Premier League Mid-Table Sides Betting Specials for the 2019/2020 Season Jonathan July 30, 2019 Welcome to the latest edition of this pre-season betting specials series, where I will analyse those teams who were bouncing around the relegation places to putting up a fight for a top half-finish last season. I have finished articles discussing the new boys, to the title favourites, teams challenging for Europe in previous instalments, but last and certainly not least, I have six more teams to discuss and offer my insight. These teams will be hoping to avoid relegation, and push as far up the table as possible, and I will give you my insight based on stats, and the all-important football intuition that I possess. The Premier League starts in two weeks, so how do the following teams shape up? Let’s begin… Crystal Palace Highest Position in Premier League Era: 10th (2014/2015) Last time they were relegated in the Premier League: 2004/2005 First Three Premier League Fixtures: Everton (H), Sheffield United (A), Manchester United (A) After saving Crystal Palace from the drop in the 2017/2018 season, Roy Hodgson was in charge to make sure there was no close escapes again in his first full season in charge, as they secured a 12th placed spot. Crystal Palace were rarely in any danger of being relegated, and at times, could have challenged to be in the top half of the table. Their highest point of the season was defeating Manchester City 3-2 away just prior to the Christmas period, as they became the only team to beat Pep Guardiola’s team at the Etihad. Crystal Palace also managed to win 3-2 at Arsenal later on in the campaign, as well as an FA Cup run which ended in the quarter finals. Away from home, Palace had the 6th best record in the division – ahead of Arsenal – but it was let down by their inconsistent home form where wins were hard to come by. Palace boasted talented players such as Wilfried Zaha, Andros Townsend and Christian Benteke up front, but the former is set to leave, and the latter hasn’t fully delivered his true potential. Youngster Aaron Wan-Bassaka impressed last season, but he has been snapped up by Manchester United for a £50million fee. In terms of new signings, Crystal Palace have acquired Premier League proven Jordan Ayew from Swansea but little else. Crystal Palace do have some budget to buy more players, particularly if they sell Zaha for a huge fee, and they’ll need to make sure investment is made, or else they could be a dark horse to be relegated. Here are my specials; Crystal Palace to win their first 2 fixtures in the Premier League – 11/2 Milivojevic to score 10+ Premier League goals – 7/2 Crystal Palace to get 45+ league points – 1/1 (EVENS) For the tipsters… Crystal Palace to finish in the top half and Brighton to be relegated – 9/1 And for the dreamers… Over 0.5 goals in every Crystal Palace league match 19/20 – 18/1 Newcastle Highest Position in Premier League Era: 2nd (1995/1996 & 1996/1997) Last time they were relegated in the Premier League: 2015/2016 First Three Premier League Fixtures: Arsenal (H), Norwich (A), Tottenham (A) Rafa Benitez had worked wonders for the club during his time as the Newcastle coach, as he earned promotion, and stayed up twice, reaching a 13th placed position last term. The most impressive factor for his work – which can be considered miraculous – was that he was barely supported by the owners of the club. He was unable to reach an agreement to extend his contract, so he decided to manage in China, so former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is now in charge. Many fans have been angered with how the club is being run, and many will boycott some of the matches and continue to protest. Steve Bruce, who is a local Geordie, understands the task that is at hand here, and will want to avoid a fourth Premier League relegation in his career. Ahead of this campaign, they have purchased exciting striker Joelington from Hoffenheim for £39million, but have let Ayoze Perez go for £30mil to Premier League side Leicester. Aside from Perez, Mohammed Diame, Joselu and Kennedy have all left meaning Newcastle certainly need re-enforcements. Newcastle have lacked ability in recent seasons, but Benitez was able to guide them to a respectable points tally. If they don’t bring in any more players, it could well be a long season for Newcastle. Here are my tips; Newcastle to finish higher than Burnley – 4/5 Joelinton to score 15+ Premier League goals – 11/8 Newcastle to score 55+ league goals – 15/8 And for the tipsters… Steve Bruce to be the first manager sacked – 8/1 And for the dreamers… Jonjo Shelvey to score a goal from the half way line or further in any Premier League game 2019/20 – 150/1 Bournemouth Highest Position in Premier League Era: 9th (2015/2016) Last time they were relegated in the Premier League: N/A First Three Premier League Fixtures: Sheffield United (H), Aston Villa (A), Manchester City (H) Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe has done a tremendous job, after keeping his side in the Premier League for a 5th consecutive season as they cemented a 14th placed position last year. In all honesty, his side never looked like being relegated, and can be somewhat disappointment that they didn’t finish any higher. From the start of the season until the November they were usually in the top six in the table, and didn’t fall into the bottom half of the table until the Christmas period. Winning only three of their last 14 matches was ultimately their downfall which prevented them a higher finish. Regardless, it was a solid season for Bournemouth and their most memorable moment of the season would be their 4-0 home win against Chelsea. Callum Wilson was the star player, scoring 15 goals in 26 appearances throughout the season, and even earned a call up to the England national team. Ahead of this season, there has been little activity in the transfer window with arrivals and departures. Their biggest signing so far has been promising full-back Lloyd Kelly from Bristol City for almost £14mil. They have also secured the services of right-back Jack Stacey from Luton. Tyrone Mings, who spent last year on loan at Aston Villa, has officially left the club to stay with them, with a deal worth up to £20mil. Unlike teams around them, Bournemouth have been able to keep onto their key players, and will hope the likes of Joshua King, Callum Wilson, and defensive stalwart Nathan Ake can remain at the club, if they are to push for a top ten finish. Here are my betting specials; Bournemouth to finish higher than Newcastle – 4/7 Bournemouth to score 60+ league goals – 21/10 Bournemouth to finish in the bottom half – 1/3 And for the tipsters… Solanke to score 10+ Premier League goals – 5/1 And for the dreamers… Bournemouth