Chelsea and Manchester City already look like strong favourites to take the Premier League between them, and often the more exciting and open race is at the other end of the league, as teams scramble for points in the hope of survival. After ten games so far, the league is beginning to take shape and we think there is good value in backing Leicester to finish bottom of the pile come May 2015.
Who’s in danger?
Burnley -143 with Ladbrokes
Burnley currently occupy the bottom spot after a tough start to life in the Premier League. Sean Dyche’s team are yet to win in the top league and have amassed just four points so far from four draws, having lost their other six matches. The quicker they get that first win and get the monkey off their backs, the better. However, it’s almost inconceivable that they could go through the entire season without a victory, and at some point their luck/form will change. They’ve shown enough in most of their games to suggest they can be competitive, and despite the bad start they’re still just five points from safety and only three points behind QPR in 19th. Deserving favourites to finish bottom at the moment, but it’s still all to play for.
QPR +400 Ladbrokes
Harry Redknapp’s QPR side are deep in the relegation mire with just 7 points from their opening 10 games. They have managed a couple of wins – against Sunderland and Aston Villa, but have lost seven, with only one draw to their name. There isn’t a great atmosphere around the club at the moment either, with Redknapp criticizing his player’s fitness in public, and the tag of ‘a team of mercenaries’ banded about with regularity. Team spirit is a huge factor in this league, and QPR’s last-minute capitulation at home to Liverpool where they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, suggests they have very little of it. Lively contenders to sink into the abyss, but owner, Tony Fernandes, could easily throw money at the problem in January – a luxury that others around the foot of the table will not have.
Crystal Palace +1000 with Coral
Neil Warnock inherited Tony Pulis’ Palace side after his shock departure on the eve of the new season. It was Pulis’ ability to organize a team and get the best from a group of ‘average’ players which kept them up last year, and Warnock will certainly have his work cut out to keep them punching above their weight this year. The Palace players don’t look like they’ll let him down though; they’ve shown that fighting spirit which they’re going to need all season, and the experience of last year’s relegation battle will stand them in good stead. They’re on nine points at the moment after 2 wins and 3 draws from their first 10, and are only out of the drop zone by virtue of goal difference.
Sunderland +1600 with Ladbrokes
Gus Poyet’s men secured a vital win against Crystal Palace just recently, and that will have done their confidence the world of good, but they still almost threw it away with yet another own goal. They’re in 15th place at the moment with eleven points, after gaining two wins and five draws from their opening ten fixtures. The fact that they have only been beaten three times is a good sign for the Black Cats, and if they keep on picking up draws along the way, they should just about keep their heads above the parapet. They’re seven points ahead of Burnley with a better goal difference, and that looks like a big gap for the Clarets to make up.
Aston Villa +1800 with Ladbrokes
The season started superbly for Paul Lambert and Aston Villa, with three wins from their first four games, including a 1-0 victory over Liverpool. Since then it’s been all downhill though, and the Villains have lost six in a row to drop sharply down the table. They’re now in 16th place with just 10 points, and the loss of Benteke for three games after his red card against Spurs is a big blow. They need to get the big man back and scoring goals quickly if they want to survive. It has to be said though, that Villa were the better team for long periods in that 2-1 home defeat, and they do look capable of getting results with a fully-fit squad. Injuries and suspensions will be an issue for a very thin squad throughout the season, and if they’re lucky on that front, they’ve probably got enough about them to steer clear of trouble.
Leicester +2000 with William Hill
This looks like a very big price for a Leicester side who are on nine points, just five ahead of Burnley. The Foxes won the Championship to achieve promotion last year, but haven’t found life easy in the Premier League. They scored a remarkable victory over Manchester United when they came from behind to win 5-3, but if you take that freak result out of the equation, they’ve only won one other league game this season – against Stoke. They’re on a run of four defeats in five at the time of writing, and the early season enthusiasm can only carry promoted teams so far. Each of the three promoted teams are going to find points hard to come by this year, and the three of them already occupy the three relegation spots. With Burnley and QPR offered at much shorter odds, Leicester look like the value pick at this stage. Only five points separate the three teams at the moment, and that could quickly change in the coming weeks.
This is a cracking bet at a good price that should give us an interest for the vast majority of the season. The three relegation places are usually only decided in the last few weeks of the campaign, and Leicester should give us a good run for our money right up until those last few matches.
To finish bottom of the Premier League 2014/15
Leicester +2000 with William Hill
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