Five managers to keep an eye on this weekend

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 19 August 2016, 10:08

The second round of Premier League matches take place this weekend, and we are focusing on a brace of top-flight gaffers, along with a caretaker manager feature in our group of five bosses to keep an eye on. Additionally, we have been plucked out one gaffer from the Championship and another from League One.

Alan Pardew (Crystal Palace)

Alan Pardew

On Thursday Alan Pardew emerged as the brand new favourite in the Premier League Sack Race after his odds were cut from 5/1 to 5/2. The Crystal Palace boss, who remains the frontrunner today (Friday), is a hero at Selhurst Park, but a disastrous end to last season, combined with a poor opening day defeat to West Brom, has raised a few doubts.

On Saturday travel-shy Palace cross the capital up to North London where they a Tottenham side who haven’t lost at home (in the league) to the Eagles for nearly 20 years. Meanwhile, hopes aren’t high for Pardew’s troops who have yet to win a league away game this year.

Back Crystal Palace to beat Tottenham @ 7/1 with Bet Victor

Arsene Wenger (Arsenal)

Arsene Wenger

Arsenal continued their poor opening day record last weekend after losing their first match for the third time in four seasons, meaning they’ve now only won once since 2009. At one point the Gunners were heading for a 4-1 roasting, but managed to soften the blow, in the end losing 3-4 to a rip-roaring Liverpool.

Arsenal have made just one major signing this summer, Granit Xhaka, who endured a tough debut in English football. The club’s supporters, in an extreme case of déjà vu, have cruelly been left feeling flat and deflated, wondering why Wenger refuses to bring in a top-class striker or centre back.

Arsenal haven’t lost their opening two games since the inaugural 1992/93 season, but if they’re not careful then things could go from bad to worse on Saturday evening when they face Leicester in the Midlands. The Foxes have made the King Power Stadium a real fortress, winning 12 and losing only one of their 19 league home games en route to winning the title, although it’s worth mentioning that it was Wenger’s troops who grabbed that sole victory.

Back Arsenal to beat Leicester @ 6/4 with Betfred

Mike Phelan (Hull City)

Mike Phelan

Hull City stunned the football world by conjuring up a shock 2-1 victory at home to defending champions Leicester City last Saturday. The Tigers went into the game with no manager, just 13 players, and the favourites for the dreaded drop. However, under caretaker boss Mike Phelan the club club (briefly) shot to the summit of the table after bagging a surprise three points.

Hull have still not sorted out Steve Bruce’s successor, but if Phelan - the hot favourite - can grab another victory away to Swansea then surely the job is his…and you can back the former Man Utd coach at a best-priced 4/9 (Sky Bet) here: Next Hull City Manager Market.

Back Hull to beat Swansea @ 17/4 with Bet Victor

Owen Coyle (Blackburn Rovers)

Owen Coyle

The surprise summer appointment of Owen Coyle was heavily panned, and it’s safe to say criticism has increased not waned following a rotten start to life at Blackburn Rovers. Three successive Championship defeats leaves Rovers pointless and rock-bottom of the table, meaning the heat is very much on Coyle as he bids to turn things around this weekend at home to Burton.

If there was a market for the Championship Sack Race then Coyle would definitely top it. The former Burnley boss is currently walking a fine line, and a loss to new boys Burton could result in an early managerial casualty.

Back Blackburn to beat burton @ 27/20 with Coral

Chris Wilder (Sheffield United)

Chris Wilder

Once again Sheffield United started a season off as the favourites for promotion up to the Championship, however the Yorkshire outfit have stuttered out of the blocks under new boss Chris Wilder, registering just one point from three games, while they were booted out of the League Cup by Crewe.

Worryingly the Blades suffered a shocking 3-0 defeat at home to third-tier new boys Southend last weekend - an extremely dire result, which Wilder was right in describing as “totally unacceptable”. The former Northampton manager will demand a response from his troops away to Millwall on Saturday, but a third defeat in four would put him in a precarious position at this early stage of the season.

Back Sheff Utd to beat Millwall @ 12/5 with Bet365

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Harry Kewell
Harry Kewell
(Oldham Athletic)
7th March
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