With the first round of Euro 2012 games over and done with, and hopefully with bulging pockets, we can afford to take a look at the ante post coupons for next season! The market I’m going to be focusing on in this piece is the dreaded Relegation.
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Last season saw Wolves, Blackburn and Bolton fall through the Premier League trap door and there’ll be another fiercely contested fight to avoid it this year.
As is the case with most ante post markets, there is an argument to suggest waiting for the transfer dealings to be completed before making a decision on the teams to struggle each year. However, this will see the odds drift or shorten and could end up diminishing the value so it pays to get on, and get on early!
With the managerial merry-go-round in full swing of late, we’ve seen 2 of last year’s most impressive managers move on to ‘bigger clubs’ in Lambert and Rodgers landing jobs at Villa and Liverpool respectively.
Where does that leave their former clubs? It’s already caused player unrest at Carrow Road with Grant Holt openly trying to engineer a move away from the Club that he contributed so much to last season. Norwich are currently 7/4 to finish in the bottom 3 and have the added burden of the infamous ‘second season syndrome’ to deal with.
Swansea are in a similar situation, having lost their talismanic manager and looking likely to lose their star man, Gylfi Sigurðsson, to Liverpool as well. They played some fantastic free-flowing football last term but you fear that with the loss of Rodgers and Sigurðsson coupled with the surprise element not playing a part this year, the 12/5 about their Premier League tenure coming to an end has mass appeal.
The 2 surprise packages of last year weren’t the only clubs to lose a high-profile manager in recent weeks, as Roy Hodgson sailed off from the Hawthorns sunset into his dream job as England boss.
West Brom always seem to be there or there abouts in the relegation scrap and I think this year could be one fight too many for them at a massive 5/1.
Reading are the pre-season favourites for the drop and it’s easy to see why. Despite an admirable run last season that saw them march to the top of the table when it mattered most, there will be huge doubts over the Royals’ top-flight credentials and at 6/5, some punters may lump on.
Other candidates include Southampton (5/4), relegation Houdini-specialists Wigan at 7/4 and the Hammers are 2/1 shots to yo-yo back to the Championship.