The English Premier League season gets underway this weekend and the hopes and fears of football fans the length and breadth of the country will soon begin to be realised or, in some cases, extinguished.
For fans, teams failing to meet expectation levels means disappointment, but for the 20 managers of the top-flight clubs who will kick off their campaign this weekend, the cost of failure could be far greater.
As always, the 'sack race' will begin on Saturday and Paddy Power has compiled a market on which Premier League boss will be first to be removed or resign from his post.
|THE PREMIER LEAGUE SACK RACE
|Odds courtesy of Paddy Power
|Roberto Di Matteo||10/1|
At the top of the market is Southampton boss Nigel Adkins.
Adkins has, of course, led his side to back-to-back promotions, first from League One to the Championship and then from Championship to Premier League.
However, should Adkins’ side fail to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League then the Southampton manager may be the first to face the axe, especially as he doesn't have the best relationship with the club's owners, that's a possibility rated as a 7/1 (8.0) chance with Paddy Power.
West Ham United boss Sam Allardyce shares the dubious honour of co-favouritism with Adkins with the former Bolton Wanderers coach chalked up at 7/1 (8.0) with Paddy Power to be the first to go.
Swansea City's Michael Laudrup is 8/1 (9.0) despite having only replaced Brendan Rodgers, who departed for Liverpool, in the summer and should remain in charge for a decent amount of time this season barring an absolutely disastrous start to the campaign.
The same price is also offered on Steve Clarke, who will preside over the challenge of West Bromwich Albion after Roy Hodgson departed to take up the England post at the end of last season. Clarke, too, is an 8/1 (9.0) chance with Paddy Power.
Despite leading Chelsea to the Champions League title in May, Roberto Di Matteo is rated as a 10/1 (11.0) prospect to fall foul of the often trigger-happy owner Roman Abramovich.
The value, though, may lie with Queens Park Rangers boss Mark Hughes.
Hughes was appointed to the Loftus Road manager’s chair with a remit to keep the Hoops in the Premier League last term – an objective which QPR met only by virtue of Bolton Wanderers’ defeat on the last day of the campaign.
Neil Warnock’s departure from W12 came as a shock to many last year and should QPR fail to get the new campaign off to a good start, it would not surprise many if Hughes was axed.
The former Manchester City coach is excellent value at 12/1 (13.0) with Paddy Power to be the first Premier League manager to vacate his post in the forthcoming campaign.
|Mark Hughes to be the next Premier League manager to leave at 12/1 (13.0) with Paddy Power|
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Willie Duncan is a freelance sports journalist. Willie, from Edinburgh, has covered Scottish football for over 10 years and he specialises in football betting markets from across Europe. You can also follow Willie on Twitter
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