Manuel Pellegrini catapulted back to the summit of the Sack Raceby Jack Kitson / 07 April 2015, 09:15Tweet
Serious questions are once again being asked of Manuel Pellegrini following Manchester City's 2-1 defeat at Crystal Palace. The beleaguered boss cut a frustrated figure at Selhurst Park, as he watched his troops fall to a third consecutive away defeat, leaving the crest-fallen Citizens nine points adrift of league leaders Chelsea (who have a game in hand).
- Man City have recorded just four wins from their last 11 league games.
- City have lost five of their last seven matches in all competitions.
Over the weekend Man City had slipped down to 4th - for the first time since September - after their-top-4 rivals, Arsenal and Man Utd, both registered convincing wins. A victory in the capital on Monday would have propelled the defending champions back up to 2nd, and within six points of Jose Mourinho's men, however the club's away woes plagued them once again.
When probed about City's hopes of retaining the top-flight title Pellegrini unsurprisingly refused to throw in the towel, however the stark reality is that his side are now right in the midst of a fight for a top-3 standing, which brings automatic progression into next season's Champions League group stages. In contrast, the team that finishes in 4th spot will have to fight their way through a nerve-shredding play-off, meaning an earlier start to the season.
Pellegrini is walking an extremely thin line and, in truth, will be lucky to hang onto his job this summer. In the aftermath of Monday's loss the Chilean was instantly catapulted to the summit of the Premier League Sack Race, and at 6/4 (Sky Bet), casts a very lonely figure as the stand-out favourite for the chop.
Pellegrini's predecessor, Robert Mancini, paid the price for a trophyless season, with the Italian sacked a year to the day after leading City to their first Premier League title. Pellegrini is far more popular with both the players and supporters, yet he is now in severe danger of being booted out of the Etihad exit door, with City's hierarchy reportedly keen to lure Carlo Ancelotti back to the Premier League.
Three consecutive away defeats isn't the ideal build-up to City's next fixture: Sunday's crunch clash against fierce rivals Man Utd at Old Trafford. The Red Devils have been in inspired form of late, winning five league games in a row, while they've registered 30 points from their previous 11 top-flight home games. A sixth defeat in eight matches (in all competitions) would propel Pellegrini even closer towards the sack, however a win could give him an ounce of hope.
Elsewhere, Nigel Pearson has drifted way out to 18/1 to become the next top-flight boss to be sacked. On Saturday the Leicester City gaffer led the Tigers to a valuable victory at home to West Ham, ending a run of eight league games without a win, moving the club to within six points of safety (with a game in hand). Meanwhile, Pearson's opposite number that afternoon, Sam Allardyce, is slightly longer at 20/1, whereas John Carver and Roberto Martinez are further adrift at 33/1.
Man City Bets
- Pellegrini to be the next manager to be sacked @ 6/4 with Sky Bet
- City to win the league @ 66/1 with Sky Bet
- City to finish in the top-4 @ 1/12 with Sky Bet
- City to finish as the top North West team @ 4/6 with Paddy Power