Before the weekend’s Premiership action we advised our readers to back Frank De Boer at 10/11 to be the first manager to be sacked this season. The Dutchman had been given just one game to.
<p>Before the weekend’s Premiership action we advised our readers to back Frank De Boer at 10/11 to be the first manager to be sacked this season. The Dutchman had been given just one game to save his job and it came away at Burnley, a team very strong at home. Lo and behold, the Eagles lost their fourth game in a row and De Boer was promptly sacked – so we hope you all paid attention and backed him to go. The new favourite is Slaven Bilic, but he bought himself a modicum of relief by guiding West Ham to a 2-0 victory over Huddersfield, but greater tests lie ahead for the Hammers.</p><p>Yet there are several positives for Bilic after that victory, which came on his birthday and moved West Ham up to the giddy heights of 18th in the table. First, Andy Carroll returned to the starting 11 and the Hammers are a different animal with the big Geordie in the side. Second, they have a relatively kind run of fixtures ahead. They play West Brom, Swansea and Brighton in the coming weeks and could take points from all of those games, while they might even have a chance at home to Spurs and away at Burnley if Carroll stays fit.</p><p>On the negative side, he has fallen out with West Ham’s owners, David Sullivan and David Gold, after they failed to sign his top transfer target, William Carvalho of Sporting Lisbon. The Portuguese club’s owner referred to Gold and Sullivan as “the dildo brothers”, referencing their past as sex shop owners, and Bilic gave an interview saying he thought it was funny. They are probably now itching for an excuse to sack him, but they may have to wait until West Ham lose again. Before the Huddersfield game, Bilic was 1/5 to be the next Premiership manager to leave his post, but he has now gone out to 2/1 with Bet Victor and that will tempt many. West Ham flirted with relegation last season and look set to underachieve once more this summer, despite a significant investment in the likes of Chicharito and Marko Arnautovic. No other manager is looking anywhere near as precarious, although the 16/1 on Eddie Howe will start to fall if the Cherries do not start picking up points soon.</p><p>A lot of action is now going on Crystal Palace to be relegated and incoming manager Roy Hodgson is facing a nightmare fixture list as his first four games in charge will see the Eagles face Southampton, Man City, Man Utd and Chelsea. They might get a result from the Southampton game, but the other three look like ending in defeat and Crystal Palace could be well adrift by mid-October. They have pulled off several great escapes on the back of managerial changes in recent years, with the likes of Tony Pulis, Alan Pardew and Sam Allardyce rescuing them. But their luck may eventually run out, particularly if 70-year-old Hodgson finds himself lacking the fight and energy to keep them up. The Eagles are now 11/8 with Bet Victor to go down, but few punters are interested.</p><p>What is getting bettors excited is the 13/8 Sky Bet is offering on Huddersfield to go down. They started the season in excellent form, beating Palace 3-0 – but we now know that is not such an amazing achievement as it initially seemed. Four points from their next two games left them sitting pretty, but the defeat at West Ham will be demoralizing and could be the start of a downturn in form. Hull started really well last season and Huddersfield – the smallest club to make it to the Premiership since Barnsley 20 years ago – could befall a similar fate.</p>