The main runners in a race no one wants to win
We may be in the early part of summer, but bookmakers know there’s no profit to be made in hanging around and enjoying the off-season. The World Cup in Russia will keep football lovers preoccupied during June and July, but you’ll also find betting on next season’s Premier League including winner, top-four finish and relegation.
We bring you our thoughts on how the lists are shaping up across all markets of interest – turning the spotlight on the bid to avoid relegation here. Wolves, Cardiff and Fulham were promoted from the Championship last term but only two of those three feature near the head.
Here’s how the main players are looking and a few worth keeping close at attractive odds…..
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Cardiff expected to sink
Cardiff were impressive last season when finishing second in the Championship, handing in a tally of 27 wins, nine draws and 10 defeats. They ended nine points off champions Wolves and only two better than Fulham who came home through the play-offs.
Fans of The Bluebirds will miss out on a Welsh derby with Swansea after The Jacks were relegated from the top-flight in spring and traders don’t hold out too much hope for their chances of survival either, expecting them to follow their rivals down 12 months later. Betfred’s 4/5 is one of the better prices available and that has them as favourite.
Surprisingly, Fulham – who finished below Cardiff in the second-tier – are better off in the Premier League betting and that’s surely down to their experience of playing top-flight football. The Cottagers are 7/4 with Betfred to be relegated which suggests they will be safe, just, with three teams currently carrying shorter odds.
If the prices are to be believed there won’t be an awful lot for Fulham fans to shout about this season but they’ll make a few shrewd additions to the squad and survive by the skin of their teeth. Agree? Well we certainly do expect them to spend the bulk of the campaign at the wrong end of the charts but the confidence that comes from gaining promotion often carries a squad through the first-half of a season.
More likely to make up the bottom-three slots with Cardiff are Huddersfield who trade 5/4 (Boylesports) and Brighton who can be found no bigger than 9/4. The Terriers made a decent effort last time, ending 16th with a return of nine wins, 10 draws and 19 defeats. They ended with two draws and two losses in their last four.
The Seagulls were better off but only slightly with three more points on the board after 38 games, leaving them in 15th. They lost each of their last two but had already secured their safety by that point. Avoiding the drop was the goal set-out 12 months ago and it will be again this summer.
Watford are always a tricky side to work out as the board refuse to stick with a manager and give him a run at pushing The Hornets up through the table. There’s no security at the club but they can’t be criticised too much as that strategy has kept them in the Premier League. Will it serve a purpose again? The Londoners are 9/4 (Betfred) to go down.
Others worth a mention with value in mind are Southampton at 9/1 – they only narrowly survived last time – the 4/1 trading on Burnley and the 7/1 you’ll pick-up if opposing West Ham.