EPL SACK RACE - NEXT MANAGER TO LEAVE BETTING ODDS*
|Manager||Current Team||Odds (Click to bet)||Bet with|
|Steve Bruce||Newcastle||2/1||William Hill|
|Chris Wilder||Sheffield United||4/1||William Hill|
|Roy Hodgson||Crystal Palace||12/1||Paddy Power|
|Graham Potter||Brighton||14/1||William Hill|
|Sam Allardyce||West Brom||20/1||BetVictor|
|Mikel Arteta||Arsenal||20/1||Paddy Power|
|Scott Parker||Fulham||25/1||Paddy Power|
|Sean Dyche||Burnley||25/1||William Hill|
*Odds correct as of 10am, January 20, 2021
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When it comes to Premier League football, things can change pretty rapidly and that is certainly reflected in the Sack Race betting market. Since the 2020/21 season began, we’ve had a spate of managers who have been trading favourite to be the next top-flight gaffer to be out of a job, although only Slaven Bilic has bitten the bullet at the time of writing.
While West Bromwich Albion are the only club to have pulled the trigger, it would seem unlikely that the Croatian will be the only Premier League boss to be given his marching orders between now and the remainder of the campaign. After all, the stakes are high in this division and a number of clubs will want to secure a top-four spot as the bare minimum.
In the past few weeks since Bilic was replaced by Sam Allardyce at The Hawthorns, we’ve seen a number of high-profile managers at the head of the Sack Race betting market, with leading clubs such as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal just a handful of defeats away from a supposed crisis.
In the case of the latter two clubs, their form has rapidly reversed itself over the festive period and we take a look at the latest betting odds where Mr Lampard might certainly have cause for concern at Stamford Bridge the way things are going for a club who spent big in the transfer window.
Lampard as Short as Evens for Sack
Frank Lampard achieved a lifelong ambition to manage Chelsea FC when taking charge at the beginning of the 2019/20 season and the former Derby County manager acquitted himself during his first campaign, steering the Blues to a top-four finish despite the fact that the club were restricted by a transfer embargo which saw the former England midfielder field fairly youthful line-ups.
However, once the embargo was lifted, Chelsea rolled out the red carpet for a wave of new signings that included Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech, Ben Chilwell, Thiago Silva and Edouard Mendy. Hundreds of millions has been spent in a bid to make the west London outfit into a viable title contender.
Things were going fairly swimmingly in early December as Chelsea beat Leeds United 3-1 to suggest they could be title contenders this season, although performances have gone off a cliff and four points from six matches is more like relegation form than the sort of tally that will help the team challenge for major domestic honours.
While Lampard will rightly be regarded as a club legend at Stamford Bridge considering his achievements as a player, the 42-year-old is situated squarely behind the eight-ball ahead of away trips to Fulham and Leicester, while there is a Champions League double header against Atletico Madrid on the horizon.
The bookies are taking no chances and make Lampard an 11/10 shot, considering that Roman Abramovich hasn’t hesitated to pull the trigger when it has come to a number of previously high-profile managers including Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti and Andre Villas-Boas. Ultimately, this is a results business for the club’s Russian owner and they have not been at all positive for Lampard in recent weeks.
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Arteta Out of the Woods and Drifting for Sack
Perhaps Frank Lampard can draw some consolation from the fact that Mikel Arteta looked like a dead man walking only a short few weeks ago and it was ironically a 3-1 win for Arsenal against Chelsea that enabled some breathing space for the Spaniard, while the Gunners have since gone on to beat Brighton and West Brom.
Arteta has been pretty brave with recent team selection and shown himself unafraid to make bold calls and base the Arsenal attack around the likes of Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith-Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli, with more senior players such as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Nicolas Pepe making way for the former.
Betfair go as big as 20/1 that Arteta is the next Premier League manager out of a job although the majority of other bookmakers are closer to the 10/1 mark and it remains to be seen whether the Arsenal boss can lead the team to a successful season. After all, Brighton and West Brom are among the relegation contenders this season and sternest tests await the Gunners.
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Wilder Remains Among Sack Race Favourites as Blades Suffer
It’s not just the fact that Sheffield United are twelve points away from Premier League safety as we approach the halfway stage of the season. Quite simply, the Blades have collected two points from their seventeen top-flight games played this season and they have had serious problems finding the net since their opening 2-0 defeat against Wolves.
While Chris Wilder landed Rhian Brewster from Liverpool, the goals haven’t materialised and it looks set to be a very difficult second season for a team who surprised everyone last term to land a top-half finish in the table, with the manager second favourite behind Frank Lampard on the Sack Race betting market.
Wilder remains focused on the job in hand and few are expecting him to walk or be sacked at this current juncture, with the former Northampton manager potentially starting to look ahead to the 2021/22 season where you might expect Sheffield United to be among the leading contenders to land an immediate promotion back to the Premier League.
Could Potter’s Days Be Numbered at Brighton?
