Games featuring relegation threatened teams are normally tough to call towards the end of the season. You know that the reality has kicked in for most groups of players, with the effort always there to see. Just look at Crystal Palace’s performance against Manchester United recently. Although they lost 3-2, the players gave everything and were unlucky not to come away with a win.
Compare that to both West Ham and Southampton this weekend. The former with a home game against Burnley and the latter in a relegation six-pointer at Newcastle. Both sides finished on the wrong side of 3-0 scorelines.
West Ham have lost the support of fans
West Ham in particular look like a side in free fall. They have lost the fans, with even an ugly pitch invasion occurring at the London Stadium. The crowd trouble started when Burnley scored and, instead of getting behind their team, the fans chose to leave the players visibly shaken.
The Hammers are still available at odds of 11/4 to be relegated. That looks ridiculously high for a team just three points off the relegation zone with eight games to go. Those remaining fixtures include ties against Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea, as well as tough games away to Leicester and home to Everton. It’s not clear where the points are going to come from.
Southampton’s poor form ignored by media outlets
As for Southampton, the media has, in general, ignored their plight this season, with television pundits glossing over the fact that they have been awful. However, punters have got lots of value – at generous odds – from going against the Saints, a side that has just won five games from 29 this season.
They were awful against Newcastle, who thoroughly deserved their 3-0 victory. They too have a tough run-in, featuring games against City, Chelsea and Arsenal. Their current odds are 15/8 with a range of bookmakers. That looks like another decent price for a team that has won one in their last 15.
Most open relegation battle in years, but some pulling away
Incidentally, the other relegation odds are: 1/66 for West Brom, who look doomed, 8/11 Stoke, 15/8 Crystal Palace and 4/1 Newcastle. Check out the latest football betting tips by experts for the run-in however, as there could be plenty of cash to be made from the remaining fixtures among relegation-threatened teams.
Both Southampton and West Ham seem to lack momentum at the moment. Look at the way Swansea, Watford and Newcastle have moved away from trouble in recent weeks, Southampton and West Ham have gone in the opposite direction. When it comes to a relegation battle, you get a sense of which clubs are up for the fight – those pair look in a deep malaise.
Huge match between the two sides at the end of March
Interestingly, they play each other in their next fixture. The game, played at the London Stadium on 31st March, looks like being one of the most important in the recent history of either club. A loss could send one side into deeper trouble with those tough fixtures on the horizon. A draw may not suit anyone.
11/4 for West Ham and 15/8 for Southampton to be relegated. If you re-watch their performances from this weekend and view their upcoming fixtures, you may just agree that either could be one of the smartest bets of the season.