QPR manager Mark Hughes remains the narrow favourite for the chop in the Premier League Sack Race but he is facing stiff competition from Southampton gaffer Nigel Adkins. Both managers have endured torrid seasons to date, with QPR rooted to the bottom of the table with only three points from nine games and the Saints just one point better off in 19th.
QPR remain one of only two teams in England's top four leagues to have yet to register a win this season (the other being 18th placed Reading). Saturday's defeat to London rivals Arsenal was their sixth of the season and reports are now emerging that Mark Hughes faces a must-win match at home to fellow strugglers Reading on Sunday. Hughes received the dreaded vote of confidence from owner Tony Fernandes recently but yet another defeat next week would surely result in the Welshman heading for the exit door.
The pressure is really starting to mount on Nigel Adkins following Southampton's shocking start to the season. The south coast club have lost seven of their nine games on their return to the top flight, conceding a whopping 26 goals in the process, an average of nearly three a game. Adkins remains as upbeat and positive as ever but even his seemingly illimitable optimism must be oscillating in the light of recent results. In truth the Saints were handed a daunting fixture but now upcoming matches against West Brom, Swansea and QPR will prove pivotal.
Elsewhere Roberto Mancini recently had his odds slashed following Man City's strugglers in the Champions League, while Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert and Reading manager Brian McDermott could be worth keeping an eye on over the next couple of weeks.