Saints have been made second favourites for relegation from the Premier League just weeks after their brilliant promotion to the top flight was confirmed.
Virtually every major bookmaker in the country believes Saints will be one of the three teams to go down next season – even before a ball is kicked or signings completed. Saints and their supporters are unlikely to be too bothered, with an underdog mentality sure to suit Nigel Adkins and his men upon their return to the top flight.
But it may be a slight cause of frustration that Saints and Reading are overwhelming favourites to be relegated, while West Ham, who finished third and only came up via the play-offs, are longer odds to join them back in the Championship.
Reading are generally the favourites for the drop, with bookmakers offering a best priced 11-10 on them going down.
Some bookies have pegged Saints at the same odds, but several others have them slightly wider at 5-4.
Remarkably, West Ham, are only the fifth favourites for the drop at 5-2 while Wigan, who narrowly avoided relegation last season are third favourites at a best priced 2-1.
One of last season’s promoted teams, the much heralded Norwich side who, like Saints, secured back-to-back promotions to get to the Premier League, are fourth favourites at 9-4.
The more optimistic Saints fans might consider the 5000-1 on their team to win the Premier League, or even 11-2 for a top ten finish or 20-1 for a top six finish.
PREMIER LEAGUE RELEGATION ODDS 2012/13
Reading 11-10, Saints 5-4, Wigan 2-1 Norwich 9-4, West Ham 5-2, QPR 9-2, Swansea 9-2, West Brom 5-1, Aston Villa 7-1, Stoke 7-1, Sunderland 10-1, Fulham 12-1.
OTHER SAINTS BETS
Saints to finish in the top ten - 11-2
Saints to finish in the top six - 20-1
Saints to win the Premier League - 5000-1