to finish 7th – 18/1 Burnley Highest Position in Premier League Era: 7th (2017/2018) Last time they were relegated in the Premier League: 2014/2015 First Three Premier League Fixtures: Southampton (H), Arsenal (A), Wolves (A) Burnley had one of their greatest ever seasons in the 2017/2018 campaign, earning a place in the Europa League, and realistically they were never going to be able to replicate that level of performance again last year. Competing in European football from July last year really hampered their domestic season, as they were slow starters in the league. They beat Aberdeen and Istanbul Basaksehir in the qualifying stages before being eliminated to Olympiacos before the end of August. In the Premier League, they had to wait until September to register their first victory, and only won three times before Christmas day. One of the favourites to be relegated at this point, Sean Dyche had a tough job on his hands, and ‘went back to basics’ in the 2nd half of the season, opting for a more direct approach to matches instead of trying to play an expansive game. This change of heart in tactics helped them become more resolute, as they on three winning streaks in the 2nd half of the season, where they had either won two or three games consecutively. They secured Premier League status with three matches left following an impressive 2-2 draw at Chelsea. Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood each scored 13 goals last season, as they formed an effective partnership, but also a mention has to go to young winger Dwight McNeil, only 19 years old, but showing a lot of promise. Burnley won’t have the excuse of European football for a slow start this year, and Sean Dyche will hope Burnley are not in a similar position come Christmas as they were last season. In the summer transfer window, they have already purchased former club player Jay Rodriguez from West Brom for £5mil and Erik Pieters from Stoke City. Peter Crouch, who played for many clubs during his time, retired this summer with his last club being Burnley. Burnley will hope they can somewhat replicate there from two years ago, and be this year’s surprise package once again. Here are my specials tips; Ashley Barnes to score 12+ Premier League goals – 11/8 Burnley to get 45+ league points – 2/1 Burnley to finish higher than Bournemouth – 6/4 And for the tipsters… Burnley to lose their first three Premier League fixtures – 9/2 And for the dreamers… Burnley to finish in the top half and Blackburn to be relegated – 40/1 Southampton Highest Position in Premier League Era: 6th (2015/2016) Last time they were relegated in the Premier League: 2004/2005 First Three Premier League Fixtures: Burnley (A), Liverpool (H), Brighton (A) Southampton started their 2018/2019 campaign under the management of Mark Hughes, following his small stint at the end of the previous season where he had kept them up. However, he failed to build on his impressive start, as Southampton looked poor early on in the season. They managed to beat Crystal Palace away on match day four, but it would be only Mark Hughes’ only victory, as he was later sacked in December, when they were in the relegation places. Following his sacking, manager Ralph Hasenhüttl took charge, and had an almost immediate impact with back to back victories against Arsenal, and then at Huddersfield. Those victories propelled them outside the drop zone, and they maintained that position around 15th to 17th throughout the rest of the season, and finally ended the campaign in 16th – 5 points ahead of 18th. Danny Ings has finally put a full season under his belt following a long-term injury, and his impressive displays earned him a move from Liverpool to Southampton officially this summer, in a deal worth almost £20mil. They have also purchased Che Adams from Birmingham, and Moussa Djenepo, who are two young stars with a lot of potential. Youngster Matt Target has left the club and joined newly promoted Aston Villa, and veteran midfielder Steven Davies has left to go to Rangers. Southampton did finish the season in relatively decent form, and if they pick up from that, they’ll be closer to the top ten, than the relegation zone. Here are my tips; Danny Ings to be the top goal scorer of Southampton – 6/4 Nathan Redmond to score 10+ Premier League goals – 11/8 Southampton to finish higher than Watford, Bournemouth, Brighton and Norwich – 5/2 And for the tipsters… Southampton to score 65+ league goals – 7/1 And for the dreamers… Southampton to finish in the top half and to win the Carabao Cup – 150/1 Brighton Highest Position in Premier League Era: 15th (2017/2018) Last time they were relegated in the Premier League: N/A First Three Premier League Fixtures: Watford (A), West Ham (H), Southampton (H) The one team that literally couldn’t wait for the 2018/2019 season to finish was Brighton, who had a torrid end to their campaign. Chris Hughton was sacked following their final game of the season, as they slithered over the finish line to keep Premier League status for another year. In early March, they bagged back to back wins against Huddersfield and Crystal Palace, but they were unable to win another game throughout the rest of the season and only picked up three draws in three overly defensive matches. Therefore, soon after the season finished, new manager Graham Potter was announced, as he takes on his first job in the Premier League. He did a phenomenal job in Sweden as he won the league with Östersunds FK, and played in European competition, and his short time at Swansea also received positive feedback. He has an almighty task this year to make sure Brighton don’t go back to the Championship after a three-year spell. Brighton have called back many players on loan in this summer transfer window, but whether they’ll stay remains to be seen. The biggest signing they have made so far is Leandro Trossard for £18mil from KRC Genk, who will replace Anthony Knockaert on the wing, but little other activity has happened just yet. Brighton will hope to keep defensive duo Lewis Dunk and Shane Duffy, who have been the best performers for Brighton for quite some time, unlike their attacking force which is certainly lacking. Can Graham Potter rejuvenate this Brighton side? Here are my tips; To Stay up – 4/9 Shane Duffy to score 5+ Premier League goals – 7/1 Brighton to score 50+ league goals – 11/8 And for the tipsters… To Finish in the top half – 6/1 And for the dreamers… Brighton to finish in the top half and Crystal Palace to be relegated – 40/1 Thank you for reading, and this completes every Premier League team specials heading into the new season. It’s only two weeks away now, and here at betting.football – we just cannot wait! 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