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7 manager predictions for the rest of the 2021/22 season

Can Steven Gerrard finish as the Premier League's best performing English manager?
Can Steven Gerrard finish as the Premier League's best performing English manager?

With half of the season still to play and a whole host of honours up for grabs, we bring you a mixture of managerial predictions and bets from the Premier League, Championship, League One, League Two and in Europe...

1. Tony Mowbray will propel Blackburn into the Premier League

What a superb story this would be.

Under-fire last year after a dismal collapse in the second-half of the 2020/21 season saw his Blackburn side slump to a 15th place finish and 20 points adrift of the Championship play-offs, Tony Mowbray has swatted away the critics in spectacular style over the course of an unbelievable two months.

28-goal man Adam Armstrong departed to Southampton in the summer as Blackburn struggled for consistency at the start of the current campaign which hit a nadir in early November when they suffered a 7-0 battering at home to Fulham.

Mowbray could easily have been sacked after a defeat of that manner. Good job he wasn't as he’s since conjured up a remarkable unbeaten run of 23 points from nine games which has propelled Rovers to second in the table - above Fulham. Leaders Bournemouth are now within reach, three points to be exact.

The sensational form of 20-goal man Ben Brereton Díaz has been one of the talking points of the season, and there’s a growing belief that this could finally be the year in which Blackburn end their lengthy 10-year stay outside of the Premier League.

Mowbray's men can be backed at 10/3 to win promotion, 8/1 to finish in the top-two, and 20/1 to win the title!

Championship Winner Odds

Blackburn
WIN PROB: 3%
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Odds correct as of 2022-01-19 23:50 Odds subject to change.

2. Watford will make yet another managerial change

Not the most groundbreaking of predictions, but one that looks more inevitable by the gameweek.

Nine defeats from 11 matches to date is a desperately disappointing record for Claudio Ranieri, who will be getting severe flashbacks of his nightmare 106-day stint at Fulham during the club’s wretched 2018/19 campaign.

Watford now face the only three teams below them in the table - Newcastle, Burnley, and Norwich - so keep an eye on the 6/4 priced Ranieri…

Next Premier League Manager To Leave Odds

Claudio Ranieri
WIN PROB: 31%
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9/4
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2/1
Odds correct as of 2022-01-19 04:10 Odds subject to change.

3. Kieran McKenna will elevate Ipswich into the play-offs

The Paul Cook experiment surprisingly failed, now it’s up to Kieran McKenna to rocket Ipswich into the promotion picture.

Cook has three titles on his CV, while McKenna is in his first job in management having swapped coaching the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo at Man Utd for life in the increasingly competitive League One dugout.

The rookie boss had a bit of time to implement his ideas before overseeing a creditable 1-0 win in his first game against promotion-chasing Wycombe. Fans are hoping the result will kick-start a stampede towards the play-offs.

Ipswich are currently 11 points adrift of the top-six with 22 games remaining. It’s a tough ask but this Ipswich side is drenched in experience and talent. Over the years we’ve seen numerous teams mount charges from deep within the chasing pack, and there’s absolutely no reason why McKenna can’t spark his new side into life.

Ipswich can be backed at 9/2 (Betfred) to finish in the top-six, and 14/1 (William Hill) to win promotion.

League One Promotion Odds

Ipswich
WIN PROB: 7%
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Odds correct as of 2022-01-19 08:48 Odds subject to change.

4. Julian Nagelsmann will win the Champions League with Bayern Munich

As you’d expect, Bayern Munich are cruising in the Bundesliga as they race towards their tenth straight title, and first under Julian Nagelsmann who replaced Hansi Flick in the summer - some bookmakers now have the leaders priced at just 1/100.

The former RB Leipzig boss boasts an 84.6% win rate so far and while he may no longer be able to claim a famous treble in his first season at the helm of Der FCB, a league title and Champions League double are definitely on the cards.

Bayern effortlessly jogged through the group stages, securing six wins out of six - for only the second time ever - in a group that contained Benfica and Barcelona. They hammered home 22 goals and conceded just three; the highest and lowest across the board. In fact, they've already scored 93 goals in just 26 games under Nagelsmann; that's an average of 3.58 a game!

The German giants will be expected to sweep aside Red Bull Salzburg in the last-16, before things start to spice up a notch in the last-eight. They were unfortunate to lose to PSG in the quarter-finals last term, but given their scintillating form coupled with the fact that many of the current squad have the experience of winning the competition two years ago, we’re backing them to go all the way once again.

Champions League Winner Odds

BAYERN MUNICH
WIN PROB: 19%
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Odds correct as of 2022-01-20 23:28 Odds subject to change.

5. Micky Mellon will lift the League Two title with Tranmere Rovers

The in-form team in League Two are rolling along very nicely at the moment under a manager who previously led the club to back-to-back promotions from non-league to League One.

Micky Mellon returned to Tranmere Rovers last summer, then following a mixed start to the season his troops have delivered five wins on the bounce - beating the likes of Exeter City and Leyton Orient - which has shot them from mid-table obscurity to fourth in the table.

