Villa size up Bradley and Sven as potential successors to O’Neill

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USA coach Bob Bradley has emerged as the favourite to succeed Martin O’Neill as the manager of Aston Villa.

O’Neill announced his resignation on Monday afternoon – just five days before the first game of the season – and bets have been pouring in for Bradley.

Bradley’s odds have been cut dramatically from 20/1 to 3/1, as speculation mounts that Villa’s American owner Randy Lerner is about to offer the job to his fellow countryman.

Both priced at 5/1 to land the Villa job, meanwhile, joint second favourites Sven-Goran Eriksson and Gareth Southgate have expressed their interest in succeeding O’Neill.

Eriksson has been linked with a string of jobs, most notably at Fulham, since stepping down as Ivory Coast boss, and the former England manager is one of the most experienced candidates.

However, the Swede would also be one of the more expensive options for Lerner, and his astronomical wage demands have been a stumbling block for potential employers in the past.

Another manager closely linked to the Villa vacancy is Ajax boss Martin Jol (8/1), who, like Eriksson, was close to taking over at Fulham.

Villa owner Lerner is said to be shocked by O’Neill’s abrupt exit, and he has flown to Birmingham to meet the club’s chief executive Paul Faulkner to discuss potential replacements.

How will O’Neill’s resignation affect the Villa players? They are 5/6 to beat West Ham on the opening day of the Premier League season. See the full Aston Villa vs West Ham match betting odds market.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.