• Albion tipped to return back to the Championship

    It’s that time of year when the football experts and "football experts" alike predict who will slip through the Premier League trapdoor to the Championship. Both the predictions and the betting markets themselves suggest the Albion will have to pull out all the stops to avoid an immediate return to the Football League.

    Huddersfield are the clear favourites to go down, with Albion and Burnley similarly priced to fill the remainder of the relegation places. It's simply not that clear cut though, and the unpredictability of sport is part of the great fascination that keeps us coming back for more and more.

    In 2016, we had the complete shock of Leicester City winning the Premier League at odds of 5,000-1. Unsurprisingly, very few punters had placed their money on a team that had narrowly avoided relegation the previous season. However, perhaps there was a clue in the fact they’d won seven of their last nine games to avoid the drop.

    Another classic ‘result against all odds’ was Liverpool’s Champions League victory in 2005. Rafa Benitez’s men had snuck into the competition after a mediocre 2003/04 when they finished fourth, 15 points behind third-placed Manchester United. By the time they’d fought their way to Istanbul on that unforgettable night, the Reds were languishing in fifth spot – hardly the form of European champions.

    Add the fact they were 3-0 down at half-time against AC Milan in the final and the average betting person would have been a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic to bet on Liverpool to claw back a three-goal deficit and claim their first European Cup for nearly 20 years.

    After a tumultuous qualifying campaign, and latter-round victories over the English and Italian champions, Liverpool triumphed in a penalty shoot-out after a quick-fire triple in the 15 minutes that followed the half-time break. A few people, mainly on Merseyside, made a very tidy profit when Vladimír Šmicer’s spot-kick hit the back of the net.

    That’s enough reminiscing; it’s Premier League relegation predictions and odds time. They may be unashamedly partisan, but esteemed broadcasters Ady and Al will be discussing the up, down, wherefores and maybes on the Albion Roar Saturday morning on Radio Reverb between 8 and 10am, with a stellar cast of Albion experts and pundits. Where will the collective wisdom of the Roar see the Albion finishing?

    When it comes to match predictions, the NSC score predictor thread could assist with your guesses on the result of Brighton & Hove Albion’s first-ever game in the Premier League against Manchester City, although – as football did exist before 1992 – the club’s first in the top division was actually, in a rather predictable 4-0 home defeat to the mighty Arsenal.

    And, of course, if intellectual and stimulating football chat – and complete nonsense – is more up your street then there’s only one place for your attention on Saturday morning: in the company of the peerless Danny Baker on BBC Five Live where Premier League relegation predictions and odds will be the hot topic.

    Selected relegation odds:

    Huddersfield 3/5
    Albion 6/5
    Burnley 6/5
    Watford 8/5
    Swansea 9/4
    Newcastle 4/1
    Palace 5/1
    Bournemouth 6/1
    Stoke 6/1
    West Brom 6/1