Sheffield United are looking to become just one of a handful of promoted teams to qualify for Europe in their first season in the Premier League.
Of course, it’s not the Blades’ first time in the English game’s biggest league. Spells in the early 90s a brief return in 2006 both resulted in the club being relegated back into the second tier with minimal success.
However, Chris Wilder’s men are on course to make a real fist of qualifying for Europe. Furthermore, with Man City winning the cup and also their ban from European competition by UEFA, the opportunity is even greater for the Blades.
It would be a remarkable achievement for the Blades. Indeed, despite only a handful of clubs doing it, it would mean two clubs in successive seasons bucking the trend after Wolves sealed a UEFA Cup spot last term.
So, with Wolves doing it last season and United on course this term, which other sides have qualified for Europe at their first Premier League attempt?
Newcastle United – 1993/94
Despite missing out on the inaugural Premier League campaign, the Magpies were there in the second season.
And what a season they had, too. Under Kevin Keegan, the Toon Army were treated to exciting football and, ultimately, finished third in the Premier League table.
Nottingham Forest – 1994/95
Few clubs have ever had the impact on a first Premier League season like Nottingham Forest did.
The Reds took the top-flight by storm and finished third under Frank Clark. Impressively, Forest finished above giants like Liverpool and Leeds during the campaign in what was a throwback to the Brian Clough days at the City Ground.
Ipswich Town – 2000/01
While Forest and Newcastle are bigger names in English football, Ipswich caught everyone by surprise at the turn of the Millenium.
Under George Burley, the Tractor Boys shocked everyone by finishing fifth. They qualified for the UEFA Cup along with Leeds and Chelsea.
However, they struggled the following season. Despite a memorable night which saw them beat Inter Milan 1-0, Ipswich were relegated as they lost some of their better players and struggled to cope with the demands of two big competitions.
Wolves – 2018/19
Of the clubs in this article, Wolves are perhaps the one many weren’t surprised with.
After spending big the season prior and then adding the likes of Raul Jimenez over the summer, Wolves stormed to a seventh-place finish.
Despite the spending, it was a remarkable achievement by Nuno Santo. Given the changing of the footballing landscape, to get a newly-promoted team anywhere near the top six was quite the feat.
Honorary mentions – Sunderland and Reading
Sunderland came within goal difference of sealing a UEFA Cup spot in the 1999/2000 season. Reading, meanwhile, came within a point of cementing a spot under Steve Coppell in the 2006/07 season.