football

Who’s Facing The Drop? We Look At The Strugglers…

March 17, 2017

- Grant Whittington

With the business end of the season approaching, managers, players and fans of the struggling clubs are looking over their shoulders at the possibility of relegation.

Three will go down to the Championship from the Premier League and there are six likely candidates at present.

Sunderland have become the Houdini of the top-flight, always seeming to win their battle against the drop, with Gus Poyet and Sam Allardyce able to wriggle the club out of tricky situations in recent seasons.

However, current boss David Moyes does not seem to have inspired his charges in the same way and they Premier League relegation favourites at 1/10 with Betway.

It does seem likely they will fall as, Jermain Defoe aside, there is no real goal threat in the side, and the England man cannot do it all on his own.

The Black Cats have 19 points and are six adrift of safety at the moment with games running out fast.

Ay Karanka!

North East neighbours Middlesbrough are also in strife, sitting 19th in the standings and with 22 points.

The Teessiders have been generally solid at the back but cannot score goals, with a woeful return of just 19 all season and suffering the proverbial ‘relegation form’ since the turn of the year.

They are 1/3 to make an immediate return to the second tier and, having won just four games this term, it seems probable that they will not survive, with under-pressure boss Aitor Karanka then paying the price.

Hull City’s victory over fellow strugglers Swansea threw them a Premier League lifeline but they are still in the drop zone with 10 games to go and can be backed at 4/7 to fall through the trap door.

Marco Silva has given the fans hope that they might still be in England’s top division next season but consistency is a problem as the Yorkshire club cannot string two consecutive wins together.

At this stage of proceedings any club that can win three in a row can shoot up the table and that is exactly what Crystal Palace will be aiming for in their next match with Watford.

The Eagles looked doomed to the drop as the ‘Allardyce effect’ did not seem to be working at Selhurst Park, but they have finally responded to the man who was in charge of England for a couple of ill-fated months last year.

Wins over Boro and West Brom have seen the south London outfit finally climb out of the bottom three and it would be no surprise to see ‘Big Sam’ work his magic once again.

He needed a challenge after the Three Lions debacle and has stuck to the principles that have served him so well in the past – the challenge now is to keep it up over the rest of the campaign to justify the club’s decision to sack Alan Pardew.

Odds-on for relegation at one stage, Palace can now be backed at 7/4 to be the first club Allardyce has ever taken down, but it is always handy to take a look at football betting news to get the best price.

The Jacks On Their Way Back

Swansea are on their third manager of the season but seem to have hit the right note with Paul Clement.

The Bob Bradley experiment was never going to work as the American seemed way out of his depth in the cut-and-thrust of Premier League football, but Clement was working at the mighty Bayern Munich before moving to south Wales.

He is a shrewd tactician and has a calm demeanor – a vital trait when things start to get hairy over the final few weeks.

Swans’ fans will hope they can continue the upward curve and build on the 27 points they have accrued to date, and they are generally priced around 7/2 for relegation.

It seems almost incredible to be talking about Leicester City as relegation candidates after they stunned the football world to take the title last season.

It was always going to be tough to follow up the fairytale and losing star midfielder N’Golo Kante hardly helped matters.

The France international was instrumental in the Foxes’ title-winning campaign but now plies his trade with Chelsea.

Jamie Vardy’s goals have dried up and there was a universal sigh of disappointment when the ever-popular Claudio Ranieri was sacked.

However back-to-back wins shows that the owners were probably correct as rumours suggest that all was not well between the players and coach.

Although it has been denied, there is no smoke without fire but they surely have enough quality to get out of trouble and are now 7/1 for the drop.

There is always a chance that one of the sides just above the bottom six will go into freefall but it appears likely that fans of three of the six clubs mentioned will be in tears on May 21.

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