier League: Are the promoted sides’ poor starts to 2023/24 a cause for concern?

The newly promoted sides of the 2023/24 Premier League season have endured tricky openings in their respective campaigns. But is there cause for concern at Burnley, Luton, and Sheffield United – or is the Premier League just that strong nowadays?

All three clubs that came up from the Championship this season have had trouble finding their feet in the topflight. Neither Burnley, Luton, nor the Blades have won a game yet this year.

According to The Sun, that is the second-most combined games without a victory from promoted sides in Premier League history. Only West Brom, Norwich, and Crystal Palace in 2004/05 went longer without earning a W between them, taking 22 matches combined.

As a result of this failure to launch, the trio of new boys props up the rest of the Premier League table. All three teams have just a point, with Luton earning their first one of the campaign in a 1-1 draw at home to Wolves on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Burnley fought hard but still came up short, losing 1-0 to Man United at Turf Moor.

They may feel a bit better than Sheffield United do, though. The Blades suffered a brutal, 8-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle in front of their home fans. This battering matched the second-largest defeat in the Premier League. It was also a historically bad day for the Yorkshire side from a defensive standpoint.

Now, with 32-33 games remaining, it is arguably too early for alarm bells to start ringing. But history does not bode well for United, Burnley, and the Hatters…

How the promoted sides compare to the worst starts in Premier League history

Having one point by Matchday 6 is, unfortunately, right up there among the worst starts ever seen in the topflight. Only three teams have started worse, in fact; Portsmouth (2009/10), Norwich (2021/22), and Crystal Palace (2017/18) all began a campaign by taking 0 points from their first six matches.

Still, the 2023/24 newcomers have not fared much better with 1 point. They are the 19th, 20th, and 21st teams to total 1 point or less from the opening six matchdays (per Transfermarkt). But what sort of impact does this have on the rest of the season?

Well, of the 18 teams who “achieved” this prior, 12 of them were relegated that same season. So, this makes for very ominous numbers for the 2023/24 promoted Premier League sides.

Additionally, when filtering to just promoted clubs, the 2023/24 trio is the joint-worst-ever through six matchdays. Only Fulham in 2020/21 started as badly as Luton, Burnley, and Sheffield United.

QUICK NOTE: It is worth remembering that Burnley and Luton have only played five matches each, due to their postponement earlier this season. However, by facing Newcastle and Everton away respectively, they may both still have just one point from six games.

Can they stay up?

As mentioned earlier, it is way too early in the season to say that these three teams are doomed after just five/six matches. But precedent does not favour the teams – and neither does the gulf in class that seems apparent.

Sheffield United looked absolutely lost as Newcastle decimated them on Sunday afternoon. Luton and Burnley, by comparison, have shown promise on occasion yet teams have still swept them aside in some matches.

In particular, the Hatters have to capitalize on opportunities, such as the game against Wolves last weekend. The Premier League waits for no one; you should, and arguably need, to beat an opponent who is down to 10, especially at home.

2022/23 saw all the promoted sides stay in the Premier League and avoid relegation. Following such brutal starts across the board, it is getting harder to imagine Sheffield, Luton, or Burnley earning a second term unless they rack up some points – and fast.

Featured image credit: Getty