Sunderland have become big favourites for the drop.
According to the latest odds published by Sky Bet, Sunderland’s chances of survival have decreased as they now stand at 1/5 to be one of the three teams to drop down to the Championship.
For those who are perhaps unfamiliar with the odds and what they reflect, the 1/5 on Sunderland to go down is the sort of price you can find on Barcelona to beat Levante this weekend.
And Levante are currently bottom of La Liga…
Sam Allardyce managed to strengthen his Sunderland side during the January transfer window, bringing in a number of players including the talented attacking midfielder Wahbi Khazri from Bordeaux.
Yet in spite of their improvements, popular Bookmakers Sky Bet actually feel their chances of survival have decreased since the start of the New Year. And here are three potential reasons why.
1) Two teams to overhaul instead of one. As Sunderland sit in 19th position, they need to overtake not just one but two teams in order to beat the drop come the end of the season.
While the Black Cats need a good run of form, they need two relegation rivals to suffer a poor end to the season and each have splashed the cash in January in a bid to prevent such an outcome.
2) Sunderland’s current position. Allardyce’s men are 19th in the table, four points adrift of Norwich City in 17th with 14 games remaining. Mathematically possible, of course, but arguably improbable.
The magical 40-point mark is usually the sign of safety, leaving Sunderland to get 21 points from 14 matches – 1.5 points per match which is better than Liverpool are currently showing.
3) Last but not least, the defence. In Jermain Defoe, Sunderland have a potent goal scorer who could get them out of trouble, yet without a strong defence his efforts could count for nothing.
Sunderland have conceded a league-high 47 goals this term, and have kept just one clean sheet on the road. That must improve starting with a trip to Anfield this weekend.