One of the most exciting aspects of European football is the system of promotion and relegation. Each year, the worst teams from a league are relegated to the division below, and the top teams from that league get the chance to play at a higher level. Norwich City, Fulham and Cardiff City all crashed out of the Premier League in 2014, and these three teams from the English League Championship will take their place once the new season begins in August.
Team nickname: The Foxes
How did they get here: Leicester City cruised through the English League Championship season, winning 31 of 46 games to finish with 102 points — 9 clear of Burnley. Since Newcastle finished the year with 102 points in 2010, no other team has broken 90.
Where is Leicester? Leicester is city of about 330,000 people located in the East Midlands of England. The closest Premier League teams from Leicester are the teams from Birmingham, Aston Villa and West Brom.
Primary colors: Royal blue and white.
Premier League history: Since the club’s inception in 1884, Leicester has spent 46 seasons in the top tier of English football, but rarely stays in one division for very long. Leicester last played in the Premier League for one season in 2003-2004, and then dropped all the way to League One. The team’s best domestic league result is finishing second in the first division back in 1929. Leicester has won the FA Cup four times (but not since 1969), and the League Cup three times.
Goal of the year: Chris Wood vs. Burnley
Team nickname: The Clarets
How did they get here: Championship Player of the Year Danny Ings led Burnley to second place in the table, scoring 21 league goals.
Where is Burnley? Burnley is a town of 73,000 located in the North West region of England. The closest Premier League teams from Burnley are the teams from Manchester, 30 miles south.
Primary colors: Claret and blue (making them the third claret and blue Premier League team, alongside West Ham and Aston Villa.
Premier League history: Burnley has spent 52 season’s in England’s top division, but just two seasons in the modern Premier League. Burnley last played in the Premier League during the 2009-2010 season, and finished 18th. Burnley has won two first division titles, in 1921 and 1960, and one FA Cup, in 1914.
Goal of the year: Danny Ings vs. Nottingham Forest
Team nickname: The Hoops
How did they get here: QPR finished fourth in the Championship, and had to qualify for promotion through the playoffs, beating Wigan and Derby County. Bobby Zamora scored a 90th minute winner at Wembley in the play-off final with QPR down to 10 men.
Where is QPR? Queens Park Rangers is located in West London, and is closest to Chelsea. The 2014-15 Premier League season will feature six teams from the capital city: Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham, QPR, and West Ham.
Primary colors: Blue and white.
Premier League history: QPR has never won a top division title, but has spent 23 seasons in the top tier and seven seasons in the Premier League since 1992. QPR last played in the Premier League in the 2012-13 season, and needed just one year in the Championship to make it back to the top.
Goal of the year: Bobby Zamora vs. Derby County