With just two months until the 2017/18 Premier League campaign gets underway, 888Sport have been pricing up odds on which teams will be relegated down to the Championship next season. As of June 9th, Huddersfield are red hot favourites at 3/5 to suffer relegation at the first time of asking but there is some value if you look around. I took a glance at some of the clubs in jeopardy and give my own thoughts on who may drop into the second tier of English football...
As previously mentioned, Huddersfield are market leaders to suffer relegation next season and it is difficult to back David Wagner’s men to avoid the drop right now. The Terriers are in serious need of Premier League experience and their lack of goals in the playoffs will be of relative concern to supporters.
Town are widely expected to finish rooted to the bottom of the table but 3/5 may be a little short for punters. After all, the Terriers could ‘do a Blackpool’ and come racing out of the blocks in the first half of the season. Picking up as many points as possible before Christmas will be key to their chances but staying up might be a step too far...
Will Marco Silva stick it out at Vicarage Road? Only time will tell. Watford are now on their ninth manager in five years and the Hornets may struggle to inspire confidence if the fans fail to build a working relationship with their new boss. Walter Mazzarri was out of touch with Watford supporters but Silva is a much better fit on paper.
During his brief stint at Hull City, Silva built up a reputation for his incredible home form and Vicarage Road regulars will be expecting big things from the Portuguese. Unfortunately, this Watford squad is relatively weak and Silva may need to invest heavily to rebuild before the new campaign. Another torrid season could be on the cards...
An interesting choice. Yes, the Magpies have the pedigree to suggest that they will avoid relegation quite comfortably but this Newcastle squad is fairly weak. Owner Mike Ashley must give Rafa Benitez a substantial sum of money if the Magpies are to build a squad that is capable of staying in the Premier League.
It would be a shame to see Newcastle go straight back down after bouncing back to the top flight at the first time of asking but preparation and activity in the transfer window are both so important. If Ashley is unwilling to part with his cash, then maybe the Magpies deserve to drop out of England’s elite division once again...
BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION
With Brighton, team spirit is crucial. Early on in the campaign, Chris Hughton’s men will be riding high on confidence and adrenaline and their results at the AMEX Stadium will almost certainly determine whether they manage to stay in the Premier League or go down after just one year in the top flight.
Like their relegation rivals, Brighton will have to spend big this summer. For newly promoted sides, signing somebody with Premier League experience is key and the Seagulls will be keen to acquire a big name. Hughton’s own personal knowledge of England’s top flight could help later on in the campaign but Brighton must make a fast start...
For me, Burnley are in big trouble. If long term manager Sean Dyche does indeed leave Turf Moor for Crystal Palace this summer, the Clarets could be on the back foot before a ball has even been kicked. With Dyche gone, the Burnley hierarchy must reconsider their transfer policy this summer – decent sums of money must be spent.
Who will even replace Dyche if he does depart? It is still very much up in the air but Burnley cannot afford to do what Sunderland did last season. The Black Cats left it far too late to appoint David Moyes and they never really recovered. Huddersfield might finish bottom but the Clarets won’t be too far ahead if they fail to prepare astutely...