Premier League outright market changes ahead of the run-in
In his weekly column, Alan Alger analyses the state of play in the Premier League heading into the final nine gameweeks.
No Premier League team has more than 10 games remaining as the latest international break gives way for the end of season run-in.
Glancing at the teams occupying the first and last places in the current Premier League table, it may seem as if not much needs resolving over the next few weeks. Manchester City will inevitably be crowned champions, with a token quote keeping up appearances for those Manchester United (100/1) and Leicester City (200/1) fans that want to believe there’s still life in the title race.
At the other end of the table it’s even more clear-cut at that Sheffield United will be playing in the Championship next season.
It’s probably fair to say that enough chances were given to the Blades to prove they could suddenly kickstart the form they showed when finishing ninth last year. A brutal assessment of our pricing during the first quarter of the season could say we definitely got that particular call wrong.
Having started the season at 7/2 in the relegation market, they were still an odds-against price of 5/4 going into November with a solitary point on the board.
It was maybe general snobbishness against Sam Allardyce and his appointment at West Bromwich Albion that kept the Baggies rated way behind the Yorkshire club. It’s still a 1/100 quote that they, too, will be back in the second tier before lockdown is fully lifted.
So what of the other 17 positions?
Newcastle are winless since February 6 and their relegation odds now sit at a seasonal low of 4/6. That’s a 60% chance of losing their top-flight status.
With Newcastle United winless since February 6, a huge correction has been made to their relegation odds as they now sit at a seasonal low of . That’s a 60 per cent chance of losing their top-flight status.
Let’s remember that their seasonal high price of 6/1 for the market actually occurred as recently as December, not because they were showing good form – with just 5 wins in 16 by the turn of the year, they weren’t – but because three other teams were performing far worse.
Of those three, it has been Fulham that have dragged themselves up above the Magpies in the market, with Scott Parker performing managerial heroics to find a few wins to add to the haul of 11 draws from 30 games.
The Cottagers are to be relegated with Betway and still look the only viable alternative to the Championship gaining three teams from north of the Watford Gap in 2021/22.
The race to join Manchester City in next season’s Champions League is headed by their near neighbours United at 1/20.
Leicester and Chelsea at 4/11 and 2/5 respectively are the two clubs offering hope to the chasing pack that they might vacate one of the spots in the race for the top four. Liverpool (11/4), Tottenham (3/1) and West Ham United (5/1) are the ones most likely to take advantage but a collective 15 points from a possible 36 in their March matches doesn’t give great hope for a thrilling overhaul from any of them.
The Easter weekend contains an intriguing Arsenal v Liverpool fixture that doesn’t have too much importance for the mid-table Gunners, although it’s an interesting one with a view to next season and the ratings which will align those prices.
Mikel Arteta’s team are going off at nearly half the price that they would have done if this game had taken place earlier this season, with that calculation mainly drawn from Liverpool’s poor recent form rather than the Spaniard’s progress at the Emirates. A draw at 12/5 looks the best bet though.
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