- Aston Villa currently outside the relegation zone but second favorites for the drop
- Norwich odds-on for relegation and seven points adrift of safety
- Brighton and Bournemouth both still in the frame
Aston Villa were +225 for relegation back in December but have dropped to 17th in the EPL and are now odds-on at an average of -118 and -110 to return to the Championship.
Yet still they sit just above the drop zone in the EPL relegation odds, so why are they second favorites to go down? And can they avoid relegation? We’ll attempt to answer these questions, along with looking at best bets for the drop.
English Premier League 2019/20 Relegation Odds
Odds taken on Feb. 5
Canaries Almost Gone
The EPL table suggests that Norwich are done. Despite playing some easy-on-the-eye soccer and receiving plaudits aplenty for the way they have approached the Premier League, they have simply conceded too many goals. With 13 games left they are seven points adrift from safety with the league’s worst goal difference. There looks no way back, hence the -1000.
But then it gets interesting, especially with Villa being second favorites to go down despite currently being outside the drop zone. Two things, in particular, go against them: 1) They concede too many goals and have the joint-worst goals conceded record alongside Norwich, and 2) They have the upcoming distraction of a League Cup final against Manchester City on March 1.
Villa With Wembley Date but Problems Ahead
While neither factor alone will directly lead to relegation, both will impact on Villa’s ability to survive, especially that leaky defense which may become ever-more problematic as the season enters its final straight and clean sheets are required. The League Cup final will be more of an issue in the upcoming weeks as the game gets closer and players start thinking about Wembley.
Their defeat at Bournemouth looks potentially damaging and manager Dean Smith and the Villa fans have a nervous few weeks ahead.
Hornets Back in Trouble
Watford looked to have saved themselves with the appointment of the experienced Nigel Pearson – having already dispensed with the services of Javi Gracia and Quique Sánchez Flores this season – but a recent blip has seen them propelled back into the danger zone, with the recent defeat at Aston Villa potentially critical.
Since hiring Pearson, the Hornets have gone back to basics and have picked up 14 points in the process, but the corner they appeared to have turned is no more. Aside from the Villa game they also had a confidence-sapping FA Cup defeat by Tranmere and a disastrous home loss against Everton; a game in which they were 2-0 up.
On paper, their survival route looks okay – they need four or five more wins from a list of fixtures that has its fair share of winnable games – but they need to turn around this mini-slump and quickly.
Hammers Still in the Mix
West Ham and Bournemouth are both pitched at +135 for the drop but it’s the Cherries who, for me, are in the biggest danger. West Ham, for all their struggles of late (they’re another team who have changed managers this season), have some quality players in their squad who may just give them the edge. Big moments are what sets apart those who struggle from those who survive, and the Hammers’ quality should ensure they have enough of them to at least secure 17th place.
Bournemouth’s win over Villa at the weekend, following on from a home win over Brighton, has given them hope and lifted the mood at the Vitality Stadium but their position remains precarious. Prior to the Brighton win they had picked up just four points since the start of November.
Villa are second favorites to go down despite currently being outside the drop zone.
Cherries and Seagulls Still Not Trouble-Free
Four more wins may well be enough for the Cherries but their lack of goals makes me think they could take this to the final day of the season.
Brighton are the other team who have found themselves dragged into the relegation scrap and one could argue at +350 are offering the best value, with just two wins since the start of November and none in their last five.
If they’re going to stay up, the Seagulls need to win three or four more matches, which looks a big ask right now, especially with a tough run of games coming up. Make no mistake, they’re far from safe.
Picks: 18th: Brighton, 19th: Aston Villa, 20th: Norwich