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Sam Allardyce still favourite for West Ham chop

With five of the bottom seven clubs in the Premiership table sacking their managers before Christmas, it is only to be expected that the focus is now on the basement bosses who have survived into the New Year and in particular Sam Allardyce, 2/5 favourite with Coral to be next for the chop at West Ham.

Big Sam could have really done with a break after losing record signing striker Andy Carroll for the first half of the season, but it hasn’t happened and an ever growing injury list allied to a perilous position in the relegation zone prompted him to field a team liberally sprinkled with raw recruits in the FA Cup tie against Nottingham Forest last weekend – with predictably depressing consequences.

That 5-0 thrashing, along with chants for Paulo Di Canio and an online petition by fans to have their ticket and travel money refunded was bad enough. But then came the dreaded ‘vote of confidence’ from co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan.

Allardyce took their backing at face value, but he’s been around the block enough times to know that these words will mean very little if results don’t improve fast. Wednesday’s task against Manchester City in the first leg of the Capital One Cup looks hopeless, but the Hammers will be desperate to get something out of their match at fellow strugglers Cardiff City at the weekend.

Paul Lambert is 15/2 second favourite with Coral in their ‘Next Premiership Manager To Leave’ market, which might seem a surprise given that Aston Villa are in mid-table.

But Villa have played poorly enough often enough this season to give their fans great cause for concern and they are likely to be dragged much closer towards the relegation mire after their next two games against Arsenal at home and Liverpool away.

Then it’s 10/1 Alan Pardew and his prominent position in the list definitely has more to do with the unpredictability of the hierarchy at Newcastle than the decent stuff being produced out on the pitch at St James’ Park.

Chris Hughton (14/1) comes next, which is quite a big price considering Norwich are only three points clear of the death zone after picking up just three points in their last five games.

Fifth favourite at 16/1?. Well that would be David Moyes at Old Trafford. Everybody believed that the Manchester United job was one of the most secure in football, but the fact is that in the unforgiving world of the Premier League, nobody is safe.