Who Will Win the Relegation Battle in the English Premier League?
Published on May 04, 2018
There are many English Premier League teams that have nothing to play for in May. Others have everything to play for. This is especially true for a couple of reasons for the teams involved in the battle against relegation.
For a start, it’s the most lucrative tournament in the world, and the financial benefits are immense. Sure, the Football Association actually makes sure no club goes bankrupt with some subsidies, but that can’t compare with the piles of cash from the TV rights.
Of course, it’s not only about money. The prestige of playing in the English Premier League is highly valued by the supporters of each club. The pride it brings to whole towns in England can’t be compared with anything else.
And finally, the Championship is one of the most unpredictable leagues in the world. Some clubs have managed to bounce back quickly and return to the Premier League a year after being relegated. Others were sucked into the void, and we haven’t heard of them since.
This is why each of the teams in the bottom will do its best to avoid the relegation in this season’s finale. Here’s how the table looks a couple of games before it all ends.
Let’s take a look at the endangered clubs and explore the betting opportunities related to the relegation battle.
I won’t spend too much time talking about West Brom because the Baggies are done. We all know it, and they know it. The bookies certainly know it, as most of them don’t even offer odds on West Brom going down.
Although the club has a theoretical chance to stay up, that simply won’t happen. The big question is what happens next.
I have the feeling that West Brom won’t be back in the English Premier League soon. They will probably lose some of their best players, and the situation doesn’t look good. The Championship is a hard division to get out of, and I just can’t see West Brom making an instant return to the top flight.
Stoke City are in a slightly better situation than West Brom. The Potters are 2 points behind Southampton and 3 behind Swansea. These are the two teams Stoke could realistically beat to avoid the drop. However, both have a game in hand.
Stoke could find hope in the fact the team hasn’t lost in the last three games against solid opponents like West Ham, Burnley, and Liverpool. The problem is that they haven’t won, either. If Stoke is going to stay in the Premier League, they have to win their last two games. This is not impossible, as the team faces Crystal Palace at home and direct rivals Swansea away.
However, the team certainly needs other results to go in their favor. I think they will make one last final push but still fall short of staying up.
The problem is that the bookies actually are on the same page. The odds for Stoke getting relegated are around the 1.05-1.10. I don’t see any value there.
For years, it looked like Southampton could simply sell their best players, lose exceptional managers, and still stay in the middle of the table. However, the many outgoing transfers have finally caught up with them, and things are looking gloomy this season.
The team currently is the last under the line and will have to work hard to get out of there. On the positive side, Southampton can do the job without relying on the other teams. On the negative, the club has 3 tough games to play.
The first one is against Everton away. Considering that the Toffees have their own issues and aren’t playing for much, Southampton could possibly win this one. Next comes Swansea away, and this will probably be the key for the Saints.
It’s a direct rival, and a win here could turn the tables. In fact, it’s probably their best chance to survive, as Southampton will have to face champions Man City in the last round of the EPL. The quality of Pep Guardiola’s side is too devastating to expect something from this match.
The club has the best one from the teams in the bottom five. As a result, the Saints will have the upper hand if they have the same number of points as any of the other teams at the end.
The odds of Southampton going down are 2.00 or so. I like the club, and I wish I was wrong, but I believe it is in great danger. Still, I believe that they have a better chance than the odds suggest, as one other club on this list has a nightmarish fixture list.
Swansea is one of the teams that has sacked the most managers in the past couple of years. A lot of people, the author of this article included, don’t like that approach. However, despite all the struggles each season, Swansea always manages to avoid the drop at the end.
This year seems the same. The Welsh club looked like going at some point but currently sits above the relegation zone. On top of that, Swansea has a great fixture list. They play Bournemouth away and then Southampton and Stoke at home.
Each of those games is an opportunity to win points. Drawing the two home games could be enough. Furthermore, it’s highly likely that Stoke City will be relegated and play for nothing in the last round. As a result, I believe Swansea will stay in the league.
The odds of 3.75 reflect that, and I don’t see any value in betting on Swansea to get relegated.
If you look at the points and the games played, Huddersfield looks likely to stay in the English Premier League. However, a quick look at the fixture list is a sign of possible disaster.
The club will have to play Man City away from home, then go to London to face Chelsea, and host Arsenal in the last match of the year. I believe it’s close to impossible for Huddersfield to get something from the first two games. Man City are too strong and Chelsea are chasing the fourth spot.
Considering Arsenal’s season so far, especially away from home, it would be reasonable to believe that Huddersfield should be able to beat or at least draw against the Gunners.
However, this will be Arsene Wenger’s last game in the Premier League, at least as an Arsenal manager. I can’t ignore that fact, and I believe the whole Arsenal squad will be desperate to win it for the Professor.
If Huddersfield doesn’t win a point until the end, as I believe will happen, and Southampton manage to get 35, too, the Saints will stay because of the way better goal difference.
The price of such a scenario seems too high to miss.
The West Ham supporters surely won’t be happy with this season. The good news is that the team looks likely to stay in the Premier League despite the struggles. The team got trashed 4:1 by Arsenal and Man City in the last two games, but that’s not that big of a deal.
The 5 points from their three previous matches put them in a good position. The last three games of West Ham are against Leicester away followed by home ties versus Man United and Everton. Not the best fixture list, but way better than Huddersfield, for example.
I believe the Hammers should be able to win some points, which will be enough to stay in the EPL. On top of that, they have a better goal difference than Huddersfield. Even if they lose all three remaining matches, West Ham probably won’t get relegated.
This is the reason why the odds for this to happen are priced around 15.00 at most bookies. Despite the high odds, it’s simply not worth it.
I haven’t included Brighton and the teams above in this analysis, as they seem safe. For the rest, it’s between Southampton and Huddersfield. I rate the chances of both around 50-50, so the value lies in the higher price. In this case, this is Huddersfield at 2.60 or so.