Aug 13, 2021
Aug 13, 2021

Premier League 2021/22: Relegation betting preview

Who are the favourites to be relegated from the Premier League this season?

Premier League relegation odds

Premier League relegation trends

Finding the value in Premier League relegation betting

Premier League 2021/22: Relegation betting preview

The Premier League 2021/22 season is finally here, with all 20 teams set to commence on what they hope will be a positive season. While some clubs will be eyeing up a title challenge or securing European qualification, others will be aiming to avoid relegation to the Championship. With this in mind, who are the favourites to be relegated from the Premier League this season and where does the value lie with relegation betting?

Premier League 2021/22: Relegation favourites

Team

Odds

Implied probability

Norwich City

1.909*

52.38%

Watford

2.000*

50.00%

Brentford

2.100*

47.62%

Crystal Palace

2.750*

36.36%

Burnley

3.500*

28.57%

As always, the three teams that finish 18th, 19th, and 20th in this season’s Premier League will be automatically relegated to the Championship. Last season, that fate befell Fulham, West Bromwich Albion, and Sheffield United.

Brentford's revered 'Moneyball' approach will be tested in the Premier League this season.

Last season’s Championship winners Norwich City have been priced as the team most likely to get relegated this season at 1.909*. History does not bode well for them on this front; Norwich have finished in the bottom three of the Premier League on five occasions (the joint-most with West Bromwich Albion) and were relegated from the English top flight in each of their last three campaigns in it.

Despite this, manager Daniel Farke has made some shrewd acquisitions to assist in their relegation battle. Most notably, they have secured the highly-rated young midfielder Billy Gilmour on loan from Chelsea, as well as Werder Bremen winger Milot Rashica. Norwich netted a division-low 26 goals during their last season in the Premier League, meaning further additions in attack may be required to boost their chances of survival.

Trailing closely behind is fellow newly promoted side Watford at 2.000*. Xisco Munoz’s team successfully returned to the Premier League at the first attempt following their relegation in 2019/20 by finishing as runners-up in the Championship last season. This was largely courtesy of their imperious home form which featured 19 wins in 23 matches, as well as 59 points of a possible 69 at Vicarage Road. Their home form may thus prove crucial to their chances of staying in the top flight this season.

Watford being labelled as a relegation favourite perhaps more accurately reflects the lack of stability at management level rather than a shortage of talent in the squad. During their last Premier League campaign, four different managers took the helm as part of their increasingly desperate efforts to avoid relegation, and perhaps unsurprisingly Munoz has been tipped by many to be the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season.

Brentford (2.100*) won the Championship play-offs last season. Their first appearance in the English top flight in 74 years is a triumph of their innovative ‘Moneyball’ system, which heavily relies on expected goals data in order to identify talented but undervalued players in the transfer market. In recent years, the club have been deservedly praised for developing such individuals before selling them on for significant profits.

Whether such an approach will enable them to craft a squad good enough for the Premier League is difficult to tell and an arguable lack of proven quality and experienced players capable of making an instant impact could prove their downfall this season. Their chances of survival will presumably rely on forward Ivan Toney, who scored 31 league goals during their successful promotion bid, and their reliable defence which conceded only three goals in their final 11 fixtures last season.

Premier League 2021/22: Potential relegation candidates

A difficult season could lie in wait for Crystal Palace (2.750*). The Eagles finished 14th last season but conceded 66 goals in the process, a worse return than two of the three teams who were relegated. Since then, they have undergone a mass exodus with no less than 10 players being allowed to leave at the end of their contract this summer and replaced Roy Hodgson as manager with the relatively unproven Patrick Vieira.

Vieira’s last managerial outing was with Nice and ended with his dismissal last December following five successive defeats in all competitions. Furthermore, their season begins in difficult fashion with three London derbies, including a visit to Champions League winners Chelsea followed by a home fixture against Brentford in what could feasibly serve as an early relegation ‘six-pointer’. Vieira will need to impose a consistent tactical identity among an inexperienced and makeshift squad if they want to stay clear of the bottom three.

Burnley (3.500*) have slowly established themselves as Premier League stalwarts in recent years, although a poor second half of the season culminated in a 17th-place finish in 2020/21. While it is worth noting that they did finish 11 points above the bottom three, Sean Dyche’s immediate priority for this campaign will be curtailing a poor stretch of form that witnessed them finish last season by earning just 13 points from their final 15 matches.

It is thus worrying that they are yet to make any significant improvements to their playing squad via the transfer market, with defender Nathan Collins and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey presently their only notable additions. Burnley will commence this season with a broadly straightforward set of fixtures, but if they fail to take a decent points return from them, then they could easily find themselves engaged in a relegation battle.

Premier League relegation trends

A popular adage among Premier League fans is that 40 points from a team’s 38 matches is the ‘magic number’ required to avoid relegation. Indeed, the only team to have had more than 40 points in a 38-game Premier League season and been relegated is West Ham with 42 in 2002/03. Notably, last season both Crystal Palace (37.95) and Burnley’s (38.10) expected points totals were below 40 points.

However, in recent campaigns teams have earned less than 40 points and comfortably stayed in the top flight. In the last five seasons, none of the 15 relegated teams earned any more than 34 points, while last season Fulham finished 18th with only 28.

Premier League: Recently relegated teams

Season

18th

19th

20th

2016/17

Hull City
(34 points)

Middlesbrough
(28 points)

Sunderland
(24 points)

2017/18

Swansea City
(33 points)

Stoke City
(33 points)

West Bromwich Albion
(31 points)

2018/19

Cardiff City
(34 points)

Fulham
(26 points)

Huddersfield Town
(16 points)

2019/20

Bournemouth
(34 points)

Watford
(34 points)

Norwich City
(21 points)

2020/21

Fulham
(28 points)

West Bromwich Albion
(26 points)

Sheffield United
(23 points)

Instead, the stats suggest that a more reliable target for avoiding relegation is earning 10 league wins over the course of the campaign. Since 2012/13, only one team has been relegated from the Premier League having won at least 10 league matches that season (Cardiff City in 2018/19).

Lastly, and perhaps contrary to expectation, newly promoted teams tend to stay in the Premier League more often than they are relegated. Of the last 69 teams to be promoted, only 30 (43.5%) were relegated the following season, suggesting that your chances of staying up are narrowly in your favour if you have just been promoted.

Odds subject to change

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