Manchester City’s maiden Premier League title has all but been surrendered with a whimper, and the man who delivered the trophy could be set to pay the ultimate price.
Roberto Mancini has shortened to 7/4 favourite to be the next top-flight boss to leave his post, and it is a price well worth considering.
Tensions between Mancini and the City boardroom have been high throughout the season, following the Italian’s publicised complaints at the club’s unwillingness to fund new signings.
And by City’s standards, a much below-par on-field campaign has ensued.
The reigning Premier League champions find themselves 12 points adrift of local rivals Manchester United, as big 12/1 outsiders to hold on to their domestic crown.
Prior to the season, the Citizens were odds-on to retain the championship.
An immensely disappointing European campaign will not aid Mancini’s plight either, after he oversaw his side crash out at the Champions League group stage with three points from six matches.
The Sky Blues failed to register a single victory in European competition this term, and after an unexpected third round exit in the League Cup, have only the FA Cup to play for.
Set to meet Leeds in that tournament next, punters could be forgiven for fancying the Championship side to pull off an upset at 14/1, against a City side winless in three.
That said, City do remain 12/5 favourites to claim a second FA Cup in three years, and perhaps success in that competition is the only thing that can save Mancini.
A number of Premier League bosses could be wary of the axe though, and it is unsurprising to see Rafa Benitez next in the betting to leave his post at 11/4.
Benitez, unpopular from the start at Stamford Bridge, has done little to endear himself to Blues fans by failing to arrest their European slide, and bring out the best in Fernando Torres.
His charges narrowly avoided FA Cup embarrassment away to Brentford, and even success in that tournament may not be enough to save him come the season’s end.
And money has come in for Sam Allardyce to be the next go too, with the West Ham chief into 7/1 for the chop.
The Hammers are currently mid-table, and there seems little chance of them being sucked into a relegation battle, but contract talks between the club and former Bolton boss have stalled.
Reportedly alerted by news of unrest at Swindon, it is thought the Hammers’ hierarchy may wish to appoint Irons playing legend Paolo Di Canio to lead them into next season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.