Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri new 'sack race' favourite

Sky Bet odds of 7/4 on Sunday for Italian to be next Premier League boss to go

Claudio Ranieri, Leicester manager
Image: Could Claudio Ranieri be sacked by Leicester?

Claudio Ranieri is Sky Bet's new favourite to be the next Premier League manager to leave his post after Leicester's misery continued on Sunday.

The defending Premier League champions were beaten 3-0 at home by Manchester United and, with 14 games to go, sit just one point and two places outside the relegation zone.

Despite having almost unprecedented credit in the bank, Ranieri is now top of the 'sack race' list - less than nine months after leading the club to title glory at odds of 5,000/1.

Claudio Ranieri insists last season must be forgotten and Leicester need to fight in every game following their 3-0 defeat to Manchester United

Sky Bet were one of several bookmakers to promote Ranieri to the head of their market. He went into 7/4 with the Leeds-based firm on Sunday evening, ahead of Middlesbrough's Aitor Karanka at 9/4.

Ranieri had started the season looking virtually untouchable and was available at 33/1 as recently as mid-December.

Sky Bet's Sandro Di Michele said: "A lot depends on how loyal the Thai owners will be to the man who brought them an almost-impossible success last season.

Ranieri: Players behind me

Ranieri: Players behind me

Leicester boss insists he retains the confidence of the dressing room...

"There's no doubt, the way they are playing, they aren't too good to go down."

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His firm still don't expect the Foxes to drop into the Championship though, offering a standout 11/4 about them being relegated. The Foxes went 2/1 in several places after their latest loss.

Sunderland [4/11], Hull [8/11], Crystal Palace [evens], Boro [5/4] and Swansea [11/8] are currently all considered less likely to survive.

United's victory saw their top-four odds cut into 11/10.

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The race for those Champions League places looks particularly hot at present. While Spurs and Manchester City, who beat Swansea 2-1 on Sunday, are 1/5 and 1/4 respectively, Arsenal, Liverpool and United can barely be split.

Liverpool, beaten 2-0 at Hull on Saturday, drifted to 10/11 [general] after Sunday's wins for their rivals, with Arsenal pushed out to 5/6. The Gunners lost 3-1 at Chelsea on Saturday.

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