Betting Special: Who will lose the Premier League sack race?

West Brom coach Alan Irvine is the early favourite, but a number of managers will be hoping to avoid a slow start and the pressure from chairmen that comes with it
Despite there still being over two weeks until the start of the Premier League season, fans and media alike are scrutinising every decision the men on the touchline are making ahead of the new campaign.

New in his role at Manchester United, almost every word out of Louis van Gaal's mouth has made headlines while results, both positive and negative, have seen opinions of managers and the teams they coach change to varying degrees.

Once the season gets underway on August 16, though, the pressure on those in charge will increase remarkably, with all 20 managers knowing they could be a run of poor results away from a P45 and like searching for new opportunities.

With that in mind, one of the most intriguing sub-plots of the early weeks of the 2014-15 campaign promises to be the race to avoid being the loser of the year's sack race, and there are plenty of candidates to be handed that ignominious title.

William Hill price West Brom newcomer Alan Irvine as the 4/1 (5.00) favourite to face the chop first this season, and despite only being in the job since June, the former Everton coach faces a tough task to hold onto his role.

Next PL manager to leave job

Odds from William Hill
Alan Irvine 4/1
Harry Redknapp 11/2
Alan Pardew 13/2
Paul Lambert 13/2
Sam Allardyce 7/1
Garry Monk 12/1
Irvine's only previous managerial experience has come in the lower leagues, and after admitting he had never seen record signing Brown Ideye play before spending £10 million on the striker, the Scot will have to improve the Baggies' fortunes from a disapointing 2013-14 season to avoid becoming the third coach to be given the boot from the Hawthorns inside 12 months.

While Irvine undoubtedly faces a tough task, there is certainly value in a number of other men whose jobs could come under scrutiny over the coming months.

Despite leading QPR to promotion via the play-offs, Harry Redknapp cannot afford a slow start given the invesment that Tony Fernandes has made at Loftus Road, and is listed at 11/2 (6.50) with William Hill to be the first manager to be out of work.

Redknapp is followed in the betting by Newcastle's Alan Pardew and Aston Villa's Paul Lambert - who are both offered at 13/2 (7.50) - with West Ham's Sam Allardyce at 7/1 (8.00).

Pardew has overseen a busy summer at St James' Park, and is expected to lead the Magpies back to within the reaches of European football by chairman Mike Ashley. Should he struggle to get off to a good start, though, his friendship with his own boss could certainly come under some strain.

Lambert, meanwhile, may have a new superior early in the season with owner Randy Lerner having put the former European Cup winners up for sale, and after the less than inspiring signings of Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole, there could be little respite from long-suffering Villa supporters.

Allardyce, however, represents the best value among the favourites given the animosity he has faced from several of the Upton Park faithful and a terrible pre-season to date.

The Irons were defeated twice on their tour of New Zealand despite facing far inferior opposition, and with lead marksman Andy Carroll ruled out for up to four months, the attacking play Allardyce promised fans may struggle to materialise.

Instead, the ex-Bolton Wanderers boss could well be on the lookout for a new job well before Christmas.

Further down the list, Southampton's past and present managers offer some value, with Ronald Koeman priced at 16/1 (17.00) by William Hill to be the next man to go while Tottenham's Mauricio Pochettino is listed at 20/1 (21.00) by the same firm.

Koeman has inherited a threadbare squad at St Mary's that shows signs of being further diminished before the end of the transfer window while Pochettino, as with every incumbent of the managerial hotseat at White Hart Lane, faces the unenviable task of trying to impress the infamously trigger-happy Daniel Levy up in the boardroom.

Van Gaal, for what it's worth, is offered at 50/1 (51.00), but it would take a something even more tragic than David Moyes' Manchester United reign for him to be dismissed early in his Old Trafford career.

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