Southampton odds-on for survival as West Ham lead play-off betting

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Southampton ended a seven-year exile from the top flight on Saturday, and Ladbrokes expect them to stay up next season, pricing their Premier League survival chances at 8/11.

It is 1/1 that the Saints make an immediate return to the Championship, but the momentum gained from successive promotions will greatly aid them in their quest to avoid this fate.

So too will the debt-free infrastructure of the club, which will allow the Saints to continue to make significant investment to improve what is already a very capable playing squad.

Nigel Adkins’ stock continues to grow meanwhile, this his fourth promotion in his past six campaigns as a manager, and with him at the helm, some could be tempted by the 9/2 odds on Southampton achieving a top half finish.

Very confident punters can also back the Saints to win a European place by any means at 12/1, whilst it is a 50/1 shot that they become the first newly-promoted side since Ipswich in 2001 to finish in the top six.

Rickie Lambert was integral in the club’s promotion charge, and the Championship’s Golden Boot winner is 100/1 to land the same award in the Premier League in his first campaign as a top flight performer.

Elsewhere in the Championship meanwhile, the playoffs have taken shape, with West Ham 13/8 favourites to eventually return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

They face a semi-final contest with Cardiff in their attempts to progress to the Wembley final, and the Welsh side, who finished sixth, are big outsiders at 4/1 to achieve promotion.

The other semi-final will see 13/5 second-favourites Birmingham take on Blackpool, who will hope to be promoted via the playoffs for the second time in three years at 11/4.

Birmingham’s consistency under Chris Hughton will stand them in good stead to go straight back up, but the sheer quality within third-place West Ham’s ranks makes them justifiable favourites for playoff success.

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