WLB Season Preview 2016/17 | Premier League | Relegation


WHO’S going down from the Premier League this season? Our man Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) casts his eye over the odds.

Premier League 2016/17 | Relegation

Last season in this market I adopted a policy of taking on West Ham. It failed spectacularly. But I’m going to go in again with the idea of backing teams at big prices to go down.

Hull look like a car crash and probably deserve to be as short as 4/6 to go down. They need to get an experienced manager in and their pursuit of Chris Coleman looks not only foolish but also destined to fail.

You’d have to fear for fellow promoted side Burnley in the sense that they seem to refuse to take a gamble when presented with an opportunity in this division. Just like two years ago when they came up they haven’t really spread their financial wings and while it’s admirable it’s going to be a real task to pull survival off.

I’m a huge admirer of manager Sean Dyche and I wonder whether he deserves to be at a club with bigger resources. He might get a chance if he can start the season well with the Clarets.

Middlesbrough have been the Flash Harry’s of the promoted clubs. Chairman Steve Gibson, a man who 20 years ago was one of the top spenders in the division, has brought in Alvaro Negredo on loan from Valencia and the highly rated Marten De Roon (Atalanta) and Viktor Fischer (Ajax) on a permanent basis.

You just get the feeling that Gibson will splash out again if things aren’t go to plan in January and the lure of Aitor Karanka as manager may also help recruitment wise.

Watford look potential relegation fodder when you factor in their poor second half of the season and the unknown quantity of their new manager Walter Mazzarri but at 9/4 I’m happy to leave it be.

West Brom very much appeal in this market at 13/5. They were an awful watch last season and it looks like the fans have gone off Tony Pulis. They dropped from 13th to 14th last season despite Pulis having a full campaign this time round. Their new signings so far this summer fail to inspire. But I think there are better bets…

The cat is out the bag for sure but I still think Swansea look too big at 7/2 to go down this season. Captain Ashley Williams leaving for Everton feels like the end of an era at the club and they could pay for that.

The full-time appointment of Francesco Guidolin at the club was a fair one on the basis of his results last season but you couldn’t say the hierarchy at the club were 100% behind him.

Much like Dick Advocaat at Sunderland last season it may be that the burst of novelty that an interim manager brings to a club evaporates once the new season kicks off.

As well as Ashley Williams the club have also lost Andre Ayew to West Ham. Ayew was their top scorer last season and will be a sore loss for the Welsh side.

The Swans were in trouble for more than half of last season and can be very much be in the thick of it this time around with a suspect squad, manager and decent relegation odds to their name.

The second selection is very much a punt. An outlandish selection that of course I don’t expect to win but at the odds it may be worth chancing. Southampton look too big at 20/1 with William Hill to go down.

The Saints once again have been hit by a summer of exits and it may be that this year it’s a tougher comedown to get over. Manager Ronald Koeman has left for Everton and players Victor Wanyama, Saido Mane and Graziano Pelle have gone elsewhere too.

In Koeman’s place is Claude Puel, a man with no Premier League experience and a suspect history in the dugout. Puel has mixed success with disappointment and is no guarantee to make it work in England.

Player-wise the club have brought in Nathan Redmond from Norwich. A man who spent the last season in an ultimately unsuccessful relegation battle.

Alongside him the highly regarded Pierre-Emile Hojberg has been brought in from Germany and could prove a successful buy but there’s no guarantee there.

Yes I know it’s unlikely, yes I know there’s a big chance I’ll look foolish but at 20/1 there’s no harm in having a small interest in the Saints going down. Last season they won just one match out of eight during the early-winter so they’re not immune to a real drop off in form. You never know.

Best Bets

Premier League 2016/17 – Swansea to be relegated (7/2 BetVictor)

Premier League 2016/17 – Southampton to be relegated (20/1 William Hill)

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Chris first got interested in betting back in 2000 when he began working in betting shops throughout Scotland. He has remained in the industry ever since, specialising in marketing and PR roles. Outside of betting, his interests are listening to Blur and following Queen Of The South.

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