WE'RE in the Premier League home straight. But is there still any long-term value kicking around? Chris Graham (@chrisgraham79) took a look.
Premier League Relegation
A couple of prices have caught my eye amongst the remaining relegation markets. Leicester and Burnley are the two sides that are pivotal to my thoughts, so let me explain.
I'll start with the bottom side Leicester, who I'm taking a negative view on. I'm kind of contradicting myself here a little, as I was pretty astonished how generous their remaining fixture list is. They're only due to face one of the current Top 5, and five of their last nine games come against bottom eight sides.
The three other top half sides (bar Top 5 outfit Chelsea) are West Ham, Swansea and Southampton. Crucially the first two are home fixtures and perhaps winnable.
Their bottom half opponents are QPR, Burnley, Sunderland, West Brom and Newcastle. Not much inspires me there, bar West Brom.
So it's all there for Leicester. But to be honest, I don't think they have the fight. Or rather their manager doesn't. I've thoroughly enjoyed Nigel Pearson being in the top-flight this season, he comes across like your girlfriend's quiet uncle. The kind of guy you'd be nervous about speaking to, but once you did he'd have your back. Bet he drinks ale!
Sadly though he looks gone. Look in his eyes, he seems utterly fed up, bereft of any spark and positive energy. That must transmit to his players. Part of me thinks that if they replaced him now they might just stay up, but he doesn't deserve that.
Despite their favourable fixture list, I can see Leicester tamely exiting the league in May (rightly) shaking their heads at the injustices they've received this season. Quite simply I don't think THEY believe they'll stay up, so why should I?
I'm hearing a lot of pundits just now saying Burnley will stay up. I beg to differ. Sean Dyche and his players have been an absolute credit to their club since the season kicked off in mid-August but I fear the petrol may be running on empty soon.
Dyche has deployed not just a consistent spine, but a consistent side throughout the campaign. Six of his players have accrued 25 or more Premier League starting appearances this season. Compare that to relegation rivals Leicester (1), QPR (3), Sunderland (3), Hull (3) and Aston Villa (3).
Another big concern I have for Burnley is their home fixtures. They have four left and just one is against a bottom half side (Leicester). Stoke follow the brutal double of Tottenham and Arsenal. It's a big ask for the Clarets expecting anything against that North London pair.
Away from home they've won just one game this season and have lost four of their last five road trips. I've never trusted Burnley away all season, and I ain't starting now.
There's two bets for me here. I'll back Leicester/Burnley in BetVictor's Relegation Double market. It quite simply requires you to pick two sides you expect to finish in the three relegation spots. I'll back those two at 5/4.
On top of that, I'll back Burnley at 9/1 with the same firm to finish bottom. I've detailed all my reasons above, Leicester have the most favourable fixtures amongst all the relegation threatened sides, and I've had faith in QPR all season, so I'm not stopping now.
Premier League Relegation – Leicester and Burnley to go down (5/4 BetVictor)
Premier League Relegation – Burnley to finish bottom (9/1 BetVictor)
Come on then. let's hear your view. Give us your thoughts on what Chris has gone with and let us know your three to take the drop.
We'll even give a £10 Free Bet to two of you that correctly predict the three to go down in the correct order.