WLB Season Preview 2019/20 | Premier League: Relegation
Finding value in the Relegation market at this stage of the pre-season is fairly difficult and with 10 sides 13/2 or shorter, it is tricky to make a case for someone at a big price getting drawn in to a dogfight at the bottom of the table.
Put simply the Big Six are all getting more than 60 points and Everton, Leicester, West Ham and Wolves are not going down. In truth, Wolves at 40/1 for relegation does make some appeal given that they are in Europe and have a relatively thin squad. However, they were genuinely the seventh best side in the division last term and I simply don’t believe they will go down.
In my Team Verdicts piece, I cited Norwich (11/8), Brighton (2/1) and Newcastle (9/4) to go down. Given that Newcastle are the biggest of the three I will feature them in more details.
The Toon Army have lost 23 goals from last season with Ayoze Perez and Solomon Rondon both leaving for pastures new. Moreover, Rafa Benitez is no longer at the helm and even with the classy Spaniard at the helm they have struggled in the last couple of seasons – far more than 10th and 13th place finishes would suggest.
Steve Bruce did a very decent job at Sheffield Wednesday but the reality is that he is an inferior manager to Benitez and he was hardly blameless in previous relegations from the Premier League with Hull and Burnley. Newcastle do have a fairly decent spine in Martin Dubravka, Fabian Shar, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton but they do have a pretty poor supporting cast and even with the £40m signing of the Brazilian Joelinton I struggle to see where the goals are coming from.
I like the look of all three promoted clubs and have been impressed with the transfer activity of many of the clubs around Newcastle so at 9/4 with Bet365 I am expecting more heartache in the north east.
From a pure value perspective, Crystal Palace at 5/1 (also with Bet365) look too big. They’ve lost Aaron Wan-Bissaka for £50m and their most talented player – Wilfried Zaha – also seems likely to move on. While The Eagles may well do a lot of business before the window shuts, its very unlikely they will be able to adequately replace Zaha.
The Ivorian scored 10 goals last term and assisted many others and without him, and Michy Batshauyi – who has returned to Chelsea – it is very difficult to see where their threat lies from open play.
I do believe there are a few sides that Palace can still claim to be superior to but if they do lose Zaha then this price may well halve, so 5/1 has to be value.