With 2017 now upon us, we take a look back at some of the Premier League shocks in 2016.
There is only really one place to start when looking at Premier League shocks last year and that is at Leicester City.
The Foxes won their first ever Premier League title, despite being written off for most of the year, with pundits expecting Tottenham or Arsenal to snatch the title away from them.
At odds of 5,000/1 at the beginning of the season the bookmakers were expected to lose an estimated £25million when Claudio Ranieri's side were crowned champions. One lucky punter had wagered £20 on the huge odds while another backed the Foxes at 2,000/1 with Betfair in October and pocketed the biggest winnings with £200,000.
Much was made of the 5,000/1 price with Elvis Presley being found alive considered a more likely scenario, or even Sir Alex Ferguson to win Strictly Come Dancing, priced at 1000/1, thought to be more likely.
5,000/1 winners are obviously extremely rare but the 2015/16 season provided us with another winner at that price. With Tottenham's title hopes dashed following their draw to Chelsea and Newcastle's relegation to the Championship already confirmed there wasn't a great deal riding on the match between the two sides. However, with Spurs still hoping to finish second, a place ahead of rivals Arsenal, they were expected to beat a deflated Magpies side.
But Rafa Benitez's side beat Tottenham 5-1 in arguably one of the most frustrating days of the season for Spurs fans. Not only did they suffer their biggest loss of the season but Arsenal pipped them to second spot. While there were some winners on the 5000/1 Leicester title bet, there unsurprisingly appears to be no-one that backed the 5-1 win for the Magpies.
One of the surprise packages in the 2015/16 season was Bournemouth. Not many people gave the seaside club a chance of competing in the Premier League when they were promoted and at a price of 7/5 to be relegated neither did the bookies. But Eddie Howe's side won many plaudits as they escaped relegation and have continued to impress at the start of the 2016/17 season. Now rather than looking at the drop zone, bookies are taking them seriously this season and they are as short as 5/6 to finish in the top 10, and incredibly end the year considered a 33/1 chance of finishing inside the top 6, compared to the 200/1 price they were at the start of December.
Chelsea's 2016 has been particularly interesting. After a shocking start to the 2015/16 season they ended the calendar year 8/1 to finish in the top four. At the start of the season that was almost considered a certainty at 1/50 with Jose Mourinho in charge and a tenth placed finish unthinkable. With Mourinho gone and Antonio Conte now in charge it is a different story at the end of 2016. After a run of ten consecutive wins, including victories over Man City, Tottenham and Everton, Chelsea are six points clear at the top of the table and are the 4/6 favourites to claim the title. Chelsea's dominance has been surprising and they have inflicted two impressive big wins so far this season, a 4-0 over Manchester United and a 5-0 victory against Everton.
While Chelsea's 2016 has come good, Crystal Palace's entire year in the Premier League has been a disaster. At the end of 2015 they were among the form sides and fans were dreaming of the possibility of European football. Fast forward a year and things are looking rather different for Palace, who are now battling to avoid relegation. While they weren't expected to mount a serious challenge for a spot in Europe, they certainly wouldn't have thought the year would turn out as shocking as it did. The Eagles were confirmed as the worst team in England's top four divisions in terms of points won per game with a measly average of 0.71 points.
In contrast to the way they ended the 2015/16 season, Leicester's first half of this season has been surprisingly poor. They have been flying in the Champions League but are struggling to find any kind of form in the league. Not many expected them to recreate their success from last year but few would have predicted they would end the year in 15th place, six points away from the relegation zone. After starting the season at 9/2 to finish in the top four they have ended the year as 1000/1 outsiders to even finish in the top four and are 2000/1 to win the league.