Premiership News and Predictions

It has been a rollercoaster season in the Premiership and club owners fearing relegation have already axed six managers from their jobs. With eight or so games to go there could well be more casualties before the end of the season, and things are not looking good for Slaven Bilic at West Ham and David Moyes at Sunderland.

Four straight defeats for the Hammers has sent them tumbling down the table and they are now 14th, just six points above the drop zone. You can check the best Premier League odds at William Hill and they are not likely to be relegated, with odds of 20/1, compared to Sunderland at 1/33, Middlesbrough at 1/8 and Hull at 4/6. But that might not be enough to save Bilic. West Ham have higher expectations than those clubs after moving into a gleaming new stadium and splashing the cash on the playing staff. Bilic has been made the favourite to be the next Premiership manager to leave his post, with odds of 10/3. He was recently given a vote of confidence from the club’s owners, but that is often the death knell for managers. If they keep losing and get sucked into the relegation battle, he could well go.

Of course, it may be that no more Premiership managers are sacked this season. That outcome is 2/1, so it is the favourite. But we all know that in the madcap world of the Premiership that anything could happen. A better bet could be on Moyes, the 7/2 second favourite. At some bookmakers he is as low as evens, but you can get 7/2 on him and that looks an interesting option as Sunderland are odds-on for relegation. They have defied the drop time after time in recent years, but their luck may finally have run out and Moyes – long coveted by Sunderland – would take a chunk of the blame for failing where so many others succeeded.

They are by no means guaranteed to go down, as they are just eight points from safety with a game in hand, and 27 points to play for, but it is looking dire. Perhaps they will throw the dice one more time, sack Moyes and hope a new manager can pull off another Wearside miracle.

What may also count against Moyes is comments he made in the wake of Sunderland’s latest defeat, when he told a female reporter she risked “getting a slap” with regards to her line of questioning. Shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan called on the FA to act and it has asked him to explain herself.

“If you look at the fact that he wouldn’t have said that to a male reporter, and I truly believe that, I think the comments and his behaviour and attitude was sexist,” said Allin-Khan. “With the FA, part of what they have been criticised for in the past is not tackling sexism and other forms of discrimination, which needs to be stamped out across the sport. Fundamentally it’s a male-dominated environment that women find it incredibly difficult to break into and comments like this do nothing to encourage women.”

Moyes has apologised but this incident, coupled with Sunderland’s dire form, could see him become the seventh casualty of the season. Another interesting option is 7/1 third favourite Arsene Wenger, currently presiding over one of his worst ever runs during his 20-year tenure, but he is highly unlikely to go before the end of the season and could well sign another contract then, using overtures from PSG and Real Madrid as leverage. Moyes or Bilic are the only two actually likely to go before the end of the campaign, and there are strong arguments for both of them going.

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