With the way the footballing cards have fallen in the Premier League, only those teams backed by billionaires are able to survive in the upper echelons of the modern game. That has left the rest battling it out for survival, a battle which often makes for more compelling viewing than the ones that rage at the tops of league tables.
This means that the relegation fight in this season’s Premier League should be all the fiercer, as no team can afford to drop back down to the Championship, where it can be so easy to go into freefall and end up in the English third or fourth tiers. Which sides are the betting favourites to be relegated when all is said and done this 21/22 Premier League season? We endeavour to find out well ahead of time.
The spectre of Mike Ashley no longer looms over St James’ Park, but Newcastle Utd’s troubles could just be getting started
Newcastle Utd – A One-Man Team with New Owners
They say you have to be careful with what you wish for, and Newcastle fans are about to find out whether their wishes for a new club owner being granted is the respite they have long hankered for or the death knell that will bring the North East club to its knees.
There is no doubt that investment is required in a squad that relies heavily on Callum Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin overperforming week in and week out, with injuries to either always leading to top betting tipsters backing against The Toon. Such is the level of unrest in the North East, that hometown hero Steve Bruce is being hounded over his tactical decisions, leading some well-respected football tipsters and betting experts to worry for the Magpies if they ditch an experienced manager while in the midst of a crucial relegation scrap. Chances are that this is one divided club that may have to rebuild in the bowels of the Championship.
Claudio Ranieri has been something of a magic man in the Premier League, having helped Leicester to an improbable title, but his challenge at Watford may be far tougher
Watford – Pozzo’s Manager Merry-Go-Round Continues
Since taking the financial reins of the club in 2012 the Pozzo family has had 13 different managers at the helm of the club, and now Xisco Munoz has been unceremoniously ousted in favour of Claudio Ranieri. While this sort of policy has been proven to work for clubs like Chelsea, it is unclear whether it will have the desired effect at the other end of the Premier League table, where continuity builds teamwork and resilience. Just because Ranieri was so successful at Leicester tends to mask the fact that since then his career has been in free fall, including a disastrous spell at Fulham where he only won 3 of his 17 matches as the gaffer. That sort of record is sure to see The Hornets relegated.
Norwich – Endangered Canaries
No amount of home cooking or rousing oration from Delia Smith will be enough for Norwich to escape the drop this season, as their tried and tested method of relying on what got them to the Premier League failing them once again. There had been hoping that Scottish wonder boy Billy Gilmour would come of age at Carrow Road but instead, he has been resigned to the bench and probably can’t wait to get himself back to Chelsea. Their only saving grace is that none of the teams above them have significantly pulled away from the drop zone.
Burnley – Clarets Lacking Flair
Sean Dyche has always been something a miracle worker at Burnley, relying on unfashionable players to deliver unlikely results for him. Unfortunately, it may look like Dyche’s Midas touch is running out, with a lack of goals being a particular problem for his side having only notched 5 goals in 7 games. Their campaign last season was typified by the number of valuable clean sheets they racked up, but teams are now working out how to break them down and expose Nick Pope, which could mean danger for the men from Turf Moor.
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