Best Betting Value in the Premier League Relegation Battle

Best Betting Value in the Premier League Relegation Battle
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Several Premier League clubs will engage in a ferocious battle to avoid relegation over the course of the 2020/21 campaign. Dropping down to the Championship can spell financial ruin for a club and spark a mass exodus of star players, so they will fight tooth and nail to remain in the top flight.

Owners with itchy trigger fingers will sack their managers, the January transfer window will feature panic purchases and neutral fans will be treated to a gripping fight for survival. We have analysed each of the relegation candidates and assessed the chances of them going down.

Premier League Relegation Battle Table

TeamRelegation Odds (Best Price)
West Brom11/10
Aston Villa9/4
Crystal Palace9/4
West Ham4/1

West Brom - “The Ultimate Yo-yo Team”

The Baggies are the ultimate yo-yo team. They have been promoted to the Premier League five times since 2002, and they have suffered the ignominy of relegation on four separate occasions. West Brom actually enjoyed an eight-year spell in the top flight until finishing bottom of the table in 2018, and they are now back after clinching second place in the Championship last term.

Clubs have two options upon securing promotion to the Premier League. They can invest heavily in the squad in a bid to beat the drop and earn a comfortable finish. The downside is that they will be in real financial peril if they end up being relegated, and they can then spend years in the wilderness.

The second option is to invest very little in the squad and hope for the best. If they are then relegated, they will still be in a strong financial position, and they will be among the favourites to win the Championship the following season.

West Brom very much fall into the second category. The club is exceptionally risk averse. They have spent £20 million in the transfer market this summer, but that money went on signing Grady Diangana and Matheus Pereira – both of whom were on loan at the club last season – on a permanent basis.

There is plenty of Premier League experience within the West Brom squad. Jake Livermore, Charlie Austin, Kieran Gibbs and Matt Phillips all know the division well, as does manager Slaven Bilic. However, West Brom only just about scraped automatic promotion after going winless in their last four games of the season, and they could really do with fresh blood. As things stand, the 11/10 on offer at 888 Sport, Betfair and Paddy Power for the Baggies to be relegated looks extremely attractive.

Fulham - Can Parker Keep Them in Promised Land?

Fulham went for broke after they earned promotion to the Premier League in 2018. The Cottagers spent more than £100 million on the likes of Jean Michael Seri, Andre Zambo Anguissa, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Alfie Mawson and Andre Schurrle, and they were expected to challenge for a place in the top half of the table.

However, the season proved to be an unmitigated disaster. They finished bottom of the table, and many players abandoned ship last summer. Yet Scott Parker somehow managed to drag Fulham to fourth in the Championship last season, with Mitrovic leading the charge. They edged past Brentford in the dreariest playoff final imaginable, and now they are back in the Promised Land.

Fulham will be a lot more cautious with the chequebook this time around. Anguissa is back from a successful loan spell at Villarreal, but his status is uncertain. They have spent £20 million on Anthony Knockaert and Harrison Reed, who were on loan at the club last term, but no further arrivals have landed at Craven Cottage.

The Cottagers were absolutely dismal in their last Premier League campaign, and they look even weaker this time around. Parker is reluctant to disrupt the harmony of the squad with major signings, and it could be a long old season for Fulham. They are 11/10 with Bet365 to go down and that looks appealing.

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Aston Villa - Another Scrappy Season on the Cards

Dean Smith’s men scraped survival by the skin of their teeth last season. They looked dead and buried, but they managed to pull off a miraculous win over in-form Arsenal in their penultimate game. The Gunners then beat relegation rivals Watford to send them down in Aston Villa’s stead, so Smith really should send a bottle of vintage Champagne to The Emirates.

Aston Villa also spent more than £100 million on new arrivals when they were promoted in 2019. It is an extremely risky strategy, and it almost backfired. They would have been relegated if Hawkeye had not stopped working during their 0-0 draw with Sheff Utd – a game in which their goalkeeper clearly fumbled the ball well over the line – but they live to fight another day.

