With Alan Hansen retiring from the Match of the Day sofa after 22 years in the position, a new era of punditry begins on the popular BBC highlights show, and Betfair have released their favourites to replace the Liverpool legend.
In a press release sent to GiveMeSport, Robbie Savage has been made the clear market favourite to join the panel, after making numerous guest appearances last season. The former Blackburn Rovers man comes in at 5/2 to take a permanent position on the MOTD sofa.
World Cup pundits Rio Ferdinand, Thierry Henry and Martin O'Neill, who were standout performers in the punditry line-up, come in at 8/1, 14/1 and 20/1 respectively to join Gary Lineker and Co. in the BBC studio.
Former England internationals Danny Murphy and Martin Keown are also amongst the speculated names, with Murph a second favourite 3/1, and Keown a decent price at 16/1.
Retired Irishman Kevin Kilbane, former Grenada international Jason Roberts and Chelsea legend Pat Nevin are also amongst the other favourites at 6/1, 10/1 and 12/1 respectively.
The shock appearance on the list is comedian, ladies man and life-long Hammers fan Russell Brand, who has made a guest appearance on the show before. He is the rank outsider at 100/1 to show his punditry skills to the nation on a regular basis and bring some humour to the panel.
Harry Phillips, Betfair Spokesperson, said in the release: "After an incredible twenty-two years on the Match Of The Day sofa, Alan Hansen’s retirement signals the dawn of a new era for the BBC’s flagship football show. With a number of well received World Cup pundits rumoured to be in the frame for the job, could it be the astute Danny Murphy (3/1) that lands the role permanently?"
Henry the man?
Thierry Henry looks the best bet at at 14/1 to take over from Hanson. The suave Frenchman has been given a lot of credit for his recent punditry skills on Sky and BBC over the last year, particularly on the beaches of Rio, and his MLS contract is up in November.
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