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As the Premier League season reaches the crucial festive period, Willie Duncan examines which managers are under threat as the 'Sack Race' intensifies

With almost half of the season having passed, it is somewhat surprising that only two Premier League managers – Roberto Di Matteo and Mark Hughes – have fallen on their swords thus far, but as we reach the crucial festive period, the pressure on the top flight’s bosses is likely to be cranked up a notch.

With that in mind, the "sack race” market - betting on who will be the next Premier League manager to leave his current post - on offer from Paddy Power is worthy of close scrutiny for punters seeking value.

Next manager to leave their post

Odds from Paddy Power
Brian McDermott 7/4
Martin O'Neill 4/1
Roberto Mancini 5/1
Rafael Benitez 5/1
Arsene Wenger 11/2
Heading up the market is Reading boss Brian McDermott and, with the Royals having picked up just nine points from 16 Premier League matches thus far, it is somewhat unsurprising to see the 51-year-old boss, who has been in charge at Madejski Stadium since 2009, chalked up as Paddy Power’s 7/4 (2.75) favourite.

Reading’s most recent defeat, a 3-0 loss at the hands of Sunderland, would have been a real concern for McDermott but offered some comfort to former Celtic and Aston Villa boss Martin O’Neill – now in charge of the Black Cats.

Sunderland’s win over McDermott’s men was just their second victory in 12 matches and eased some of the considerable pressure on O’Neill.

Despite that victory, though, the Northern Irishman is Paddy Power’s second favourite at 4/1 (5.0) to be the next Premier League manager to depart his current post.

The pressure is not just on those managing sides at the wrong end of the Premier League table and Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini can be backed at 5/1 (6.0) with Paddy Power to pay the price for his side's disappointing performance in the Uefa Champions League this term by departing his post before any of his fellow Premier League managers.

European failure, of course, cost Roberto Di Matteo dearly and, despite replacing the Italian boss at Stamford Bridge just over three weeks ago, Chelsea’s interim manager Rafael Benitez is available at 5/1 (6.0) with Paddy Power to be the next Premier League manager to leave his club.

Another man under pressure is Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. The Gunners have endured a mixed start to the campaign and suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Bradford City in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday night.

Despite that defeat, Wenger is likely to remain in situ at the club that he has managed for 16 years and Paddy Power’s 11/2 (6.50) quote for Wenger to be the next manager to depart represents little value here.

The shock departure of Di Matteo earlier this season highlighted how volatile this market can be but there is value in backing beleaguered Royals boss McDermott to be a reluctant “sack race” winner at Paddy Power’s 7/4 (2.75) quote.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
Brian McDermott to be the next Premier League manager to leave at 7/4 (2.75) with Paddy Power

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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter

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