They continue to invest heavily in the squad. Oli Watkins has just joined in a club record £27 million deal, while they also spent £14 million on right-back Matty Cash from Nottingham Forest. Yet Aston Villa have been an extremely popular bet in the relegation market this summer.

They are priced at 2/1 with William Hill to go down, and the bookies have taken more action on Villa than any other team. Can they beat the drop again? Much will depend on whether captain Jack Grealish has another superb season.

Crystal Palace - Faith Kept with Hodgson

Crystal Palace took just one point from their final eight games of the 2019/20 campaign. That saw them slump down to 14th in the table, but the club decided to keep faith in long-serving manager Roy Hodgson.

They have since snapped up QPR playmaker Eberechi Eze, who scored eight goals, provided 14 assists and generally dazzled with his creative prowess last term. He will slot straight into the team, providing much-needed dynamism going forward.

Star player Wilfried Zaha is desperate to force a move away from the club, but no serious bids have been forthcoming this summer. The Eagles do not score many goals, as Jordan Ayew is not particularly prolific and nor is Christian Benteke, so they will have to toughen up at the back if they are to swerve relegation this season. They are 9/4 with William Hill and a few others to be sent packing to the Championship.

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Newcastle - Savvy Business could be Key

What a miserable summer it has been for Newcastle’s long-suffering fans. They were expecting an oil-rich Saudi consortium to buy the club, install Mauricio Pochettino as manager, sign Philippe Coutinho and send them back to the upper echelons of the Premier League.

However, the deal fell through, Steve Bruce remains in the dugout, Coutinho will not be trading Barcelona for Byker and it promises to be another difficult season for the Magpies.

They defied expectations last term, and they ended up 13th in the standings after securing a number of impressive home wins. However, they ended the campaign with two draws and four defeats from six games, so they are unlikely to make a flying start to the 2020/21 season.

On the plus side, Newcastle have signed Bournemouth duo Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser, which should seriously bolster their attack. Joelinton was hopeless last season, and £20 million signing Wilson represents a serious upgrade.

Left-back Jamal Lewis also looks like a snip at £15 million, while Jeff Hendrick has joined from Burnley to provide more depth in a strong Newcastle engine room. Newcastle are priced between 15/8 and 5/2 to go down, but it seems unlikely after their transfer business this summer.

Burnley - Keeping Star Man Crucial for Survival

It is remarkable to note that Burnley are as low as 5/2 to be relegated with 888 Sport. The best odds available on them going down are just 7/2 with Betway, which would suggest tough times lie ahead for the Clarets.

However, we should not overlook the fact that Burnley finished 10th last season. They were magnificent after the restart, with four wins, three draws and just two defeats from nine games. Sean Dyche has guided them to 16th, 7th, 15th and 10th placed finishes in the Premier League since they won the Championship in 2016, and he remains at the helm.

It is hard to see them going down. Bournemouth were finally relegated last season after a lengthy spell in the top flight, but Burnley are made of sterner stuff. Turf Moor is a brutal place to visit, even without fans, and they should pick up enough points to be safe.

Burnley fans might be concerned to note that they have not yet signed anyone this summer, but there is still time for Dyche to bolster his squad. The most important thing for the club this summer will be keeping hold of key defender James Tarkowski. If he stays, Burnley should stay up.

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The Rest

You can find odds of 4/1 on Sheff Utd, Brighton and Leeds to go down. However, all three should be safe. The Blades were superb last season, Leeds have an exciting squad and a top manager, and Brighton have already made some impressive forays into the transfer market.

One interesting option could be West Ham at 9/2 with William Hill. The Hammers were in the thick of the relegation battle last term, and only finished five points clear of the drop zone after their form improved at the death. They have not yet made any signings of note, and the defence still looks very suspect. West Ham would swiftly sack David Moyes if results go south, and they could end up in trouble.

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