With Everton winning just three of their last 13 league outings, and Leicester a picture of inconsistency, Marco Silva and Claude Puel are the favourites in the next Premier League manager to leave market. Ben McAleer looks at where the value lies...
"Under Silva, the Toffees have now won just three of their last 13 Premier League matches, one of which was at home to a Bournemouth side that can’t buy an away win"
Vote of confidence
"In this business, you have to hold your nerve." The dreaded vote of confidence is supposed to instill morale in a manager, but as fans have seen too often; it's usually the final straw before a boss is relieved of his duties.
And so, Marco Silva must have been fearing the worst when Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri backed the Portuguese boss following the 3-1 loss to Wolves at the weekend.
Everton were booed off by some quarters of the fanbase at Goodison Park and they followed Saturday's defeat up with a limp display in a 2-0 loss at the hands of Manchester City on Wednesday night. Under Silva, the Toffees have now won just three of their last 13 Premier League matches, one of which was at home to a Bournemouth side that can't buy an away win and another against a Huddersfield outfit that has collected just 11 points this season.
Can Silva still guide Everton to a top-7 finish?
While the campaign hasn't been an unmitigated disaster for Everton - they are just five points off seventh-placed Wolves after all - supporters are frustrated at the lack of direction considering the sheer level of investment in the summer. The Merseysiders brought in no fewer than six new faces during the off-season, spending big to sign Richarlison, Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne, securing the services of Andre Gomes and Kurt Zouma on loan and bringing Bernard to Goodison Park on a free.
Yet while Silva has the backing of the board, the Portuguese boss is the second favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post at 5/2. It's a crunch period for the Toffees and Silva, who could find himself in a sticky situation if results don't begin to pick up over the coming weeks. Next up is a visit to former stomping ground Vicarage Road and having left Watford under a cloud, the Hornets would love nothing more than to potentially hammer another nail into the coffin.
What's more, Everton start March with the Merseyside Derby in what could prove to be a crunch clash in the title race. A disappointing showing in the welcome of Liverpool, provided Silva makes it to the derby, could spell the end for the 41-year-old, even if Moshiri talks about an appointment for the long-term. That could change quickly if results don't improve, with the Everton supremo no stranger to pulling the trigger when needs must having fired three coaches in his three year association with the Toffees.
Leicester continuing to struggle under Puel
A saving grace for Silva, though, has been the sub-par form of fellow mid-table dwellers Leicester. At the time of writing, Claude Puel is the favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post at 6/4, with the Foxes coming into Sunday's visit to Tottenham on a run of one league win from their last six, that incidentally coming in a 1-0 victory at Silva's Everton on New Year's Day.
Leicester have been one of the stranger Premier League teams to watch this season. As capable of beating Chelsea and Manchester City, or drawing at Liverpool, they've turned from Jekyll to Hyde and fallen to home defeats at the hands of Cardiff and Southampton this term and the inconsistency in the performances and results hasn't helped Puel's cause, this coming despite the obvious quality running through the squad and investment made in the wake of Riyad Mahrez's exit.
But will we see another Premier League sacking?
The January arrival of Youri Tielemans will, hopefully for Puel, have the desired effect, with the Belgian affording the Leicester boss an additional goalscoring threat from deep, but even so; the 57-year-old is under pressure to set the Foxes on the right path. Like Everton, Leicester too have a important run of matches on the horizon and while Sunday's trip to Tottenham could be considered a freebie, welcomes of Crystal Palace and Brighton provide the Foxes with the perfect chance to make a sustained push for a top-seven finish.
Of course, it could well come to pass that both Everton and Leicester stick with their respective managers until the summer rather than risk upsetting the apple cart between now and the end of the season and no manager to leave his post is a tantalising 11/2 on the Sportsbook, but that could all change over the coming weeks, especially if both the Toffees and the Foxes are resoundingly beaten by Watford and Tottenham, respectively, this weekend.
And at 5/2 and given Everton's alarming form, a bet on Silva is where my money is headed.