- Managerial changes haven’t helped Watford’s relegation fight
- Poor Bournemouth form sees their odds shorten
- Norwich is the strong favorite to go down
A turbulent first few months of the season has seen Watford plummet to the foot of the Premier League table. The Hornets’ EPL relegation odds were -110 a month ago, but they have further shortened to -400. The sackings of Javi Gracia and Quique Sanchez Flores have done little to aid their cause – they sit six points from safety after 16 matches.
Bournemouth were out at +950 to go down on November 11th, but Eddie Howe’s side have hit a torrid run of form. Having lost their last five in the Premier League, Bournemouth’s price is down to +300.
Norwich, after a dramatic start to the year, remains the favorite for the drop. They are now -500, having been -400 a month ago.
EPL Relegation Odds
Odds taken Dec. 11.
Few clubs change manager as often as Watford. It usually works out for them, however, and the appointment of Nigel Pearson could turn out to be a masterstroke after the disastrous reign of Flores. Pearson inherits a squad with the talent to succeed in the Premier League – they were in the top half for much of last season and made the FA Cup final.
Nigel Pearson talking about Mike Dean. Mate. This guy is hilarious. Proud to have him as head coach pic.twitter.com/Dif6lp28An
— Luke (@LKenz) December 6, 2019
Watford’s issues have been in front of goal. Their nine goals scored is by far the lowest mark in the league. Pearson isn’t suddenly going to make them into an expansive team, but their expected goals tally thus far suggests improved finishing could be just around the corner. With a sizable deficit to 17th place already, though, they need any improvements to happen quickly.
Getting Roberto Pereyra – who was superb last season – and summer signing Ismaila Sarr to somewhere near their best form is vital for Pearson if Watford are to score enough goals to stand a chance of safety.
Bournemouth Have Enough
Consistently inconsistent might be the best way to describe Bournemouth’s Premier League spell. Howe’s team are specialists in creating poor streaks, but always seem to find a way to undo it. They picked up seven points from a possible 36 available between matchday 11 and 22 last season, but then won five of their remaining matches to easily avoid relegation.
Bournemouth’s defensive issues and Howe’s natural attacking instincts mean they don’t draw many matches. They tend to beat the teams they’re meant to beat, but Howe’s approach leaves vulnerable to losing streaks like their current one.
The Cherries’ expected numbers are enough to bother Howe right now, however. They haven’t been creating chances to their usual standard, and after a summer of transfer rumors, Ryan Fraser has been a long way from the player he was last season. Bournemouth should be fine, but they’ve got some huge matches coming up over the festive period.
Norwich in Trouble
With their budget, it was always a big ask for Norwich to compete in the top flight. Daniel Farke is clearly a good manager – and they’ve enjoyed wins against Manchester City, Newcastle and Everton – but they are really struggling after Teemu Pukki’s purple patch came to an end.
Norwich don’t have the financial muscle to pull off a season-altering signing or two in January. They have been unlucky at times, but a challenging run of fixtures over Christmas and New Year could see them cut adrift. The +110 on the Canaries to finish bottom could turn out to be great value.
Magpies Riding Their Luck
Steve Bruce has guided Newcastle to 13 points from their last six matches. They have been resolute defensively, relying on set pieces and counter-attacks for their goal-scoring opportunities. It’s bringing results at the moment, but there’s no doubt the Magpies have ridden their luck to accumulate 22 points.
Miguel Almiron has now played 2️⃣6️⃣ Premier League games for Newcastle, more than two thirds of a league season.
Since joining for £20m in January he has:
— Goal (@goal) December 8, 2019
Of course, they could continue in a similar way to be almost safe by the start of 2020. Their next two matches – against Burnley and Crystal Palace – are huge ahead of a brutal Boxing Day through to the end of January. We could see Newcastle’s relegation odds fall quickly over the next few weeks.
Picks: Norwich, Watford, Newcastle
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