Premier League Sack Race Odds: Claudio Ranieri 9/4 favourite ahead of crunch week
Everton’s decision to sack Rafa Benitez over the weekend means that seven Premier League managers have left their posts so far during the 2021/22 season, three more than the whole of last season, and the highest tally since the trigger-happy 2017/18 season which saw a whopping 10 bosses exit.
Everton are now being linked to a manager they sacked in 2016, Belgium boss Roberto Martinez, along with the likes of former Toffees player Wayne Rooney, and Frank Lampard.
Claudio Ranieri clinging on
As for the state of play in the Premier League Sack Race, if it wasn’t for a late equaliser from Joao Pedro at Newcastle, we could well have seen Watford’s Claudio Ranieri lose his job after less than four months in charge.
Instead, the last-gasp goal earned Watford a pivotal point in their fight for survival, and ended a truly torrid run of seven straight defeats in all competitions.
Ranieri lives to manage another day in the Hornets dugout, but for how long?
Since replacing Xisco Munoz in October, the veteran Italian has won just two of his 13 matches in all competitions. His side have failed to win since a spectacular 4-1 demolition of Man Utd in late November, and now have two absolutely huge games coming up this week against rock-bottom Burnley (Tuesday) and 18th-placed Norwich (Friday).
Benitez’s departure on Sunday means that Ranieri once again finds himself installed as the bookies’ favourite to be the next manager to leave.
Given the magnitude of those brace of games, it’s a surprise that Ranieri can be backed out at 9/4 (Paddy Power) to be this season’s eighth managerial departure: A winless return from those two fixtures will surely see Watford pull the trigger yet again.
Premier League Sack Race 2021/22
- Xisco Munoz
- Steve Bruce
- Nuno Santo
- Daniel Farke
- Dean Smith
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
- Rafa Benitez
Could Sean Dyche walk?
Next in the running is Sean Dyche (5/1), whose injury-hit Burnley side are now bottom of the table with one win to their name this season.
The crestfallen Clarets are already playing catch-up due to postponed fixtures, while last week they sold striker Chris Wood to fellow strugglers Newcastle; there are also reports that the Toon could come back in for defender James Tarkowski, who is one of 10 current Burnley players who have contracts expiring in the summer.
Dyche only signed a new four-year deal in September, but if he continues to lose pivotal players to relegation rivals at such a crucial time in the season, then he may decide to walk away from the job.
Even though he continues to be dealt some extremely poor hands, it would still come as a huge surprise to see Dyche part ways with the club.
Alternatively, he’s a 33/1 outsider for the Everton hot-seat, a job he’s been linked to in the past.
Is Eddie Howe safe?
Newcastle spent a frenzied three weeks searching for a new manager before opting for Eddie Howe, who they handed a contract through to the summer of 2024.
The appointment hasn’t exactly gone to plan so far with Howe winning just one of his 10 matches so far - against Burnley - and just over a week ago watched his side lose at home to League One Cambridge.
The Toon came within three minutes of rebounding with a big win at home to Watford, only to leak in an 87th minute equaliser. Howe now finds himself as short as 4/1 to be the next manager to lose his job.
While we simply can’t rule anything out, it would be a huge shock if Newcastle changed manager for a second time this season. But with staying up the priority, should Newcastle fail to pick up a win in the near future, could we see the Saudi-led consortium press the panic button?
Will there even be any more casualties?
One bookmaker has cut Brighton boss Graham Potter to just 6/1 after the Everton market opened up. We can’t see a move materialising though.
Ralf Rangnick, 14/1, isn’t going to be sacked before the end of his interim contract.
Despite the weekend’s defeat to Wolves, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl (16/1) has overseen a real improvement in recent weeks and isn't going anywhere.
'No manager to leave' could turn a few heads at 8/1 but given Raneri’s current troubles it could only be a matter of time until an eighth manager falls victim to the Sack Race.