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Betting on the 2019/20 EPL Relegation Battle

| June 5, 2020 4:59 am PDT
Premier League Relegation Battle

It is no secret that the Premier League title race finished a long time ago. Liverpool’s 25-point lead at the top means that it’s only a matter of time before Jurgen Klopp’s side is crowned champion. But at the other end of the table, the relegation battle is far from over.

Following a three-month lay-off, the 2019/20 EPL season is set to resume on Wednesday, June 17. And with nine full rounds of fixtures remaining this term, there are a number of teams that are in real danger of finishing in the bottom three.

In this post, I tell you everything you need to know about betting on the 2019/20 EPL relegation battle. I assess the odds and take an in-depth look at each teams’ chances before sharing my pick.

So, without further ado, let’s get into my 2019/20 Premier League relegation battle betting guide.

Latest 2019/20 EPL Relegation Odds

Here are the latest 2019/20 EPL relegation odds.

Norwich City1.08
Aston Villa1.35
West Ham United3.00
Brighton & Hove Albion3.50

As things stand, Norwich sits bottom of the table with 21 points — four points adrift of second-bottom Aston Villa. Bournemouth, Watford, and West Ham are all locked on 27 points, with Brighton on 29.

Norwich has been rooted to the foot of the table since December, so you can’t blame the bookies for giving the Canaries such a low price here. But with just four points separating the other five relegation contenders, there are some very attractive odds elsewhere in this market.

In order to make sense of these odds and find the best value bet, let’s take a closer look at the teams.

Norwich Needs a Miracle

Is Norwich City the best bottom team the Premier League has ever seen? Quite possibly, but that strange — and somewhat patronizing — tag isn’t going to save the Canaries from relegation.

Sure, Daniel Farke’s side has stuck to their guns throughout the season, and many of the club’s young stars have thrived in the top flight. But their fearless approach has continuously been exploited, leaving the team with just five wins from 29 games this term.

Not only is Norwich the division’s lowest scorer, but Aston Villa is the only side that has conceded more goals than Farke’s men. These statistics outline the problems at both ends of the pitch.

Teemu Pukki got off to a flier at the start of the season, netting six goals in his first five EPL appearances. However, the striker only managed to score five in the next 23 games. Norwich’s overreliance on Pukki was quickly exposed.

Taking points from upcoming games against relegation rivals Brighton, Watford, and West Ham will be key to their survival. Still, the Canaries have daunting away trips to Chelsea and Manchester City on the horizon.

Six points from safety with nine games remaining, Norwich looks set for an immediate return to the Championship.

Can Villa Beat the Drop

If you thought Norwich’s run-in sounded tough, spare a thought for Aston Villa. They still have to face five of the current top seven, while West Ham is the only team in the bottom seven that Villa will be able to take points from.

It’s fair to say that Dean Smith’s men have failed to adapt to the demands of the Premier League. Some of their defending has been nothing short of shambolic this season, and the team has lacked a cutting edge in attack.

Jack Grealish has been a bright spot in an otherwise gloomy campaign, with the captain singlehandedly dragging his team through games at times. But despite his record of seven goals and six assists, Villa is in serious trouble.

Of course, injuries to key players haven’t helped matters. First-choice goalkeeper Tom Heaton, highly-rated midfielder John McGinn, and record-signing Wesley have all spent lengthy spells on the sidelines this season. But even with a full complement, I don’t think that Villa would be any higher up the table.

Villa suffered four straight defeats leading up to the break, so Smith probably wouldn’t have been too disappointed that the season was put on hold. The manager has had three months to plan his side’s escape, but has the damage already been done?

Bournemouth Must Start Winning

Bournemouth has been punching above their weight ever since they gained promotion to the Premier League in 2015. Manager Eddie Howe has kept the club afloat with limited resources, but it could be argued that the south coast side has been riding their luck in recent seasons.

Things have slowly been going downhill over the years. Following a ninth-place finish in 2016/17, the Cherries have registered finishes of twelfth and fourteenth. As things stand, they currently find themselves eighteenth.

Bournemouth’s decline has been gradual, although the team’s performances have been noticeably worse this season. Howe’s job is under threat for the first time since re-joining the club in 2012, and the manager has cut a stressed figure for much of the campaign.

Like Villa, Bournemouth has been blighted by injuries this term. But with the hugely productive David Brooks back to full fitness and Liverpool midfielder Harry Wilson extending his loan deal until the end of the season, the Cherries have more than enough quality to steer clear of relegation trouble.

Yes, Bournemouth still has tricky fixtures against four of the top six still to come. But there are also winnable games against Crystal Palace, Newcastle, Southampton, and Everton in the coming weeks.

Is West Ham Destined to Go Down?

After spending big in the previous summer transfer window, West Ham was expected to challenge for a Europa League spot this season. Forwards Sebastien Haller and Pablo Fornals were brought in for a combined total of over £60m, with star man Marko Arnautovic leaving for China.

However, to say that the Hammers have failed to live up to expectations this term would be a massive understatement.

