The first thoughts of the nation’s bookmakers are out there and as well as interesting they are probably surprising as well especially to NUFC fans.
Here are the latest odds as we move just four weeks away from the 2020/21 Premier League season, with them deeming the Baggies to be the most likely side to drop straight back down to the Championship:
- West Brom – 11/10
- Fulham – 11/8
- Aston Villa – 2/1
- Newcastle 9/4
- Crystal Palace 9/4
- Burnley 3/1
- Sheffield United 4/1
- Brighton 4/1
- Leeds 4/1
- West Ham 4/1
- Southampton 11/2
- Everton 20/1
So, two of the newly promoted clubs as favourites and Aston Villa in third, with them escaping relegation by the skin of their teeth on the final day of 2019/20 at Bournemouth and Watford’s expense. Also, interesting to see Leeds United so far down the list following promotion, suggesting the bookies expect Bielsa’s magic to pay off following their long-awaited return to the big time.
We’re very generously at 4th favourite. I say generously as unless the takeover is resurrected, I would have expected to have seen us in the bottom three. Mind, I think we were last year and we ended up finishing 13th – somehow!
I wonder how many Toon fans would take 4th bottom right now. Personally, I don’t think Fulham or West Brom have enough in their budgets to make the big signings they so badly need to stay up. But Villa most definitely have and if they can keep Grealish, which is looking increasingly likely, I’m not so sure they will be in the bottom 3.
For me, their Achilles heel is Dean Smith. A man that doesn’t quite seem to have the big-player mentality to attract and coach top talent. I might be wrong on that but he has brought in Craig Shakespeare so obviously felt something else was needed.
That said, I still think Villa will spend a lot bigger than we will and after some poor buys last season they may well have learned their lesson about what they need. We on the other hand know what we need but don’t have the money to obtain it.
Interesting that Brighton are rated as only 4/1. Every time I saw them last season, they were dreadful. They keep the ball for fun but there’s little final product (as we saw in that awful 0-0 at SJP last season). They would be one of my favourites for sure along with Crystal Palace if they sell Zaha. Then again Palace always seem to slip under the radar.
But it’s all conjecture and speculation particularly as there’s a long way to go in the transfer market and a lot of players will be coming in and going out. Right now, though with no takeover I can only hope the bookies are right and we’re going to stay up.
Whatever the odds, I think these published odds pretty much sum up the sort of season we all think we’re going to have unless there’s a Saudi resurrection or the arrival of a much needed goalscorer!