As respective 8/15 and 4/6 relegation shots, the new season doesn’t bode well for Crystal Palace and Hull City. With nothing but a battle against the drop seemingly in store, pitting the two in direct competition in the divisional match bet market makes Hull certainties to finish on top.
Crystal Palace’s approach to a return to the big time has been curious thus far, deciding to part with a hefty amount of their budget in exchange for Peterborough forward Dwight Gayle, who was playing non-league football as recently as the 2011/12 season.
That reported £8.5m deal hinted at more expensive outlays on the horizon but only the appetite-drying signings of Stephen Dobbie, Jerome Thomas and old codger Kevin Phillips have boosted the squad.
With Wilfried Zaha no longer in the ranks to spark the side into life it’s difficult to see where their Premier League points will come from. And while it’s true to say that Ian Holloway’s close-call survival effort with Blackpool in the Premier League came with a similarly unheralded squad, Palace’s record after being promoted to the top tier makes for eye watering reading.
In all of their three previous returns to the top Palace have never managed to survive relegation, sliding back into the Championship immediately, making them evens in the divisional race with Hull.
The Tigers, on the other hand, do have some positive memories to recall from their last stint in the Premier League, managing a miraculous 17th-placed finish under Phil Brown in 2008/09.
They have taken a more sensible attitude into their transfer activity too, with the Premier League experience of Curtis Davies, Maynor Figueroa, Ahmed Elmohamady and Danny Graham supplementing a squad of talented Championship performers.
With Steve Bruce, an accomplished top-flight manager, at the helm too it’s very difficult to avoid Hull’s 8/11 price to conquer their fellow Premier League newcomers this season.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date