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Alex McLeish has left Villa Park following a disappointing set of results, the current Wigan Athletic boss and Paul Lambert are the early favourites to replace the Scot

Following a disappointing season which culminated in Aston Villa finishing in 16th position with just 38
points, Alex McLeish has left Aston Villa.

The decision may not come as a surprise to many after Villa went on a run of one win in 17 Premier League
games and, were it not for a solid start to the campaign, could well have been sucked into a more serious relegation battle.

The market leaders in the early betting to replace the Scot are Roberto Martinez at 7/4 (2.87) and Paul Lambert at 11/4 (3.75) both with Bet365. The former having been well backed after opening around 5/2.

Martinez, who turned down Aston Villa in the summer and chose to remain at the DW Stadium, has performed well with the Latics, keeping them in the division after a string of strong results against top teams.

Martinez's achievements are impressive given the budget and need to continually sell key players, but would the Spaniard be looking for a new Premier League challenge after turning them down the first time around?

Lambert too, has overachieved in recent years after guiding Norwich to promotion and finishing in 12th spot in their debut season back in the Premier League.

But Villa chairman Randy Lerner may face a tough battle to convince Lambert and there is no indication that Lambert would move on from Carrow Road.

Other names linked with the role are Kevin MacDonald (10/1) who took over as caretaker in 2010 after Martin O'Neill's departure from Villa Park, current Brighton manager Gus Poyet at 12/1 (13.0) and former Charlton and West Ham boss Alan Curbishley at 16/1 (17.0) with Bet365.

Rafael Benitez is an 8/1 (9.0) shot to return to the Premier League, with Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers at 14/1 (15.0).

Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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