Swansea are odds-on jollies to be lording-it over south-Wales rivals Cardiff City in the top Welsh Club betting next term, but for punters convinced of their superiority, an alternative wager makes more sound financial sense.
After two seasons in the top flight – the second burnished with a League Cup win – Swansea City are well on their way to establishing themselves as a medium-term proposition in the division.
Famed for an attractive and educated style of play, Michael Laudrup’s men have a good quality chassis upon which to build in prudent fashion ahead of the coming campaign.
With bold moves such as a reported £13m bid for Vitesse Arnhem’s Wilfried Bony – who scored 31 goals in 24 starts in the Eredivisie last season – in the offing, the club are clearly aiming to kick on from last term’s ninth-placed finish and with a solid basis of long-term club men like Neil Taylor, Leon Britton and Garry Monk still in first team contention they have a long-term coherence about their squad.
In addition, captain Ashley Williams looks increasingly unlikely to move, given the Swans’ refusal to budge from their £10m valuation about the defender.
Conversely Cardiff were promoted with the second lowest points total since the Championship was first played under its current moniker in 2004/05.
Not only this, but the games in which they truly rammed home their dominance over their rivals were few and far between, with the Bluebirds scoring more than two goals just seven times in 46 league games.
Many of their most consistent starters last season were players – such as Heidar Helguson, Mark Hudson and Peter Whittingham – who have never quite taken their chance at the highest domestic level in their careers.
With wholesale upgrades ahead of the new campaign neither wise from a footballing perspective, nor financially viable, there will be a limit on what City can likely achieve this term and survival will be the aim.
Meanwhile the Swans will be aiming to sweeten another season of top-half consolidation by earning a second successive year of continental football and it’s them that are likeliest to claim the higher league position than the Bluebirds.
Although 2/7 may seem a little short for a side that must cope with the additional squad demands of Europa League action, there will still be those who are convinced of the above eventuality.