Does the Relegation Market Provide the Best Value for Premier League Punters?
When a new Premier League season kicks off, you can’t help but wonder which club will claim the title. The prestige of being the EPL champions is too exciting for punters to ignore, hence why the clamour is so intense. Meanwhile, the relegation battle is often overlooked.
This term, however, there’s good reason to suggest that the race for survival will be more appealing than any other contest. Yes, that includes the fight between the title contenders. This is why.
2 – The Championship top-two this season are now guaranteed to be Norwich City and Watford, the first time two clubs relegated from the Premier League the previous season have finished in the top-two since 2009-10 (Newcastle and West Brom). Rebound.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 24, 2021
The Promoted Clubs Aren’t Weak
Normally, the promoted clubs are the first to be ranked as the favourites to go down because they lack the resources and experience to remain in the Premier League. The 2021/22 campaign is different as the promoted clubs look to be very competitive.
The opening weekend showcased this, with Brentford achieving an astonishing 2-0 victory over Arsenal thanks to the likes of Sergi Canós (22) and C. Nørgaard (73). Brentford currently have odds of 1/4 to stay up, according to the English Premier League betting markets following their win. Meanwhile, Watford were also impressive against Aston Villa. On the flip side of the coin, sides such as Burnley and Newcastle didn’t cover themselves in glory. The former was beaten at home to Brighton after taking the lead, whereas the Magpies blew it against West Ham. As a result, both have dropped into the relegation reckoning, with the bookies now quoting them as 6/4 and 13/8 to go down.
With the likes of Ivan Toney and Ismaïla Sarr to rely on, the promoted teams will be threatening and able to pick up points. If Burnley and Newcastle can’t do the same, they’ll find themselves in a huge fight for survival.
The Citizens Are a Broken Record
Everyone jumps on the Premier League title race bandwagon because it’s impossible not to in many respects. But if you’re objective about the battle for the EPL crown, you’ll recognise a pattern – City win it more often than not. In the last four editions of the league, City have won it three times under Pep Guardiola, losing out only once to Liverpool.
Okay, there seems to be a couple of flies in the ointment at the Etihad at the minute. For example, there’s a debate over whether the Spaniard needs a proper striker if he can win back-to-back titles. Regardless of whether City can do it without Sergio Aguero or not, history proves they shouldn’t be counted out. Indeed, City are still the 5/4 favourites to win the league, which goes to show how strong they have been in recent years. After all, the competition is fierce, yet Chelsea are second-favourites with drifting odds of 11/4.
Lesser Sides Feel the Pressure
Part of the difference between the top and bottom clubs isn’t only the money. It’s the squads’ ability to handle pressure. The classy sides don’t just handle it effectively, but they welcome the prospect of being in a pressure-cooker environment.
Smaller teams can’t say the same because they start to let the situation take over. From a neutral’s perspective, this is a brilliant feature because it leads to twists and turns. Brentford, Watford, and Norwich, for example, may begin life in the EPL well, yet they’ll invariably hit tough patches. When they do, it will bring the other survival candidates into the relegation picture, making the race even more intense. This is hardly ever the case with the title battle since City storm away with it before spring.
So, if you have to pick a contest to keep tabs on this season, our recommendation is to follow the clubs in the bottom half. You won’t regret it!