Rovers look in cracking shape and ready to mount a challenge for the automatic promotion spots as they bid to make up for last season’s play-off heartbreak. Sutton, who have played a game more, are now within one point, while second-placed Northampton are just two points ahead.

The aim will be securing a top-three finish - 3/1 (Betfred) to win promotion - but their superb form, Mellon’s winning mentality and the fact they have the EFL’s strongest defence - just 14 goals conceded - means they could even mount a charge for the title.

Rob Edwards is enjoying a fantastic season at free-scoring leaders Forest Green Rovers, who have a 10 point lead over Tranmere at the summit, but there’s still half the season remaining during which anything can happen.

At 25/1 Tranmere look the value bet to lift the title, although to achieve this feat Mellon - who has just been named December's League Two Manager of the Month - will be pushing for attacking recruits in the transfer window as he seeks to add more potency to his frontline.

League Two Winner Odds

Tranmere Rovers
WIN PROB: 6%
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Odds correct as of 2022-01-19 08:23 Odds subject to change.

6. Julian Lopetegui will win the Europa League with Sevilla (again)

Usually cast in the shadow of its older brother, the Champions League, the Europa League is receiving some deserved attention at the moment given the calibre of teams bidding to win the competition including Barcelona, Dortmund, Porto, and of course Sevilla.

The love story between Sevilla and the Europa League trophy is well known.

The Spanish side have triumphed six times in the last 16 seasons; an unbelievable record. Their most recent success came two seasons ago under Julen Lopetegui whose emotional reaction to winning the trophy was an absolute heart warmer - scroll below for video.

After dropping down from the Champions League - I swear they do it on purpose - Sevilla must first negotiate their way through a knockout round play-off tie against Dinamo Zagreb, which would seal progress into the last-16. From there they have the experience, nous, and talent to go all the way, with UniBet offering best-priced odds of 8/1 for a seventh success this century.

Domestically Sevilla are also in great nick. Lopetegui has mounted an impressive title challenge and has the Andalusian outfit 2nd in La liga with a game in hand on Real Madrid - 8/1 (Bet Victor) to win the league - while they are through to the last-16 of the Copa del Rey (9/1).

If you’re feeling extra ambitious you can back Lopetegui’s side at 511/1 (Betway) to win an extraordinary Europa League, La Liga and Copa del Rey treble!

Europa League Winner Odds

Sevilla
WIN PROB: 12%
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7/1
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Odds correct as of 2022-01-20 23:28 Odds subject to change.

7. Steven Gerrard will be the highest finishing English manager

There are currently five English managers employed in the Premier League.

Three of whom are currently embroiled in a scrap for survival in Dean Smith (Norwich, 20th), Eddie Howe (Newcastle, 19th), and Sean Dyche (Burnley, 18th), meaning Graham Potter and Steven Gerrard are in a two-horse race to finish as the highest-placed Englishman this season. Not the best honour out there, but recognition none the less.

Graham Potter continues to enhance his reputation at Brighton who he has up in 9th with 27 points from 19 matches; four places and five points above Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa.

The wealth of attacking talent available in Gerrard’s squad married with a transformation in form since his appointment in November means we expect the former Rangers boss to eat up that margin and fire Villa above the Seagulls come the end of the season. If new signing Philippe Coutinho hits the ground running then who knows maybe an FA Cup run could be on the cards (40/1 to lift the trophy with UniBet).

FA Cup Winner Odds

Manchester City
WIN PROB: 27%
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Chelsea
WIN PROB: 15%
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5/1
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5/1
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5/1
Liverpool
WIN PROB: 13%
1
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5/1
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5/1
Manchester United
WIN PROB: 10%
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West Ham United
WIN PROB: 7%
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Tottenham
WIN PROB: 7%
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Leicester
WIN PROB: 5%
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Wolverhampton
WIN PROB: 4%
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Everton
WIN PROB: 3%
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Crystal Palace
WIN PROB: 3%
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Southampton
WIN PROB: 3%
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Brighton
WIN PROB: 3%
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Newport County
WIN PROB: 2%
Brentford
WIN PROB: 2%
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Norwich
WIN PROB: 1%
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AFC Bournemouth
WIN PROB: 1%
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Huddersfield
WIN PROB: 1%
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Nottingham Forest
WIN PROB: 1%
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Queens Park Rangers
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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6/4
Fulham
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Cardiff
WIN PROB: 1%
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Stoke City
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Luton
WIN PROB: 1%
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Middlesbrough
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Coventry
WIN PROB: 0%
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Barnsley
WIN PROB: 0%
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Peterborough
WIN PROB: 0%
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Wigan
WIN PROB: 0%
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Cambridge United
WIN PROB: 0%
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Plymouth Argyle
WIN PROB: 0%
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Hartlepool
WIN PROB: 0%
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Kidderminster Harriers
WIN PROB: 0%
Boreham Wood
WIN PROB: 0%
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Odds correct as of 2022-01-20 21:56 Odds subject to change.
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