Tue, Feb 7, 2:34pm by Senior Writer
Less than 12 months after executing the perfect sporting fairytale, Leicester City could be destined for one of sport’s greatest-ever crashes as they shorten into $3.30 to be relegated from the Premier League this season.
What has gone on at Leicester over the past year has been remarkable, and the man who has overseen the extraordinary fall, Claudio Ranieri, is $4 second favourite to be the next manager to be sacked in the Premier League.
This after he orchestrated a $5001 outsider to win the world’s most famous football league, an achievement widely regarded as the biggest upset in football history.
A run of four straight league losses, the latest a 3-0 home defeat against Manchester United last Saturday, has seen the Foxes fall within one point of the drop, in what shapes as a dog fight for survival over the final 14 games of the season.
Sunderland and Crystal Palace are both on 19 points (two points behind Leicester) and are $1.33 and $1.91 respectively to go down at the end of the season.
Hull, who inflicted a surprising 2-0 win over Liverpool on the weekend, climbed up to third from bottom on 20 points but are still $1.67 to be playing in the Championship next year.
Swansea, Leicester and Middlesbrough, who all lost over the weekend, are all on 21 points, just one above the bottom three. Swansea are $2.75 to be relegated, while Boro are $1.91 to return straight back from whence they came last year.
The $3.30 Sportsbet are offering about Leicester’s demise seems increasingly appealing. The Foxes have not scored in a Premier League match since before the start of the year, a streak going back some 520 minutes.
Their away record is horrendous, having not won away from home in a League game all year, while rumours of discontent within the team are boiling over, with Ranieri apparently on the nose with the majority of the squad which he guided to success last season.
Leicester are $12 to finish bottom at the end of the season, which considering they are only two points above that spot now, also seems generous.
The only man who is considered more likely than Ranieri is Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka. Karanka’s Boro haven’t won a match in their past seven, a spell which stretches back before Christmas.
Betting on relegation is one of the more interesting markets in the Premier League with Chelsea now $1.14 to win the League having broken nine points clear. Second-placed Tottenham are $17 to run them down, while Man City, who are a point further back, are $12.
The other team on a major slide in 2017 is Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who have slipped from second to fifth having gone without a win since New Year’s Day. They have also crashed out of the FA Cup and League Cup in the past four weeks.
Sportsbet still has them at $1.91 to make the top four and get a Champions League spot. Manchester United, currently one point behind Liverpool, are $2.10 to do the same, while Arsenal, who are one point ahead, are $1.91 in what shapes as a three team race for that fourth and final spot.
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