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Spanish Primera Division powerbrokers are not afraid to sack coaches so the sack race odds that sister bookmakers 888Sport and Unibet are trading will generate interest and one thinks that there are a couple of attractive wagers.
In each of the last three Spanish Primera Division seasons, the first side to change its manager has been positioned on the foot of the ladder at the time of the switch – Espanyol in 2012-2013, Osasuna in 2013-2014 and Cordoba in 2014-2015 – and the latter two ended up being relegated at the end of the campaign. So it is logical to look at the teams that are among the Spanish Primera Division relegation favourites and to try to identify coaches who may be under early pressure.
Eibar is the general Spanish Primera Division favourite but, while its manager, Jose Luis Mendilibar, has won the sack race previously, he joined Eibar in June 2015 and he has a fair bit of credit in the bank with the side – he performed well on a very limited budget before linking up with his boyhood team, Athletic, in a move that he could not resist.
Next in the Spanish Primera Division relegation betting is Gijon, which is back among the elite after three years in the second-tier wilderness. Abelardo is a Gijon legend who, after playing nearly 200 games for the team, has worked his way through the coaching ranks and led his side to the top flight last term. One thinks that Abelardo, while not safe because no-one is in the cut-throat world of the Spanish Primera Division, is on safer ground than some of his peers.
Las Palmas, which earned promotion to the Spanish Primera Division last season, is the other team that bookmakers are quoting at relatively short odds for relegation. One thinks that Paco Herrera’s job security is not fantastic – he has been the Las Palmas manager since July 2014 and his side needed the play-offs to retain its top-flight status – but the chiefs of a promoted team have fired the first bullet just once in the last seven Spanish Primera Division terms. And that sequence may be understating the facts because one could not find accurate sack race data further back in time.
The two Spanish Primera Division coaches whom one thinks are worth backing are Deportivo’s Victor Sanchez and Levante’s Lucas Alcaraz – both bosses are available at odds of +650 with 888sport and Unibet to be the first one gone.
Deportivo is a successful side that has fallen on hard times – very hard times. Deportivo was lucky to escape relegation from the Spanish Primera Division last season – it won only one of its last 16 divisional matches and that was 2-0 home victory over Levante – and one can see Depor chairman Tino Fernandez making a snap decision if his beloved team starts poorly. The knock against backing Sanchez is that he has been Deportivo manager for four months and, in most instances, he would have a bit of time to prove himself.
Alcaraz does not have the excuse of being new to the role of Levante coach, though. Alcaraz has been Levante boss since October 2014 and the Frogs won just nine Spanish Primera Division games last term, scoring only 34 goals in its 38 matches. Levante fans are not the most demanding bunch of supporters but last season was their side’s worst since it rejoined the Spanish Primera Division in 2010 and one can see Alcaraz being in the firing line if the Frogs struggle.
The most appealing Spanish Primera Division sack race long shot is Rayo Vallecano at odds of +2500 with the same bookmakers. Paco has been Rayo manager since June 2012 and that is an eternity in the Spanish Primera Division for a team that has not won a major honour in recent times.
However, one’s suggested Spanish Primera Division sack race play is to dutch Deportivo and Levante, which generates a good bet at odds of +275
Deportivo’s Victor Sanchez and Levante’s Lucas Alcaraz to win Sack Race
21st August 19:30 GMT
Odds: +650 / ( +275 Dutched)
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