Steve McClaren and Alex Neil

McClaren and Neil Better Value Than Sack Race Faves

Steve McClaren and Alex Neil

The latest edition of the English Premier League sack race is fascinating from a punting perspective and one thinks that there is value in dutching two of the candidates.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal continues to look like the falsest of false favourites. Manchester United’s smash-and-grab 1-0 win at Liverpool lifted the Red Devils to fifth position on the English Premier League ladder and kept them in the hunt for a UEFA Champions League berth at the very least. Manchester United powerbrokers have had ample opportunity to dispense with Van Gaal’s services and they have chosen to stand by the Dutch boss, most likely because their chief targets are unlikely to become available until the end of the season. Sacking Van Gaal would probably mean placing Ryan Giggs in temporary charge of Manchester United and his stock has taken a hit due to the poor performance of Valencia under Gary Neville in his first managerial role.

The presence of an English Premier League sack race odds-on favourite whom one does not fancy means that one should be able to identify value somewhere down the list. Aston Villa is as good as relegated to the English Championship so one would be surprised if the Villans, who are not rolling in money, chose to pay out Remi Garde. And it is not as though Aston Villa would be knocked over in the rush to work for it given that the pressure at Villa Park will be massive if the Villans do not make a flying start to next term’s campaign.

The English Premier League sack race third favourite is no more managers to leave their job. In each of the last seven English Premier League seasons at least one boss has bitten the dust in February or later so the odds seems about right.

Steve McClaren and Alex Neil are next in the English Premier League sack race betting and it is the coaches of Newcastle and Norwich in whom one is interested. PaddyPower is listing both McClaren and Neil at odds of +1800 so dutching them results in a bet at +850 – longer than what is available about the three favourites, Van Gaal, Garde and none.

McClaren’s managerial career has been in freefall since he left then Dutch Eredivisie champion Twente in 2010. McClaren has been the shown the door by Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, Twente (this time it was not his decision) and Derby over the last six years and one is surprised that Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has not pulled the pin on him as well. Newcastle is in a serious English Premier League relegation fight and the Magpies have accrued just one point from their three matches versus fellow strugglers Aston Villa, Sunderland and Swansea, scoring only one goal in those games. Ashley has seen Newcastle exit the English Premier League under his watch once before and he made a late managerial change during that season, installing Alan Shearer in a switch that did not work out. McClaren is over his true odds at +1800 and Newcastle’s upcoming English Premier League fixtures are Watford (away), Everton (away), West Bromwich (home), Chelsea (away), Manchester City (home) and Stoke (away) – the Magpies may not win any of those six matches.

Neil is far from safe, either. According to bookmakers, Neil and his Norwich team are one of the five leading English Premier League relegation contenders and the Canaries have shown that they will change bosses late in a campaign if their top-flight status is under threat – they replaced Chris Hughton with Neil Adams in April 2014. Norwich has lost each of its last three games emphatically across all competitions and the Canaries have a tough English Premier League run of fixtures coming up – Liverpool (home), Tottenham (home), Aston Villa (away), West Ham (home), Leicester (away) and Chelsea (home) are their next six.

Dutching McClaren and Neil at odds of +850 is the best way to approach the English Premier League sack race. However, one would not blame anyone who chose to include the no-manager-to-leave option at odds of +800 with William Hill, thereby lowering the value of the dutched wager to +362 , which remains acceptable.

Tips Summary

Steve McClaren or Alex Neil next BPL manager sacked
Dutched Odds: +850

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