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Betting: Hughes walking dangerous line in Premier League sack race

12:15 PM IST 08/08/17
Mark Hughes FA Cup Blackburn v Stoke 140215
Ahead of the new Premier League season, our tipster takes a look at which managers are already under pressure as the action gets underway this weekend

Despite guiding Newcastle United to the Championship title last season, Rafa Benitez is Betsafe's 3/1 (4.0) favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post.

With the new season just days away, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid manager has been left frustrated by a failure to overhaul his squad as the Magpies aim to make a positive impact on their return to the top tier of English football.

Benitez and Newcastle United, however, remained loyal to one another despite relegation from the Premier League in 2016 and they reaped the rewards last term as the Magpies claimed the Championship title on the final day of the campaign.

It seems unlikely, therefore, that even in the face of a difficult start to the season, that Benitez and Newcastle will part company and better value appears to lie elsewhere in this market.

West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic will be hoping for a solid start to the campaign following a busy summer in the transfer market. Bilic has brought in plenty of Premier League experience in the shape of Pablo Zabaleta, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez, while Manchester City 'keeper Joe Hart has joined the Hammers on loan.

The East Londoners endured a difficult campaign last time around, but they look better equipped this term and, given the backing the Bilic has enjoyed from his board, the 5/1 (6.0) quote for the Hammers' hierarchy to call time on the Croatian's reign seems somewhat skinny.

A number of Stoke City fans were growing restless with the club's lack of progress last term and the Potters will need to make a good start to the season to halt that disquiet. The challenge, however, has been made harder by the loss of the aforementioned Arnautovic - a key cog for the Potters last season.

With pressure increasing on Mark Hughes, the 11/2 (6.50) for the former Manchester City manager to be the first Premier League boss to depart his post could offer decent value for punters.

Craig Shakespeare, a 10/1 (11.0) chance, appears to be on solid ground at Leicester City, having landed the post on a full-time basis this summer following a successful spell as caretaker boss last term, while Marco Silva, at 11/1 (12.0), is unlikely to be the first to fall, having only replaced Walter Mazzarri at Vicarage Road this summer.

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte, who guided the Blues to the Premier League title last term, is another 11/1 (12.0) shot.

Things can, of course, change quickly in football, but it is Stoke City's Mark Hughes who looks to be best value at 11/2 (6.50) to be the first managerial casualty of the Premier League season.

Mark Hughes next Premier League manager to leave his post at 11/2 (6.50) for a 1pt stake with Betsafe