We’ve always thought there’s an element of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” when it comes to Graham Potter at Brighton & Hove Albion. Club owner Tony Bloom replaced Chris Hughton with the former Swansea manager on the basis that the latter is a more progressive candidate who would cultivate an attacking style of football and also help propel the Seagulls up the Premier League table.
While Potter might have achieved the former aim, football remains a results business and fourteen points from seventeen matches is a meagre return which means that the Sussex outfit sit directly above the relegation zone and it’s only the poor form of the three clubs below them that keeps the team out of hot water.
You might argue that with Sheffield United and West Brom doomed, Brighton aren’t in deep relegation trouble although Potter is trading anywhere between 8/1 and 12/1 on the Sack Race betting market and there could be trouble ahead for the Englishman if the team aren’t able to improve on those two wins that have been achieved all season.
Bruce Defiant Although Pressure Builds on Newcastle Boss
Steve Bruce has developed an increasingly thick skin since becoming a football manager and that means he’s well equipped to deal with the grumblings of the Toon Army, many of whom have felt as though he’s been the wrong man for the job at St James’ Park ever since the unpopular Mike Ashley installed him in place of Rafael Benitez.
In fairness to Bruce, he’s never been given a particularly handsome budget to recruit players at the Tyneside club and the Magpies’ nineteen points from sixteen games played is about par for an outfit who regularly finish in the lower reaches of the table without usually getting sucked into a relegation battle.
When there were talks regarding a potential Newcastle takeover, Bruce’s odds shortened significantly on the Premier League Sack Race market, although those discussions have now ended and that is reflected in the fact that you can back the former Wigan, Birmingham, Sheffield United and Aston Villa manager at odds of 9/1 at the time of writing.
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Could Hodgson Be Ready to Leave Palace Soon?
Crystal Palace are not dissimilar to Newcastle in terms of league position, with the Eagles three points better off having played a game more than the latter and a recent 2-0 win over Sheffield United keeps the south London club ticking along, although Roy Hodgson can’t be said to be a particularly inspirational manager at Selhurst Park.
While the former England manager was originally brought in to solidify Palace and ensure that their status as a top-flight club wasn’t compromised, he has since built a team who have mainly played pragmatic football and there’s always the sense that Hodgson is nearing the end of his reign, especially considering his advancing years.
Paddy Powers 11/2 about Hodgson on the Sack Race betting market suggest that there could be no smoke without fire when it comes to the possibility of the Palace manager making way for a more progressive Head Coach in the coming months, although the owners won’t want to rock the boat at this point in the season and there are candidates more likely to leave before him.
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Could Big Sam Exit West Brom Quickly?
Amazing as it may sound, Sam Allardyce could the second Premier League manager to lose his job despite the fact that his predecessor Slaven Bilic was the first man to make way in the top-flight this season. Big Sam arrived at The Hawthorns with a glittering reputation for rescuing teams from relegation although early signs have not been encouraging.
It’s clear that Allardyce is attempting to use the January transfer window to bolster a squad who currently look doomed to return to the Championship although they have recently been outclassed in home matches against Leeds and Arsenal, with the manager bemoaning a failure to keep clean sheets.
A 1-1 draw at Anfield hinted at brighter times ahead for the Baggies under their new boss, although we saw with Watford last season that more than one manager can bite the dust in the space of a football season and the former Bolton, West Ham and Sunderland boss is now as short as 10/1 on the Sack Race market.
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Solskjaer Looking Safe as Houses at Old Trafford
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems relatively unaffected by the constant speculation surrounding his position at Manchester United and the Norwegian has come through the latest “crisis” at Old Trafford as the Red Devils continue an unbeaten run which would yet see them land the 2020/21 Premier League title.
United had a blistering finish to the 2019/20 campaign to qualify for the Champions League although a slow start to the season allied with a Champions League group stage exit hinted that the north-west giant might be looking to make a change at the top sooner rather than later.
However, Mauricio Pochettino (who was thought to be the manager in waiting) has joined Paris Saint-Germain and Solskjaer is now trading at biggest price for the Premier League Sack Race betting market since he replaced Jose Mourinho on a full-time basis and then proceeded to look unconvincing.
No Manager to Leave Trading at 45/1
It appears as though we might see the lowest number of Premier League managerial sackings for many a year this season, with Slaven Bilic remaining the only casualty as we move into 2021, although the bookies expect other managers to make way between now and the end of the season according to the latest odds.
You can currently get 45/1 that the current twenty managers remain in place until the end of the campaign although it’s worth noting that we’re not yet halfway through the season and the expectation levels are surely too high at the leading clubs for at least one high-profile casualty not to occur.
If you want to jump on the “No Manager to Be Sacked” rollercoaster at 45/1, you can spend the next few days/weeks/months monitoring the news in the hope that everyone remains in their respective positions, although we would consider this unlikely given the pressure cooker situation that arises after virtually any team suffer a string of defeats.
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