Ladbrokes have unveiled a smorgasbord of Premier League relegation combination tricasts for those more interested in betting on the less predictable end of the table in 2013/14. With all three promoted clubs going down the following season just once in the competition’s history there’s plenty of reason to oppose the 10/1 favourite Crystal Palace/Hull/Cardiff wager.
Our alternative combo-tricast features Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Stoke and pays a handsome 28/1.
There was a period in the middle 2000s in which those sides arriving timid and wide-eyed from the backwoods of the Championship were more often than not sent straight back down again, with two of the three new-boys sent packing after a single season in four of the five seasons between 2003/04 and 2007/08.
Since then they’ve proved altogether tougher nuts to crack, with one or less going down after a single season in the last five campaigns.
Play-off winners Crystal Palace look a must for inclusion in our threesome of doom, with stars of last term Wilfried Zaha and Glenn Murray – sold and long-term-injured respectively – unavailable to manager Ian Holloway.
Only nine of their 23 rivals in the second tier conceded more than the Eagles in 2012/13 and with an absence of links to quality reinforcements emerging, they could struggle to hold back the tide at a higher level.
Their fellow top flight freshmen Hull and Cardiff are excused damnation on the basis of their manager and their financial backing respectively.
In Steve Bruce the Tigers have a man that has kept up Birmingham and Wigan in their first Premier League seasons in the past.
The Welsh club have already proved their spending power by splashing the cash on Andreas Cornelius and more quality players should follow the Dane to Cardiff, who in Malky Mackay – linked to the vacant Everton post over the summer – have a respected manager of their own.
In their place Shakespearean comedy cum-football club Newcastle United and a post-Tony Pulis Stoke City are fancied for demotion.
The Magpies look ripe for damaging squad cliques with their welter of Frenchmen and the appointment of rogue mispronouncer Joe Kinnear hardly looks likely to help the club recover from a poor 2012/13 in a coherent manner.
Alan “eight-year-deal” Pardew’s track record of following two and three-season success stories with departures soon after is further reason to suspect the plug-hole gurgle beckons.
The reasoning behind the Potters’ demise is slightly (slightly) more scientific, with goals a massive problem in 2012/13.
Last season they mustered a measly 34 goals in 38 league games, the lowest total by a surviving team since 2009/10. The last side to equal them for toothlessness and stay up? Wolverhampton Wanderers, relegated bottom the following year.
Stoke’s mean defence kept them up last term – shipping just 45 goals – but the suspicion is it will relax as Mark Hughes attempts to instil a more erudite style of play at the Britannia. With no attacking reinforcements on the horizon, this could spell disaster for a Stoke side in identity crisis.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.