It may seem like only yesterday that the curtain was raised on a brand new Premier League season, but the 2018/19 campaign has now entered its second half and the January transfer market is in full swing, so we think it’s well worth revisiting the betting markets as we hunt for some mid-season outright betting value.
You can find all of our pre-season predictions here, and at the moment things are looking very nice indeed for a number of our predictions. If you missed out on this pre-season value back in August don’t worry – We’re back with a host of our favourite mid-season bets here.
Remember, you can stay up to date with all of our betting tips and predictions, including match previews for every single game, on our Premier League homepage.
The State of the Premier League
Liverpool lead the way as we head into gameweek 22 of the 2018/19 Premier League campaign, but after last week’s defeat to Manchester City there will be unwelcome memories seeping in of Steven Gerrard falling flat on his face in 2014. The Liverpool legend’s untimely fall allowed Demba Ba to rush through and set Chelsea on their way to a 2-0 win at Anfield, effectively handing the Premier League title over to Manchester City.
Once again, it’s The Citizen’s that prowl just beneath the top spot, just 4 points adrift of the leaders now and with momentum shifting their way. Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea make up the remainder of the Champions League qualifying spots, while Arsenal and Manchester United hope to mount a challenge for those particular positions.
Things are tight at the other end of the table too. Huddersfield look all but certain to be relegated come May, but while Fulham and Southampton currently find themselves in the drop zone things are far from over there. 19th placed Fulham have a meagre 14 points, but just 4 points separate them from 15th placed Newcastle and every team in between can count themselves a part of this early relegation battle.
The positions in between the top and the bottom may not hold as much weight, but the prize money on offer and the not insignificant draw of bragging rights should leave ample room for competition in the mid-table sections. With a tiny five points separating Leicester in 7th from Brighton in 13th, it really is anybody’s game from here on out.
Premier League Winners Prediction: Manchester City
Current Standing: 2nd (50 points)
Top Scorer: Sergio Aguero (10 goals)
Last Season: Champions
We predicted a successful Premier League title defence for Manchester City at the start of the season, and we’re standing firm with our selection despite a somewhat tougher campaign than they were expecting.
The reigning champions may not lead the way right now, but their 2-1 win over Liverpool last week shifted momentum in their favour. It ended Liverpool’s unbeaten Premier League season and narrowed the gap at the top of the table to juts 4 points. This is a much more manageable gulf, and with a squad packed to the rafters with Premier League winning experience we fancy them to hold their nerve for the rest of this season.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have a distinct shortage of title winning players, and the fact that Liverpool were the last side to fail to win the league after leading the way at Christmas will creep into the minds of everyone at the club. That was the year of Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip, and this faltering is by no means a rare occurrence – 12 teams have failed to win the Premier League after leading at Christmas, with Liverpool making up a quarter of those failures.
Make no mistake, Jurgen Klopp’s team have every chance of winning the Premier League for the first time this season. However, they lost a heap of momentum at the Etihad last week and they followed that with an awful performance as they were knocked out of the FA Cup by Wolves. Admittedly that was a second string squad, but the effect of back to back defeats will have caused a significant slump in morale.
Manchester City, meanwhile, thrashed Rotherham 7-0 with their own second string squad, showcasing their incredible strength in depth. That heavily rotated squad consisted of players that would walk into most other Premier League’s starting lineups, and having this deep and talented pool of players is a major advantage in the second half of a league campaign. Pep Guardiola can happily rest some of his stars’ tired legs to keep them fresh, while Liverpool’s FA Cup performance on Monday showed that Klopp simply cannot trust his backup brigade to get the job done.
Premier League Relegation Predictions
Huddersfield to be Relegated
Current Standing: 20th (10 points)
Top Scorer: Zanka (3 goals)
Last Season: 16th (37 points)
It looks like a foregone conclusion at the moment. The Terriers are in a dire situation, residing rock bottom of the Premier League table with an eight point gap between themselves and safety. To make matters worse, they are showing very little signs of turning things around and their 13 goal haul so far is a pathetic tally after 21 league games and their current top scorer for the season is centre back Zanka.
Huddersfield’s confidence took a further blow on Saturday as Bristol City knocked them out of the FA Cup, and while that does mean they can focus solely on the relegation battle it also stretches their losing streak to a depressing nine matches in all competitions. Huddersfield look down and out right now, and the odds of 1/12 for them to face the drop reflect the hopeless situation they find themselves in.
Fulham to be Relegated
Current Standing: 19th (14 points)
Top Scorer: Aleksandar Mitrovic (8 goals)
Last Season: 3rd in Championship (Promoted via Playoffs)
Fulham impressed in the Championship last season as they charged up through the ranks in the second half of the campaign to finish 3rd, winning the playoffs to return them to the top flight. They’re going to need another late charge if they want to remain there though, but it’s not looking particularly likely right now.
The Cottagers became the first promoted club to spend over £100 million in the transfer market over the summer, but so far their group of fresh imports simply haven’t cut the mustard. The two most expensive of these, Jean Michael Seri and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, have had average ratings of just 6.55 and 6.42 respectively on Whoscored this season, and Aleksandar Mitrovic has been their only silver lining to speak of.
Fulham did pick up a morale boosting late win against the torrid Huddersfield at the end of 2018, but they look somewhat fragmented right now and they only seem able to perform against the low end of the Premier League spectrum. They have won three Premier League matches this season, and all three of them have come against teams who are also residing in the bottom five of the Premier League.
Claudio Ranieri may be a Premier League winning manager, but he has it all to do at Craven Cottage. They haven’t won an away game in the Premier League all season, and with trips to fellow strugglers Burnley, Crystal Palace, and Southampton still to come any dropped points there could prove fatal for their hopes of survival. Odds of 4/7 for them to face the drop in May look pretty good value to us.
Southampton to be Relegated
Current Standing: 18th (16 points)
Top Scorer: Danny Ings (7 goals)
Last Season: 17th (36 points)
It seems that Southampton’s perennial flash sale of their best players has finally caught up with them. They narrowly avoided the drop last season, and this season it looks like they are in for another gruelling relegation battle.
The Saints have been given the promising Ralph Hasenhuttl as their new manager, but barring a few unexpected results things are still looking awfully bleak for them. They sit 18th in the table with a two point deficit on safety, while many of the teams around them are slowly building up a bit of momentum.
Southampton did enjoy a brief resurgence as they picked up victories against Arsenal and Southampton, but since then they have picked up one point from three league games and failed to beat Derby in the FA Cup at the weekend. They face a tough couple of weeks as they face Leicester and Everton, and their over reliance on the injury prone Danny Ings is a big worry.
They struggle for goals at the best of times, and while Hasenhuttl’s attacking mindset has gone some way to solving that problem it has also opened their defence up. They have scored eight goals in the 5 league games under their new boss, but have shipped 9 at the other end as well. Should Ings, who is the only player with more than three goals to his name this season, get injured or drop out of form they could find their attacking ambitions thwarted yet again. Southampton might not be the most likely of candidates for relegation, but at odds of 5/1 they look incredibly good value for money and well worth a bet.