Over the last few weeks, even the most wide-eyed and
optimistic Sunderland fans would have admitted that a drop down to League One
is now inevitable.
In a way, it is not the six-point gap to 21st
placed Bolton that is the problem. We have seen time and time again clubs get
out of trickier spots. It’s more the doom-laden
atmosphere around the club. Nobody believes that we will get out of this,
which in itself becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As expected, betting companies have put Sunderland as
certainties to go down, but what about those around the Mackems? Here is a
guide to the relegation battle, with the latest odds as we enter the last four
games of the season.
Burton Albion, 32pts.
Best odds 1/100 (Various)
Lowest odds 1/200 (Various)
In a way, Burton are a decent marker for Sunderland’s
decline, because they are one of the poorest teams in the Championship, yet
still sit within a point Chris Coleman’s men in the table. There were some
signs that they could make a fist of it around Christmas, but they have a been
poor in 2018 and have a tough run-in. They play Sunderland on 21st
April. The way things are going, both teams could be down by then.
Sunderland, 33 pts.
Best odds for relegation 1/20 (Unibet)
Lowest odds for relegation 1/50 (Various)
As mentioned above, it’s not the points gap, rather, it
is the way Sunderland are playing that bodes ill for the club and its fans with
eight games remaining. Normally, teams in Sunderland’s situation step up at
this part of the season, fighting tooth and nail to give themselves a chance.
Can anyone really see that happening now?
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
Best odds 11/8 (William Hill)
Lowest odds evens (Various)
Barnsley have a reasonably manageable (by the standard of
the Championship) run-in, which suggests the teams above them might get sucked
into trouble. They will need to get their own house in order first though, but
their favourable goal difference could be key.
Bolton, 39 pts.
Best odds 6/4 (Various)
Lowest odds 7/5 (Various)
Hats off to Bolton, in a sense, because they looked doomed
at the end of September but kicked on early this year. A fine 1-0 win over Aston
Villa in March gave them a six-point cushion, but four losses on the bounce
has dragged them right back into it. If we are going to overtake anyone in some
kind of miraculous survival charge – it’s probably going to be Bolton. Those
odds are very generous for a team just two points above the relegation places.
Check out this list of no deposit free bet offers
from major bookmakers, because Bolton may be the best shot to nothing bet for
the remainder of the season.
Best odds 2/1 (Various)
Lowest odds, 15/8 (Various)
Not out of it yet by any means – but Garry Monk has
probably had enough of an impact required to keep them above the drop. Their
three wins on the bounce – exactly what Sunderland need, were timely to say the
Best odds 28/1 (Sky Bet)
Lowest odds 11/1 (Unibet)
After a run of just one win in the last 18 games for
Reading, they’ve picked up two in their last four – effectively sealing their
survival. The demise of Jaap Stam the turning point of their season.