2014 Barclays Premier League Relegation
The relegation battles in the Premier League are often more intense and exciting that what goes on at the top end of the table. At the closing of the 2012/13 Premier League season, the top flight lost Reading, QPR and, after eight seasons, the plucky Wigan, whose survival skills finally evaded them. Replacing them in England’s top flight for next season will be Championship winners Cardiff, runners up Hull and play-off final winners Crystal Palace. So those three will be taking on the might of the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, while scrapping it out, no doubt against the likes of Norwich and Stoke for valuable survival points. Without too much surprise it is all three of the newly promoted clubs who are favourites to take the drop back down.
To some people’s surprise, it is Crystal Palace who are favourites to get relegated. Ian Holloway’s men battled their way past favourites Watford in the Championship Play Off Final at Wembley. It is perceived that Palace will have a harder time staying up in the Premier League than they had actually getting there. Given the fact that they only won one of their last ten matches in the regular Championship season and their history in the Premier League isn’t great, it is a little understandable. Each of their four previous promotions to the Premier League lasted just one season. Despite receiving a huge windfall in cash to help their transition, it may be invested more in a new ground than overhauling the squad.
Hull City are second favourites with bookmakers to go straight back down as well. The Tigers fought hard and grabbed a hold of second place where other promotion candidates were tripping up. They hung on in there in the end and now a massive challenge awaits them as well. Will they have the kind of resources necessary for life in the Premier League? The same question perhaps can be asked of Cardiff, but the Welsh club will likely have a deeper well of resources to call upon to help them stay afloat. They are the only ones of the three newly promoted sides to actually be at positive odds in the 2013/14 Premier League relegation betting.
A lot more interest and value will come from figuring out which ones of the established top flight clubs could have a bad season. Sunderland and Newcastle don’t look that likely to get drawn into relegation worries, and Aston Villa showed a lot of promise towards the back end of last term. Stoke, now without Tony Pulis, who was by and large their whole identity, could struggle to keep a grip on their usual mid table security. Norwich do have limited funds to invest in their squad and are probable relegation candidates. The unpredictable Fulham, another end of season strugglers, too have been starting to gain a little more interest in the relegation market. But in the early market showing, the three newly promoted clubs are clear favourites.