We have looked at the top end of the Premier League and the market for the leading goalscorer and now we will focus on the bottom of the table and some of the side markets that have been priced up.
There are a number of ante-post offerings that have gone up and so it would be rude of us not to look at a huge number of them as we build our portfolio for the campaign. We’ll begin the preview with the relegation market.
As ever in a Premier League campaign, we know that three teams will face the drop at the end of the season and so it is down to picking who will go. Often the favourites for the cut are the three teams which come up and two of those filled the three places last term. Based on that, Norwich, Sheffield United and Aston Villa could be in danger.
It is the latter who worry me a little I must admit. For two-thirds of the Championship campaign last term they were ordinary at best, shipping goals for absolute fun and loitering around halfway in the division. A freaky 10 game winning run got them into the play-offs which they won but that masked many deficiencies and the absence of Tammy Abraham from last term leaves a lot of goals to be found. Villa have splashed the cash this summer but that didn’t do Fulham any good and in many ways they are like Villa, poor defensively and relying on an attack which was never going to score enough goals at the top level. There are far too many similarities between the two play-off winners so the 5/2 on Villa to go will do me.
I’ve a feeling that Norwich City and Sheffield United will be more competitive than they are being given credit for. I’m fairly sure one of the two will go down but they have goals in them and that is often important. One team who might not have the required amount of goals in their ranks is Newcastle United, another team I fear for a little.
Steve Bruce has splashed the cash in getting Joelinton in to replace Salomon Rondon and while he isn’t just about goals his output in scoring for Hoffenheim, a generally attack minded side is a major concern. Andy Carroll isn’t much more appealing as a proposition either while Dwight Gayle has never really done it in the Premier League. Newcastle should be organised under Bruce but you have to score goals in this league. Newcastle don’t and they could be propping the rest up as a result.
Next Manager to Leave
This isn’t a market I usually go near but given that we could have to wait a while for the first sacking I’ll take a chance on it and take Dean Smith at 25/1. He has a lot of goodwill at Villa having masterminded that promotion last term but spending £150 million brings with it a good deal of expectation and for all the money he has spent you can still pick holes in his side.
Villa have ambitious overseas owners who once they get a taste of the Premier League riches will want to keep hold of them. Any early struggles could see the seat Smith occupies getting very hot indeed. With no obvious earlier candidate for the chop with many managers having credit in the bank, the 25/1 for Smith could land over time.
Lowest Scoring Team
I’ve already highlighted the concerns I have for Newcastle United when it comes to scoring goals and I don’t see any reason not to back them in this match. I fear for Aston Villa in this department as well but I just don’t see anyone in this Newcastle side who are going to get 10 goals let alone any more. Perez and Rondon for 12 and 11 respectively for the Magpies last term and then next best were two centre-backs – Fabian Schar and Ciaran Clark with four and three. Newcastle only scored 42 goals in 38 games last season. Any drop off from that and they are in huge danger.
Crystal Palace could be interesting because we don’t really know what mindset Wilfried Zaha is going to be in. If he gives it up and has a sulk and ends up going in January then the Eagles could have a bad season scoring wise. Their centre-forwards are ineffective at this level so they are relying on the midfield trio of Zaha, Townsend and Milivojovic to get the goals. The latter’s numbers are inflated by penalties which will be reduced should Zaha not fancy the job and there just doesn’t look like there are many goals in them at all. At 25/1 I’ll play them too.
Top Half Finish
Another nice market to bet on is the top half finish one where we have 10 places up for grabs. Clearly six of those are going to be filled by the big six but there isn’t a huge amount between the other 14 sides in this division usually so we’re looking for a team who did good business in the summer and who are open to a little bit of progression.
Bournemouth could be that side. They are established in this division now and so their next task is to push into that top half. To be fair they could easily have finished in the top half in a couple of campaigns had they not sacked it off when they were safe but when you spend the money they have over the last couple of seasons you can’t give it up in March any longer. Bournemouth are getting more depth to their personnel now and at 4/1 look interesting to make the top half.
Top Team Goalscorer
Most of the teams have their top team goalscorer priced up but there are main men that you wouldn’t really want to take on in a number of them, with the second option pretty short in a lot of them too, however if you look far enough down the list you can find one or two and there is one in particular that I’m happy to back.
Pedro was the second highest scorer for Chelsea in the Premier League last term and with Eden Hazard out of the way he is effectively the top scorer of those left. Tammy Abraham and Michy Batshuayi are around this season but the former has never really campaigned effectively at this level and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if the latter ends up elsewhere before the European window closes. I don’t think Giroud offers enough and with Lampard using his wider players right up the pitch at Derby last term I suspect we’ll see Pedro high up. At 9/1 he looks overpriced to me given that we at least know he has the quality at this level.
Back Aston Villa to be relegated for a 3/10 stake at 3.50 with Coral
Back D.Smith Next Manager to leave post for a 1/10 stake at 26.00 with Coral
Back Newcastle United Lowest Scoring Team for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 with Betfred
Back them here:
Back Crystal Palace Lowest Scoring Team for a 1/10 stake at 26.00 with William Hill
Back Bournemouth Top 10 Finish for a 2/10 stake at 5.00 with William Hill
Back them here:
Back Newcastle United Lowest Scoring Team for a 1/10 stake at 13.00 with Bet365
Back Pedro Top Chelsea Season Goalscorer for a 1/10 stake at 10.00 with Bet365