Destined for the Dreaded Drop: Who Faces Relegation from the Premier League?

9 months ago

They say (and this is a conservative estimate) that relegation from the Premier League into the Championship costs the unlucky trio to fall through the trapdoor in the region of £60 million big ones.

And that figure assumes that your team will bounce back at the first time of asking, with the losses from that point on exponentially rising if you don’t.

Matchday income, TV rights, commercial revenue, sponsorship….the truth is that once you step out of the limelight it is hard to shine brightly again any time soon; just ask supporters of Leeds United, Wigan, Bolton and Coventry City about what relegation from the top flight can do to a club’s standing in the English game.

With just eight rounds of fixtures to go, punters are already fixated with the notion of who will be relegated from the Premier League this year, and the bookmakers have had their say too.

Here are the latest odds and some common sense EPL relegation predictions:

West Brom Relegation Odds (1/33)

There’s the old saying that the bookies are very rarely wrong, and if that’s the case then West Brom are doomed.

You can see where the sportsbooks are coming from: the Baggies, with a host of off-the-field problems, are currently eight points from safety, and so a conservative suggestion would be that they need to win a minimum of six of their last eight matches to stay up.

For a side that’s won three of thirty outings so far this term – and once since August in the league – you’d have to say that the unfortunate truth is that Alan Pardew and his squad need to start preparing for life in the second tier.

There hasn’t been one defining factor that has caused the Baggies to flounder so badly, but a collection of woes. They haven’t scored enough goals; indeed, their total so far is the lowest in the Premier League, and that’s a hangover from Tony Pulis’ time in charge. Simply, Pardew does not have the attacking personnel at his disposal to change things around.

In February the club’s chairman, John Williams, and chief executive Martin Goodman were sacked as part of a monumental overhaul in the boardroom, and that came shortly after four West Brom players – Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore, Jonny Evans and Boaz Myhill – were alleged to have ‘commandeered’ a taxi after a night out in Barcelona.

Nothing has gone right for West Brom this term, and unfortunately the cutthroat nature of the top flight has taken its toll. In discussing who will be relegated from the Premier League this year, the Baggies are already dead and buried.

Stoke City Relegation Odds (4/5)

stoke city

As part of the bookmakers’ Premier League relegation predictions, Stoke too should be preparing for life in the Championship given their status as odds-on candidates to slip through the trapdoor.

They are currently just one point adrift of safety, but at a time of the season when winning games is key – even 12 points gained from here is enough – we have to ask whether the Potteries based side have the quality to regularly pick up three points.

They’ve only won once since Christmas, and since Paul Lambert took charge in January their formline reads a respectable but not mind-blowing W1 D4 L3.

At this point of the campaign we’re looking for quality: do Stoke have the necessary match winners in their squad to accumulate enough points for safety? Other than Xherdan Shaqiri you’d have to suggest not, and with Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal in their next set of six games you would have to suggest the outlook does not look good for the Staffordshire outfit.

Southampton Relegation Odds (15/8)

On Thursday, Southampton appointed Mark Hughes as their temporary manager until the end of the season, and rather than having a positive impact upon their odds to avoid relegation it actually had the opposite effect.

Is Hughes that bad a manager? Not really no, although there is a theme of failure on his CV. He failed to turn Manchester City, newly minted with foreign investment, into a force, and lasted less than a year at both Fulham and QPR. His most recent act was to slowly weaken Stoke too, so you can forgive Southampton fans and punters for their pessimism.

On paper at least, the Saints should not even enter into the debate of who will be relegated from the Premier League this year. The spine of their team is solid, they have an excellent creative force in Dusan Tadic and Charlie Austin, when fit, is one of the most natural goalscorers in the division.

But that all counts for nothing when your manager cannot organise you into a coherent outfit – a fact that ultimately cost Mauricio Pellegrino his job, and you do have to wonder if Hughes is the right man to bring about an immediate change. Some tricky fixtures in April – away trips to Arsenal and Leicester, home dates with Chelsea and ‘local’ rivals Bournemouth – will prove decisive.

West Ham Relegation Odds (9/4)

The Hammers’ appearance in pundits’ EPL relegation predictions is a rather recent thing, with the Irons losing four of their last five. And the angry scenes and unacceptable behaviour that greeted their 0-3 loss to Burnley the other week suggests a club not exactly pulling together at this crucial time.

The Irons have been on a slippery slope ever since they left their Upton Park home to move to the Olympic Stadium; a move that has, quite frankly, been met with universal criticism by all associated with the club bar its owners, who now get more pounds in their pockets after each home game.

The players’ performances on the pitch are a natural reaction to their supporters’ antics off it, and despite boasting plenty of quality in the squad you suspect that might not be enough to slow this runaway train.

The Hammers face Chelsea and Arsenal in away games sandwiched in-between home dates with Stoke, Southampton and Manchester City; the former pair considered to be ‘must win’ ties.

Barely three months ago West Ham didn’t even feature in Premier League relegation predictions, and now their home ground horrors make them a leading candidate to suffer the worst fate possible.

Crystal Palace Relegation Odds (5/2)

Crystal Palace

It is easy to forget that Crystal Palace are currently in the bottom three, but there is a sense of stability and decorum with the Eagles that suggests they are in a better place to avoid the drop than many of their peers.

Roy Hodgson has brought a simplicity to Palace that is much needed in choppy waters, and while his rigid 4-4-2 formation is easy for opposition to fathom out – look how easily Manchester United turned around a 0-2 half-time deficit at Selhurst Park when they realised it was so simple to break through their midfield line – it brings a certain sense of calm in a time of much uncertainty.

Hodgson has had to deal with countless injuries since taking charge too, but with Wilfried Zaha and Ruben Loftus-Cheek returning in time for the run-in the Eagles look ready to soar clear of the dropzone; especially as four of their next five opponents in Bournemouth, Watford, Brighton and Huddersfield are there for the taking.

Only the very brave are namechecking Crystal Palace in their EPL relegation predictions right now.

 

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Written by Craig Simpkin

A sports journalist with a smorgasbord of experience writing for a variety of publications, Craig is a Leicester fan hoping that England can also achieve the impossible this summer.