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Premier League Relegation Preview

Have you heard? Apparently Premier League football starts again this weekend, I hadn't noticed... perhaps they should work on generating more headlines and TV coverage. Sports betting has evolved in recent years, gut instinct and opinion have mostly been replaced by databases and algorithmic trading models. One of the very best of those is Football Form Labs who have shared their wisdom with a preview of the Premier League Relegation market. You can also follow Football Form Labs on Twitter, @footballformlab

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Premier League Relegation Preview

Promoted teams since 1995/96 (the first season with 20 teams):
• Since 1995/96 23 of 53 (43%) promoted teams have been relegated straight back to The Championship
• Just 1/18 seasons have seen all three promoted teams relegated while 2/18 have seen none of the promoted teams demoted (5/18 two relegated and 10/18 exactly one)
• 10/18 play-off champions have been relegated with 7/10 since 2003/04 finishing in the bottom four
• Just 6/15 (40%) teams since 2000/01 appearing in the Premier League for the first time have been relegated
• 17/36 (47%) teams to be promoted having won fewer than 90 points in the Championship have been relegated
• Just four of the last 14 (29%) Championship winners have been relegated
• This year’s promoted teams are Cardiff (Championship winners), Hull (2nd), and Crystal Palace (5th)

None of the promoted teams reached 90 points in the Championship last season so we wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple go straight back down. As champions and given they are making their Premier League debut we’d give Cardiff the greatest chance of the promoted teams to survive. Furthermore, they’ve shown some ambition in the transfer market – twice breaking their transfer record this summer – and could be strong enough to survive.

Hull and Crystal Palace, however, look to have their work cut out. Palace, in particular, look weaker than last year having sold Wilfried Zaha and with Glenn Murray injured. Plus they had the worst defensive record last season for a promoted team since Sunderland 23 years ago.

Hull, meanwhile, were only the 14th highest scorers in the Championship last season and just two of the last 62 promoted teams came up having scored fewer goals (and they had vastly superior defensive records). Is Danny Graham, without a goal since the start of January the man to improve this situation?

Second Season Teams:
• 4/22 teams that finished higher than 15th were relegated
• 4/7 teams that finished 15th or below were relegated (7/7 finished in the bottom five)

Southampton and West Ham are the two teams who must look to safely navigate their second seasons but both finished above the bottom six last season and that bodes well for their chances of survival.

Other teams: • There have been 18 relegated teams other than promoted or second-season sides since 1999/2000, with 17 finishing 12th or lower the previous season
• 10/18 relegated sides had finished in the bottom six in one of the previous two seasons.
• 2/18 teams were in their third season

Teams finishing 12th-17th last season were: Fulham, Stoke, Southampton, Aston Villa, Newcastle and Sunderland. Of these Villa, Newcastle, Sunderland are the only sides to have been in the bottom six in the past two seasons while we’ve mentioned Southampton as a second-season team.

Fulham had a poor season compared with the previous year but they’ve not finished in the bottom six since 2008/09 and should be ok, as should Newcastle who have the quality to finish in the top half. Sunderland were very poor last season. However, with Steven Fletcher fit, Italian international Emanuele Giaccerini on one wing and the probability that Adam Johnson’s form improves significantly on the other, they have the potential to finish higher.

Aston Villa could be in trouble though if Benteke fails to repeat his level of success with the markets overrating how much Paul Lambert’s youngsters will have improved from last term’s experience.

Stoke’s only signings of significance so far are a pair of defenders, which is a surprise given they conceded just two more goals than Man Utd last season. Therefore, we are likely to see a similar team under Mark Hughes as we did under Tony Pulis, that may well prove tough to beat and snatch enough narrow wins to survive – but probably not by much.

Of the teams that finished higher than this, Norwich had a very poor second half to last season and may well struggle this term, although they have spent money in an attempt to sharpen an attack that failed to score in nine of their last 20 games.

Conclusion:

Hull and Crystal Palace look to be two of the weakest promoted teams in Premier League history while the rest of the league has mostly improved and even at odds on prices they appear value. Picking the team to join them is trickier with Cardiff, Norwich, Stoke and Villa all looking quite weak. However, Villa look the best value at 9.0 and have a very tough start to the season with Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool their first three opponents. 12 teams that were either newly promoted or finished in the bottom seven the previous season have lost their first three games in the Premier League and eight went down.

Recommendations:
Crystal Palace to be relegated at 1.57, Coral
Hull to be relegated at 1.7, Youwin
0.25pt Aston Villa to be relegated at 9.0, Coral

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