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The six early favourites to win the dreaded Premier League sack race

The Premier League’s annual sack race is now on, with the pressure surely set to mount on the managers who fail to get off to a flying start.

The bookmaker’s have already been shortening their odds on the favourites to be axed, but who do they believe is under the most pressure in the opening weeks of the new season?

For those of you looking for top betting offers at the bookies here are the six early favourites to be the first Premier League manager sacked…

Ralph Hasenhuttl – 10/1

The Austrian guided struggling Southampton clear from trouble after replacing Mark Hughes in December, leading the Saints away from the relegation places in the second half of the season.

Many have predicted that Southampton may struggle once again this season, whilst back-to-back defeats to Burnley and Liverpool over the opening two weeks are a cause for concern.

Hasenhuttl has enjoyed success in Germany with both Ingolstadt and Red Bull Leipzig and has earned comparisons with Jurgen Klopp, but should Southampton fail to earn positive results against the likes of Brighton, Sheffield United and Bournemouth in the coming weeks, he may find himself under pressure.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – 10/1

The Manchester United manager is a huge favourite at Old Trafford following his playing career, but he remains unproven in management at the highest level.

A positive start soon deteriorated during a torrid run of form towards the end of last season and the Norwegian will need a positive start to dispel any suggestions of ‘new manager bounce’.

Having invested heavily in the summer on the likes of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Solskjaer now has a team more in his mould.

United have begun positively by thrashing Chelsea and being unfortunate not to win at Wolves, Solskajer will hope they can maintain that form as they bid to secure a top-four finish.

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Frank Lampard – 10/1

Another inexperienced former favourite leading one of the Premier League’s leading sides, Lampard has a huge task as he bids to lead Chelsea to success.

The former Blues midfielder returned to Stamford Bridge this summer, despite having just a sole season’s experience in management with Championship side Derby County.

Chelsea’s transfer-ban and the departure of Eden Hazard have made his job even more difficult, although that could earn him patience from notoriously trigger-happy owner Roman Abramovich.

Despite being winless in his opening three fixtures, sacking Lampard would be an incredibly unpopular move amongst the Chelsea faithful, though he will have to show early signs he can handle a job of this size to avoid the pressure mounting.

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Javi Gracia – 5/1

Watford seem to have had a constant carousel of managers in recent seasons, with five permanent appointments in the past five years at Vicarage Road.

Gracia led Watford to an 11th-placed finish and an FA Cup final appearance last season, though the club are ambitious and will want an improved showing once more this season.

An shock opening day 3-0 home reverse to Brighton was followed by defeat away to Everton and a horrid run of league form towards the end of last season means if results don’t improve soon the owners could find themselves reaching for the panic button.

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Roy Hodgson – 4/1

The former England manager has done a solid job at Crystal Palace since arriving in 2017, guiding the club to mid-table finishes in each of his two seasons at Selhurst Park.

Palace failed to eradicate the flaws in their ageing squad this summer, despite receiving a huge £50m for the sale of promising full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

The arrivals of the likes of forward Jordan Ayew and veteran Gary Cahill are unlikely to cause optimism, with fears amongst the fans that Palace could struggle.

The club also have star player Wilfried Zaha unsettled after he was refused a move away, and for a club who have struggled to score goals in recent times this could be a major problem.

A goalless draw with Everton was followed by defeat at newly-promoted Sheffield United, with no goals scored in either fixture. Hodgson appears to have problems at the club, can the 72-year-old’s experience keep him in the job?

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Steve Bruce – 7/2

After the departure of the popular Rafael Benitez, former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce’s arrival at Newcastle was immediately greeted with dismay from the club’s loyal support.

The 58-year-old is the latest to take what is often described as a ‘poisoned chalice’ at St James’ Park, with owner Mike Ashley unable or unwilling to provide the funds to take the club to the next level.

Replacing one of European football’s most successful managers is an unenviable task for Bruce, whose career highlights are promotions from the second tier, and even his local roots have not been enough to see him win over supporters.

Back-to-back defeats to open the season have only grown the discontent, with Bruce the bookies favourite to be the first manager sacked this season.

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