Norwich the value bet to be relegated as battle at the bottom hots up
Chelsea might have gone top of the Premier League with victory at Hull but all the betting movement is currently at the bottom end of the table with just six points separating bottom placed Crystal Palace with 10th position – and Norwich City are the value bet to end up in the relegation zone at the end of the season.
In a hugely significant day in the battle to avoid the drop, Sunderland thrashed fellow strugglers 4-1 at Craven Cottage thanks to a hugely unlikely Adam Johnson hat-trick while West Ham eased the pressure on Sam Allardyce with a 2-0 win at Cardiff.
The value, however, lies with Norwich at 5/2 to be playing Championship football next term.
The Canaries succumbed to a 2-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park which extended their winless league run to six games, a sequence that has seen City find the net just four times.
It is a long-standing problem for Chris Hughton’s side, who have scored just 17 goals in 21 league games, which is the third worst record in the division. Norwich’s problems are just as bleak in defence, too; only Fulham have conceded more than the Canaries’ 35 goals and if you have problems at both ends of the pitch, you are in trouble.
Now just two points above the drop zone, that 5/2 on Norwich being relegated looks too big.
Cardiff replaced West Ham in the bottom three after Big Sam managed to end a week of torment on a high note, spoiling Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s home debut as manager, and the Bluebirds are now 11/10 to make an immediate return to the Championship. The Hammers are 11/5 to be demoted.
Sunderland and Fulham are both 6/5 to go down after the Wearsiders moved within a point of safety, while West Bromwich Albion are 15/2 after a 1-0 reverse at Southampton means new boss Pepe Mel takes over a Baggies just three points above safety.
As has been the case for the entire campaign, Crystal Palace are the favourites at 1/2 to be relegated after losing 2-0 at Tottenham.
At the other end of the table, a comfortable 2-0 victory for Chelsea over Hull City at the KC Stadium, given to them courtesy of second half goals from Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres, put Jose Mourinho’s side top of the table for the first time since September.
The Blues are 11/4 second favourites, sandwiched between favourites Manchester City (evens) and Arsenal (9/2) who both have a game in hand.
Liverpool, 10/1 for the title, are still 8/11 for a top four finish despite being leapfrogged by Everton and Tottenham ahead of their game at Stoke. The Toffees, currently fourth, are 10/3 to stay there while Tottenham are 3/1.
Manchester United got back to winning ways with a 2-0 win over Swansea at Old Trafford and are priced up at 6/4 to finish in the top four.