Alan Pardew has agreed a deal to take over as West Bromwich Albion’s new manager after the Baggies fired Tony Pulis last week.
A run of 11 matches without a win saw the Welshman get his marching orders, with temporary manager Gary Megson overseeing a creditable draw at Tottenham Hotspur before watching his side throw away a two-goal lead at home to Newcastle United last night.
Despite that unlikely 1-1 draw, West Brom sit just one point above the relegation zone and Pardew knows he will need to make a swift impact at the Premier League strugglers.
The ex-Magpies boss had been heavily linked to the job since Monday but the Baggies only got a deal across the line today, meaning Pardew will be in the dugout for the first time on Saturday when Crystal Palace - another of his former clubs - arrive at the Hawthorns.
As it stands, though, Pardew's men are currently at 9/4 (3.25) to get relegated from the top flight, whilst three months ago they were 9/1 (10.00) - illustrating what a dreadful run they have been on since.
Obviously Pardew will have his sights set far higher, and you can get odds of 6/1 (7.00) that his new side finish in the top half of the league; indeed, West Brom are only five points adrift of tenth place, so a resurgence and a top-half finish can’t be ruled out.
Their price to finish in the bottom ten is 1/9 (1.11) though, so that’s clearly the more likely outcome at present, but a two-goal win over Newcastle would see the Baggies leap over the Magpies in the table and start heading towards mid-table safety.