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Which Premier League manager will be the first to get the chop?

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We're seven game weeks into the new Premier League season and already managerial changes are firmly on the agenda. Last season it took until December for a manager to be shown the door when Crystal Palace parted company with Neil Warnock.

However the feeling is that we could see departures much sooner this time around. So with numerous managers reportedly clinging to their jobs, who will be the first to go?

Here are the five leading contenders for the sack according to Paddy Power:

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DICK ADVOCAAT (5/4)

The Dutchman was appointed on a temporary basis back in March, tasked with saving the Black Cats from relegation to the Championship, and save them he did. Sunderland finished the season 16th, three points above the relegation zone and surprisingly Advocaat accepted the job on a permanent basis. He may already be wishing he hadn't.

It's been a real struggle so far for Sunderland who haven't won any of their opening seven games. They find themselves rooted to the bottom of the table after two draws and five defeats so far.

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Add having the worst defensive record in the league, and it's difficult to see how Advocaat can turn it around. It's been a truly woeful start and there's little sign of things getting any better, thus it's not surprising that he's favourite for the sack. Though at 68-years-old the Dutchman may choose to retire before he's forced out.

BRENDAN RODGERS (7/4)

The Northern Irishman continues to hold on to his job at Anfield, but the speculation won't subside. Liverpool go into the Merseyside derby on the back of a shaky 3-2 victory over Aston Villa. This is a massive game for Rodgers, lose and the pressure on the owners to sack him will be immense.

The Liverpool manager will be relieved to have Daniel Sturridge back fit and firing and he'll hope the Englishman can help turn the team's season around.

A win on Sunday would calm things down for the time being and relieve the pressure on Rodgers for a short while. It will be no guarantee of a long-term position at Liverpool for Rodgers though.

The speculation around his position will continue regardless of the result on Sunday. Indeed each and every slip up will be pounced on and sooner or later the board will relent. With Jurgen Klopp reportedly turning down the Mexico job this week, he will continue to cast a shadow over Liverpool.

STEVE MCCLAREN (8/1)

It's in danger of becoming a crisis at St James' Park as Newcastle find themselves 19th in the table. They may be above bitter rivals Sunderland, but that will be little consolation to the fans who were expecting a bit more this season.

Like Sunderland, The Magpies are also without a win from their opening fixtures. They also have the joint lowest amount of goals in the league with Leicester's Jamie Vardy having scored more goals than their entire team.

Steve McClaren only arrived in the summer, but he's already under the microscope. Having spent around £50 million in the summer, the performance levels simply haven't been good enough. The players should take confidence from a 2-2 draw with Chelsea, but it's difficult to see them getting anything away to Manchester City this weekend.

Many are already questioning Steve McClaren and while the players should certainly shoulder much of the blame, the fact is that he doesn't have the best of records as a manager.

JOSE MOURINHO (8/1)

Football can be so unpredictable. If you'd have said back in May that Jose Mourinho would be the fourth favourite for the sack by October, you'd have been called crazy.

Just five months ago Chelsea were lifting the Premier League title but now they find themselves 14th in the league. It's a decline that no one saw coming. What many wrote off as a blip earlier in the season is threatening to become a full-blown crisis and the pressure is mounting on the Special One.

The latest news coming out of the Chelsea camp is that the players are unhappy with Mourinho's perceived scapegoating. One of his most high-profile calls so far this season has been the decision to drop club captain John Terry.

Meanwhile, the likes of Branislav Ivanovic and Cesc Fabregas have continued to underperform yet are still being selected. It's left a few Chelsea fans puzzled to say the least. Roman Abramovich is no stranger to sacking managers so even with another league title under his belt, Mourinho is far from safe. However, Jose Mourinho doesn't do sackings, rather departures based on "mutual consent".

TIM SHERWOOD (14/1)

After taking over at Aston Villa in February, Tim Sherwood went above and beyond what was expected of him. Not only did he save them from relegation but he also took Villa all the way to the FA Cup Final.

The Englishman gambled this summer by bringing in a lot of young, unproven players, most of them lacking Premier League experience. Unfortunately, it looks like it will be another difficult season for the West Midlands club.

One win, five defeats and a draw means Villa sit 18th going into their eighth game of the season. It certainly looks like another relegation scrap is on the cards for Sherwood's men.

Some Villa fans have already called for the managers head, but it's important to not forget the terrific job he did last season. He took over a club that looked destined for relegation and ended up reaching a cup final, that's no mean feat.

Sherwood needs more time, there are a lot of new players that need to bed in. It will certainly be a long and stressful season for Villa, but it would be premature to sack Sherwood already.

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Topics:
Aston Villa
Premier League
Liverpool
Newcastle United
Sunderland
Jose Mourinho
Chelsea
Brendan Rodgers
Football

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