Di Matteo heads betting to replace sacked Clarke at West Brom

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Roberto Di Matteo and Martin Jol head the betting to become the new manager of West Bromwich Albion after the club sacked Steve Clarke following a 1-0 defeat at Cardiff City.

The reverse was Albion’s fourth league defeat in a row and it was enough to convince the board to relieve Clarke of his duties with the Baggies just two points above the relegation zone in the midst of a run of just one win in ten games. West Brom are currently 6/1 to be relegated.

Former manager Di Matteo is the 4/1 favourite to return to the club that he led to promotion from the Championship in 2010, though the early money has been for ex-West Brom player Martin Jol, who is 6/1 to take over at the Hawthorns.

The decision to sack Clarke has been met with some surprise, with the former Chelsea and Liverpool assistant generally thought to have performed well at West Brom after taking over from Roy Hodgson in June 2012 for his first managerial role.

After leading the Midlanders to their highest ever Premier League finish in 2012/13, when the club finished 8th, Clarke’s stock was high but the club have decided to make the change having considered the club’s form during 2013.

A statement on the club’s official website said that the decision was “the unanimous decision of the club’s board of directors following a disappointing performance throughout 2013. Albion have won only seven of their 34 Premier League games during the calendar year – a 20% win rate yielding a total of only 31 points – despite a substantial investment in the first-team squad.”

Di Matteo, who led Chelsea to a Champions League and FA Cup double in 2012, was a popular figure at the Hawthorns and with the Italian looking to get back into management following his sacking at Stamford Bridge last November, his favouritism is understandable.

But the money has come in for Jol, out of work after his sacking by Fulham this month, though whether or not the West Brom board would appoint a man that has just failed badly in his last job remains to be seen.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is also 6/1 after leading Norwegian side Molde to two domestic titles, while Owen Coyle, who has just left Wigan Athletic by mutual consent, is 8/1.

Ralf Rangnick and Paul Clement are both 12/1, with Paolo Di Canio quoted at 16/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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