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The relegation race is turning into a dogfight!

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez

16 January 2019, by: Leonard Solms


With just four points separating 14th from 18th, the Premier League relegation scrap is entering a crucial stage. Huddersfield Town look destined for the drop, while Fulham have left themselves a mountain to climb. Newcastle United currently occupy the remaining bottom three spot, but several clubs are bound to be watching over their shoulders.

Crystal Palace and Burnley have bought themselves some breathing space with decent results of late. However, they are by no means safe yet. Southampton have also been in good form, but Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men have no margin for error.

Despite lying only one point above the drop zone, Saints are rated at 8.25 to go down at the time of writing. This means that for anybody brave enough to bet on their fortunes turning for the worse again, there might just be an opportunity to win big.

For those who are more convinced that Southampton have turned a corner under Hasenhüttl, perhaps it might be worth betting on Newcastle, who at the time of writing are rated at 2.35. The Magpies have an experienced boss at the helm in Rafael Benítez, but if he cannot convince owner Mike Ashley to invest in new players, he will have a difficult task on his hands.

Cardiff City sit 17th, behind Southampton on goal difference. They have been struggling to find the back of the net, scoring just once in their last five matches in all competitions. Neil Warnock’s charges are in grave danger of the drop and the controversial manager’s recent rant in favour of Brexit is unlikely to have helped team unity. However, at 0.65, betting on the Bluebirds to go down will not produce a particularly high return.

The spectacularly brave might want to bet on 14th-placed Palace, currently rated at 18.25. Despite being only one point behind them, Burnley are rated at 1.25.

The relegation fight tends to be an unpredictable affair, and one can never truly rule out a great escape from Huddersfield or Fulham, or a spectacular dip in form for a club higher up the table than Palace. However, this writer’s advice is to take a pragmatic approach and put your money either on Newcastle United or Southampton.

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Leonard Solms is a sports journalist who features regularly on various local and international platforms including ESPN, New Frame, FARPost, Tagged Online and Careers Magazine, as well as this one. He enjoys the occasional bet and the most important tip he can give you is to bet within your means.

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