The third and last article of our series about the odds in the Premier League. I’ve already covered the possible champions and top scorer. But for those to excel, others need to lose. And those teams will be discussed in this article: the relegation battle. The newcomers are always struggling in their first season on the highest level. Will they immediately be demoted once again or will they remain a Premier League side after this campaign? Beneath I will discuss the odds for the ‘relegation favourites’.
The bottom three of the league will have to part ways with the beloved Premier League. Many clubs have been hovering around the last places and those clubs are joining us in this list, but one team stands out negatively: Huddersfield Town. The newcomers out of West Yorkshire surprisingly managed to promote themselves through the play-offs and are now facing a rather difficult challenge: surviving.
The question is simple: Can Wagner surprise friend and enemy once again? The deck is stacked against him and many bookies are placing Huddersfield Town at the bottom three. Quality-wise, I would agree. But not many managers across the globe can get 150% out of their squad. David Wagner can.
A quote from an article written about the club back in July, which you can find here. I still think that David Wagner is an immensely important factor in their chances of surviving and I do think he’ll get the most out of his side. But will this be enough? There haven’t been significant transfers in the last weeks. This Huddersfield, even on 150% will have trouble staying out the relegation zone. And the bookies are rating them as ‘top favourites’ with an odd of 1.67.
In the majority of the leagues, the newcomers are rated at the bottom, but not in England. The next team in our list is Burnley. Managed by Sean Dyche, the club ended up 16th (from 20) with 40 points, a difference of six points with the relegation zone. But the teams that did relegate (Hull City, Middlesbrough and Sunderland) were performing abysmal. And that’s where I completely agree with the odds for a Burnley demotion. The club haven’t rewarded themselves a decent reinforcement after last season’ safe. Burnley were struggling to remain in the highest tier last campaign and this won’t be any different now. The bookmakers give their customers an odd of 2.25 if you think Burnley will relegate.
Closely following the second team on our list is Brighton & Hove, who are new in the Premier League, just like Huddersfield. And that’s immediately where the difference has been made. Brighton have bought some real reinforcements for their mission to avoid relegation. The biggest buy came from Dutch side PSV. The new boys in town bought Davy Propper for a fee around 13 million euros. And he will fit perfectly in the Premier League and other sides will yell at their scouting team after this season: why haven’t we bought him? Another reason for the difference in odds between them and Huddersfield was last season in the Championship. Where Huddersfield scraped together all their sources an narrowly won the play-offs, Brighton where completely obliterating the league with only Newcastle United above them in the league, who only had one more point (94). The gap from runner-up Brighton and the number three (Reading) was eight points! Still, the Championship is a vastly different league with way more games (46 instead of 38 in the PL) and the lesser amount of games could help them somewhat. Because Brighton still remains a newcomer who have to adapt from being top dog in their own respective league to being the ugly duckling. The bookmakers tend to agree and their odd to end up in the relegation zone is 2.30.
If we should believe the bookmakers: the bottom team will be Huddersfield while Burnley and Brighton respectively end up 19th and 18th. So, who are the other teams who should look over their shoulder?
Let’s start off with Watford. The Hornets narrowly escaped the ban hammer and ended up 17th. A place where the bookmakers apparently agree with. The club did brought several players to the club hoping to expand the gap between them and the relegation zone. Their improved team and highly rated manager Marco Silva should be enough for them to prolong their Premier League stay for at least a season. Their odd for a place at the bottom three is around 2.69.
The fifth team on our list are from Welsh-origin: I am talking about Swansea. In my eyes, a pretty decent, well build side. But a problem is currently forming with the imminent departure of Icelandic key player Sigurðsson. The team has revolved around him for quite a while now, so his replacement has big shoes to fill. Still, Swansea has decent Premier League players in Fer, Llorente, Ayew and Caroll. But I do think that one player will stand out, and that’s the newly acquired Roque Mesa from Las Palmas. We wrote an article about this passing genius not so long ago, which you can read here. His involvement and those of others should be sufficient for surviving another Premier League season. The bookmakers gave them an odd of 3.25 for a place in the relegation zone.
We’ve seen, just like always, three newcomers in the Premier League. Huddersfield and Brighton are being placed at the bottom, but not the third new side: Newcastle United. The Magpies completely destroyed everyone on their path for redemption and were crowned champions last campaign out. The team hasn’t seen much changes throughout this transfer window and that’s a good thing in my eyes. Players such as Ayoze Perez, Gayle and Mbemba belong in the highest division possible. While Swansea and Watford should be weary, I honestly think that they will easily avoid fighting the relegation battle. The bookmakers are in agreement and gave an odd of 4.70 for Newcastle United in the bottom three.
The difference between the bottom half teams have increased significantly in my eyes. The bottom three according to the bookmakers are completely deserved. The gap between them and the rest of the relegation teams is pretty huge. Especially Huddersfield will struggle immensely and demotion seems nearly unavoidable. This concludes our series. We are finally starting the new campaign this Friday with Arsenal – Leicester!