After a turbulent 2016-17 season which saw the club spend several weeks in the relegation zone and coping with two managerial changes, Swansea saved themselves in the final weeks of the campaign. They face an even tougher challenge this time round as they are tipped to lose both of their star players. So what does 2017-18 have in store for the Swans?
Swansea started their campaign with a 1-0 victory at Burnley, but that proved to be a false dawn. In fact, they won only twice more in 2016, a run of form that saw them deep in relegation trouble and resulted in the departure of coach Francesco Guidolin and his replacement Bob Bradley. 2017 brought some improved form under new manager Paul Clement, and four wins in their last five games lifted the Swans to a fifteenth-place finish, securing a seventh consecutive season in the Premier League.
Based on the prices they are offering in the Premier League winners and relegation markets, it seems that bookmakers are not expecting the Swans to improve on last year’s finish. Some rate them as the 16th best side in the division, while others have them at 17th, but none think they will be able to break into the top ten. You can back them at 1500/1 with SkyBet in the Premier League winners market, and 13/2 with Ladbrokes to finish in the top half.
Bookmakers appear to believe that they will be able to avoid relegation, rating the likes of Huddersfield, Brighton and Burnley as more likely bottom-three candidates. But if you think the possible departure of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente will sink the Swans, you can back them for relegation at 9/4 with BetFred, and they appear to be certainties in the Bottom Half Finish market where they are best-priced 1/8 with Stan James. .
What do punters think?
The consensus among punters appears to be that Paul Clement has what it takes to steer Swansea to safety again in 2016-17, with the Swans accounting for less than three percent of bets in the relegation market. Punter optimism doesn’t go much further than that, however. Only 3.1% of bets in the Top Half Finish market this summer have gone on Swansea, which suggests that punters are more pessimistic than bookmakers about their top ten chances.
The Gylfi Sigurdsson saga rumbles on but it seems likely that he will be leaving the club, so Swansea have sought to strengthen their midfield resources with the signature of Roque Mesa from Las Palmas. He will be under pressure to provide the creative spark that the team will need if they are to stay in the top flight.
Whether the Swans can retain the services of Chelsea target Fernando Llorente remains to be seen, but if he does stay, he will be Swansea’s leading hope in the Top Scorer market, where he is available at 80/1 with Sky Bet, though loan signing Tammy Abraham can also be backed at the same price with Sky Bet.
The signatures of Mesa and Abraham looks like good business, but assuming that Sigurdsson, who is currently 8/13 with Ten Bet to move to Everton with Ten Bet, does leave, they will be under pressure to strengthen. Top of the list at the moment appears to be former player Wilfried Bony. He moved to Manchester City in 2015 but has since spent time out on loan and is rated as a 1/2 chance by BetVictor to return to the Liberty Stadium.