Two-Horse Race In Next Birmingham City Manager Bettingby Paul Smith / 20 June 2011, 10:00Tweet
The Birmingham City manager shortlist has been whittled down to just two as the club draws closer to naming Alex McLeish's successor. Birmingham have been looking for a manager ever since the Scot's shock departure a week ago and reports indicate that the board are expected to make an appointment later this week. The two mangers still in contention to take over at the Championship club are Chris Hughton and Roberto Di Matteo, whereas Gianfranco Zola has been ruled out of the running.
There were originally six managers in the frame to replace McLeish but it has today been revealed that it is now just a two-horse race between the former Newcastle United manager Chris Hughton and the ex-West Bromwich Albion head coach Roberto Di Matteo, who are both believed to be in advanced talks with Birmingham chairman Peter Pannu. Hughton is currently the 1/5 odds-on favourite with Sky Bet in the Next Birmingham City Manager Betting, while Di Matteo is available at 3/1.
Hughton and Di Matteo successfully led teams up to the Premier League in 2010, which is something Birmingham want to replicate next season as they crave an instant return to the top flight following their relegation on the final day of the 2010/11 season. Both managers have been out of work since midway through the last campaign when they were sacked from Newcastle and West Brom respectively. They are both believed to be keen to a return to football and have been linked with numerous vacancies this summer. It is unknown whether City fans would take to the appointment of Di Matteo as the Italian is a former West Brom manager, one of their midlands rivals. But hey, stranger things have happened in football, think McLeish moving to Villa as one pertinent example...
The Birmingham board want to install some much needed stability after McLeish's shock departure rocked the club. The squad are due to report back for pre-season training on 4th July, by which time a new manager should be in place. Birmingham will start life in the Championship next season with an away trip to Derby County on August 6th. The Blues are the favourites to come away with a victory, with Sky Bet handing them odds of 5/4, while Derby are priced at 7/4, and a draw is available at 9/4.