An enormous 50/1 says Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini will be the next manager relieved of his Premier League duties, but recent results would argue this price should be shorter.
Only five top-tier gaffers are available to back at longer odds than the title-winning Chilean, but after their bid to regain their crown took a whack in the kidneys at West Ham last time out, there’s more value in this than the numbers indicate.
Their dwindling charge to beat Chelsea to the domestic summit is running alongside some distinctly underwhelming Champions League exploits, with the Citizens looking unlikely to advance from Group E after collecting two points from three games.
Should they fail to qualify, irrespective of how tough their pre-knockout stage pool is, it’s not inconceivable to envisage the Man City head honchos wielding their regularly swung axe, especially if the Premier League picture hasn’t improved.
A favourable run of fixtures following their Manchester derby date with neighbours United next weekend means Pellegrini will have no excuse if this isn’t the case.
Chelsea’s forthcoming clashes are much more challenging on paper, with games against Liverpool and Tottenham on the cards across their next five.
Given the obvious strength of the Blues side, it’s easy to see them not dropping points, but should they spill a couple, Man City must be on hand to bridge the current six-point gap between themselves and the summit.
A feeble attempt to defend the title they won in the 2011/12 instalment saw Roberto Mancini – the most successful manager in the club’s history – pointed in the direction of the job centre, with his poor showing in the Champions League doing him no favours either.
For salvation in this competition to occur, City will likely have to get the better of Roma away and Bayern Munchen at home.
Although these aren’t impossible feats to achieve, they rank very highly on the difficulty scale.
The early signs suggest that Pellegrini is treading a similar course to his Italian predecessor and, if the Citizens’ billionaire bankrollers want to avoid a recurrence of their 2012/13 fortunes, they may not wait until the end of the season before deciding to dispense with their manager’s services.
All these factors contrive to render this anything but the worst 50/1 bet in the world.