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Latest Odds and Analysis for Betting on the First EPL Manager to Get Sacked in the 20/21 Season

| November 13, 2020 10:31 am PDT
Next EPL Manager to Get Fired

As we head into the international break, it feels like a number of Premier League managers are already fighting to save their job. We may only be two months into the season, but it will only be a matter of time before the managerial merry-go-round commences.

Let’s not forget that Watford’s Javi Gracia lasted just four games before becoming the first EPL manager to get fired last term.

With Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under fire at Manchester United and Slaven Bilic struggling to save West Brom, the first managerial casualty of the season is surely just around the corner.

In this post, I look at the bookies’ odds and assess the frontrunners in the Premier League sack race.

What Do the Bookmakers Think?

Many of the leading online sportsbooks have their own variation of this market. Here are the latest odds for each Premier League manager in the sack race.

Assessing the Main Contenders

Let’s take a closer look at the five frontrunners.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Manchester United

Let’s be honest, if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wasn’t a former Manchester United player, there is absolutely no way he would be in charge at Old Trafford.

I mean, what exactly has he achieved in his managerial career to deserve a shot at leading one of the biggest clubs in world soccer?

The Norwegian has enjoyed success in his homeland with Molde, but the Superliga is nowhere near the standard of the EPL. Before taking the reins at Man Utd, his only previous Premier League experience was a dreadful nine-month spell in charge of Cardiff City in 2014. The Bluebirds were relegated that year after finishing bottom of the table.

As a club legend, Solskjaer is bound to be given more leeway than his predecessors. David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, and Jose Mourinho have all tried – and failed – to steer the Red Devils in the right direction following Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure. But none of them lasted longer than two full seasons.

Solskjaer is nearing his two-year anniversary as United boss, yet his side currently sits 14th in the EPL table after seven games this season.

Of course, the manager of Man Utd is always going to be under pressure. But right now, it feels like Solskjaer is walking on thin ice. The directors have publicly backed the Norwegian, despite a series of below-par results. But at the end of the day, the table doesn’t lie. The recent trend of EPL clubs appointing former players as managers is all well and good, but they need to show progress.

With former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino continuously being linked with the job, I can see Solskjaer getting sacked if United’s results don’t improve in the coming weeks.

Slaven Bilic – West Bromwich Albion

I don’t think anybody expected West Brom to set the Premier League alight this season. Following promotion from the Championship, it was always going to be difficult for the Baggies to compete this term.

However, Slaven Bilic could barely have imagined a worse start to the 2020/21 campaign.

West Brom has failed to win any of their opening eight league games, with three draws and five defeats leaving the club third-bottom in the table. Naturally, the manager is already under huge pressure.

Bilic did a remarkable job of guiding the Baggies back to the top flight last season. The club’s hierarchy will know that. The powers that be will obviously be reluctant to fire the Croatian, but if the team doesn’t start winning games soon, how long can they wait?

There is no doubting Bilic’s credentials. He held down the Croatian national team job for six years before managing Lokomotiv Moscow, Besiktas, and West Ham. The 52-year-old is clearly a good coach, yet he is struggling to get the best out of his players right now.

Bilic will be confident that he can turn things around, but he is running out of time.

Scott Parker – Fulham

Scott Parker is another newly-promoted manager in danger of losing his job, but unlike Bilic, the Fulham boss is extremely inexperienced on the managerial stage.

Following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri, Parker was appointed as the Cottagers’ caretaker manager midway through the 2018/19 campaign. He was unable to save the club from relegation, although he managed to guide Fulham back to the EPL at the first time of asking.

At this stage, it is difficult to gauge whether or not the 40-year-old is ready to manage in the Premier League. He has effectively been thrown in at the deep end, and that could go one of two ways.

Having picked up just four points from a possible 24 this term, Fulham is currently hovering just above the relegation zone. Things were looking up when Parker’s men registered their first league win of the season with an impressive performance against West Brom on Matchday 7, yet they quickly returned to losing ways last time out.

Fulham chairman Shahid Khan has not been afraid to fire managers in the past. If the team is underperforming, he is often quick to make a change.

Unfortunately for Parker, his players aren’t doing him any favors at the moment.

Chris Wilder – Sheffield United 

Four months is a long time in soccer.

When the final whistle blew at the end of the 2019/20 campaign, Sheffield United was celebrating a highly commendable ninth-place finish in their first season back in the EPL.

Fast forward to today, and the Blades find themselves bottom of the table with just a single point to their name.

It is no secret that Chris Wilder has performed miracles at Bramall Lane. The experienced manager guided Sheff Utd to the League One title in 2017 before gaining promotion from the Championship two years later. But after enjoying a phenomenal debut season in the top flight, things just aren’t working out this term.

Wilder was being lauded for his forward-thinking tactics last term. He was praised for his pragmatic approach and his team’s defensive solidity. However, with no wins from the opening eight games this season, the pressure is mounting.

Just a few months ago, Wilder leaving Sheff Utd would have been inconceivable. But it will surely only be a matter of time before the club’s owners lose their patience.

Sean Dyche – Burnley

Currently the longest-serving manager in the Premier League, Sean Dyche has been in charge of Burnley for just over eight years. Operating on a shoe-string budget, the 49-year-old has managed to keep the club in the Premier League for four consecutive seasons – against all odds.

But there is a sense that Dyche may have taken Burnley as far as he possibly can.

Year after year, Dyche seems to work his magic in Lancashire. His side even qualified for last year’s Europa League playoffs. But following a winless start to the season – two draws and five defeats – it feels like Dyche’s position is in jeopardy.

There is also plenty going on behind the scenes at Burnley. The club was subject to a £200m takeover bid from Egyptian businessman Mohamed El Kashashy in October, meaning off-field issues could also decide Dyche’s future.

I would be surprised if the current owners parted ways with Dyche, but if the proposed takeover goes through and results on the pitch don’t improve, the long-standing manager could find himself heading for the Turf Moor exit.

Who Will Be the First to Go?

Of course, it is still early days. The 2020/21 EPL campaign is only two months old. But with so much at stake, I don’t think it will be too long before the first managerial casualty.

Following a poor start to the season, Solskjaer is the bookies’ favorite to be the first Premier League boss to lose his job this term. However, I can see him staying in the Old Trafford hot-seat for a little while longer.

The Norwegian has received public backing from Ed Woodward in recent weeks, and a couple of wins could easily propel the Red Devils back among the early frontrunners in the division.

I also don’t think Dyche will be sacked anytime soon. Burnley is still without a win this season, yet Dyche has dug the club out of tougher situations in the past. I’m expecting the Clarets to stick with their man for the foreseeable future.

In my opinion, the sack race has three main candidates – Bilic, Parker, and Wilder. If I had to pick one, I would have to go for Parker.

Sheff Utd would be foolish to part ways with Wilder after everything he has done for the club, while Bilic has already proved that he can manage in the Premier League following his spell with West Ham.

Not only is Parker hugely inexperienced, he is also working under an owner who has a track record of firing managers when things aren’t going to plan.

If Fulham continues to struggle, I can see Parker becoming the first EPL manager to be sacked this season.

Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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