Stoke and not Swansea interesting for Premier League relegation

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Swansea and Norwich will be the fancies of many punters this season for Premier League relegation with the sole basis for this opinion being that they will suffer from second season syndrome.

However, using 2000/01 as a starting point, it seems that second season syndrome does not really exist and in fact if a team survives their first Premier League season, they are likely to remain in the top flight for five or more campaigns.

In this period, only four clubs have gone down in their second season (West Brom in 2004, Reading in 2006, Hull in 2008 and Birmingham in 2009).

Meanwhile, 13 clubs have suffered an immediate return to the Championship and nine promoted clubs have remained beyond five seasons.

The general argument is that clubs are found out in their second season, but in fact it is Christmas in their opening campaign that other teams typically find a style to counter those that have been newly promoted.

Hull were a prime example in their debut Premier League season despite surviving, while Blackpool suffered a similar fall from grace.

Swansea, in fact, improved in their second half of last season in terms of results and therefore do not seem to follow the trend.

The loss of manager Brendan Rodgers is clearly a blow, but Michael Laudrup is unlikely to drift too far from the same passing mentality and has already moved to strengthen the squad.

Being a bigger name in the game, Laudrup may also have the contacts to bring a higher calibre of player to Wales.

Swansea’s odds are 9/5 to be relegated this season, but Stoke could be the team to play closer attention to at 7/1.

Stoke have survived four Premier League seasons, but only won three games after January 2nd in the last campaign to eventually tail off to finish 14th in the final standings.

There are beliefs that they also benefited from a higher number of refereeing decisions over the course of the season than most other clubs and if this good fortune runs out, they could find themselves in trouble.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.