Following a run of nine defeats in 12 games, manager Manuel Pellegrini was sacked in December and replaced by David Moyes. The former Everton and Manchester United boss oversaw a 4-0 thrashing of Bournemouth in his first game in charge, but he has only managed one win in nine since then.

The managerial switch has done very little to turn West Ham’s season around. While many Hammers supporters were happy to see the back of Pellegrini, it’s clear that Moyes isn’t a popular successor.

Victory over Southampton in their penultimate game before the break ensured that West Ham has spent the three-month lay-off just outside the relegation zone, albeit on goal difference. But there is still plenty of work to do.

Moyes’ men still have to play Wolves, Tottenham, Chelsea, and Man Utd, while crunch matches against Norwich, Watford, and Aston Villa could define their season.

Will Watford Survive?

It’s hardly surprising that a club who is already on their third manager of the season is firmly embedded in this year’s relegation battle.

Javi Gracia lasted just four games before he was sacked by cut-throat owner Gino Pozzo. Quique Sanchez Flores only managed one win during his ten-game spell in charge. And now it is Nigel Pearson’s job to save Watford’s season.

Pearson famously helped West Brom to achieve their “great escape” in 2005 before saving Leicester from the drop in 2014/15, so there is no denying that he’s got the credentials when it comes to top-flight relegation battles. But can he work his magic once again?

The new boss initially oversaw a spirited turnaround, taking 14 points from a possible 18 across a six-game unbeaten run. However, one win in their previous seven games — a memorable 3-0 victory over Liverpool — has left the club hovering just outside the bottom three.

Watford showed everyone what they are capable of by emphatically putting an end to Liverpool’s unbeaten season, but the Hornets must now perform at that level for the remainder of the campaign in order to beat the drop.

Brighton Still Isn’t Safe

There is a sense that Brighton has improved dramatically since Graham Potter replaced Chris Hughton as manager. Yes, the team has played a more attractive brand of soccer under their new boss. But their results don’t exactly mirror that.

Brighton failed to win any of their nine games leading up to the break. In fact, the Seagulls have drawn eight of their previous 14 games, with only one win coming during that period. There is no hiding away from the fact that this is relegation form.

Without a victory in 2020, the Premier League’s draw specialist needs to find a way to win games. Brighton is only two points clear of the relegation zone and arguably has the hardest run-in of all the relegation contenders.

Liverpool, Man City, Man Utd, and Arsenal all still have to visit the Amex Stadium, while away trips to high-flying Leicester and battling Norwich are going to be extremely difficult.

Will Brighton’s draws keep them in the EPL? Or will the team’s inability to turn one point into three ultimately work against them?

EPL Relegation Prediction and Pick

It feels like Norwich has been doomed for much of the campaign, so it’s no surprise that the Canaries are the firm favorites for relegation. But with odds of 1.08, there really isn’t any point in backing Norwich in this market.

The same could be said for Aston Villa. The Villains’ upcoming fixtures are going to make it very tough for Dean Smith’s men to beat the drop, but Villa’s price of 1.35 isn’t worth bothering with.

I have a feeling that Bournemouth is going to escape relegation. Over the years, Eddie Howe has transformed the Cherries into an established top-flight club. With a number of key players returning from injury and a fairly favorable run-in, I can see Bournemouth surviving.

Considering the congested nature of the bottom of the table, the odds for the three outsiders in this market are very generous. West Ham, Watford, and Brighton each have a price of at least 3.00, and I believe they are all in danger.

Brighton will resume the campaign with a two-point advantage over West Ham and Watford. Although the Seagulls have drawn a lot of games this season, they have also suffered far fewer defeats than their relegation rivals. Graham Potter’s side has lost 12 of their 29 league games this term.

On the other hand, Watford has lost 14, while West Ham has suffered a whopping 16 defeats. Under Nigel Pearson, Watford has a real chance of avoiding relegation. But I’m not so confident about West Ham.

The Hammers still have to face four of the current top eight, and their record against the division’s stronger sides hasn’t been good in 2019/20. Furthermore, mounting off-field issues are likely to hinder the team.

Moyes’ record of two wins in ten games since taking over means that the majority of supporters are yet to warm to him, and a couple of negative results will quickly turn more fans against the manager.

When you couple the Hammers’ tricky run-in with the disharmony at the club, odds of 3.00 for West Ham to be relegated suddenly become very attractive.

  • West Ham United to Be Relegated

Final Thoughts

As much as I’ve enjoyed watching Norwich in the Premier League this season, I can’t make a case for them avoiding relegation. The Canaries have certainly made their mark on England’s top flight in 2019/20, but they are heading for a swift return to the second tier.

Admittedly, I could’ve picked any of the other five teams in this market to join Norwich in the bottom three. However, I believe West Ham offers the best value. The Hammers have endured a dismal campaign up to this point, and I don’t see how Moyes is going to change that when the season restarts.

If you’re looking for a safe bet, backing Aston Villa at 1.35 wouldn’t be a bad idea. But if you want to go for a more profitable option, I highly recommend betting on West Ham to be relegated.

As all the major European soccer leagues return, make sure you keep up to date with all the latest developments over at our soccer blog.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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