It is odds of +1600 bar Aston Villa and Sunderland in the English Premier League wooden spoon race so, having picked the Black Cats before the season kicked off, now is a good time to review the market and work out what to do next.
Aston Villa will spend Christmas Day at the foot of the English Premier League ladder. In the 23 previous editions of the English Premier League, only three teams that spent Christmas Day at the bottom of the pile have managed to avoid the drop – West Bromwich in 2003-2004, Sunderland in 2012-2013 and Leicester in 2013-2014. Each of West Bromwich, Sunderland and Leicester had exactly 10 English Premier League points on Christmas Day so no side has made a great escape having been stuck on single digits on 25 December.
Unfortunately, no-one is going to get rich backing Aston Villa to be relegated from the English Premier League for the first time. The top price available about Aston Villa, which is more points adrift of safety than it has accrued in the first 17 English Premier League rounds, going down is -833 . Even if a probability of 89.29 per cent understates Aston Villa’s chance of exiting the English Premier League, waiting several months for a -833 winner is unappealing.
But what about having a punt on Aston Villa to finish last in the English Premier League, an option that Ladbrokes is listing at odds of -125 ? Of the 23 teams that spent previous editions of the English Premier League at the foot of the ladder, 14 of them ended up collecting the wooden spoon, four finished one off the bottom and another two went down. Fourteen out of 23 equates to 60.89% or odds of -156 and Aston Villa’s tally of seven English Premier League points from 17 matches is the fourth worst in terms of points per game out of those 23 sides. Aston Villa strikes one as being over the odds at -125 to place last in a division for just the second time since it was one of the 12 founder members of the English Football League in 1888 – the Villans were 22nd of the 22 teams in the 1986-1987 English First Division, the forerunner to the English Premier League.
Disciples of this regular column ought to be on Sunderland to take out the English Premier League wooden spoon at its pre-season odds of +800 . One had taken issue with bookmakers viewing Sunderland as only the fourth most likely side to run last in the English Premier League because the Black Cats had cheated death on many occasions and their summer transfer business has been poor. Now Sunderland, five points ahead of Aston Villa but three points behind 18th-placed Swansea, is trading at odds of +200 with Bet365 to pick up the English Premier League wooden spoon for the third time.
The presence of Sam Allardyce in the Sunderland dugout is sufficient reason for one to recommend having an interest on another team to finish 20th in the English Premier League. Allardyce, colloquially known as Big Sam, has experienced relegation only once in his managerial career and that was when he took over Notts County in January 1997 and proved incapable of keeping the Magpies in England’s third tier.
Dutching Aston Villa and Sunderland at English Premier League wooden spoon odds of -125 (now) and +800 (previously) respectively produces a bet at -200 . However, one’s respect for Allardyce’s managerial ability is such that one would prefer to turn Sunderland into a break-even English Premier League wooden spoon result and have most of one’s eggs in Aston Villa’s basket. So, if you had $100 on Sunderland at odds of +800 to end up at the foot of the English Premier League ladder, have $800 on Aston Villa at odds of -125 , thereby obtaining odds of -167 about the Villans with a saver on the Black Cats. Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner is looking to sell the Villans and one suspects that their boss, Remi Garde, will spend the remainder of the English Premier League preparing for English Championship life.
Aston Villa to finish bottom on the Premier League
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