Jose Mourinho's dramatic departure from Stamford Bridge has
lengthened Chelsea's odds in every competition. Bookmakers cannot give the
Blues away and already fear a Chelsea defeat at Manchester United on Sunday
after heavy support for the champions.
Ladbrokes' Robin Hutchison said:
"This has had a hugely adverse affect on Chelsea's immediate future." The FA
Cup holders, 7-4 at the start of the season to win a third Premier League title
in four years and supported to evens after taking 10 points from their first
four fixtures, are now generally 7-2. This is a full point bigger than the best
price they were on Monday after the latest league fixtures, including their 0-0
draw against Blackburn.
Another draw followed, against Rosenborg
on Tuesday, but that result did not have as much impact on Chelsea's odds of
winning the Champions League as Mourinho's exit. Available at 8-1 to win the
European Cup on Wednesday morning, 24 hours later Ladbrokes and Sky Bet pushed
last season's semi-finalists out to 10-1. That price looks too big, as you will
almost certainly be able to lay them off at shorter odds on the exchanges
should they qualify for the knockout stages.
There were certainly no
suspicious betting patterns before Mourinho's departure. On the eve of the
season he was 33-1 with Ladbrokes to be the first Premier League manager to
lose his job and on the final whistle against Rosenborg the price was cut to
10-1, but Paddy Power said there had been minimal interest in the Special One
leaving this week.
The question, however, is whom Mourinho will manage
next. The early money has come for the former Porto coach to guide the
Portuguese national side. Initially available at 14-1 with Coral, Mourinho has
been backed into odds-on, with Ladbrokes offering only 4-5 about him taking
over from Luiz Felipe Scolari. The layers make Mourinho a general 5-1 chance to
coach Tottenham and he can be backed at 25-1 (Paddy Power) to be the next
England manager. VC Bet does not expect him to take up any position soon,
offering 8-13 he will not be in another managerial job before January 1.
More important, perhaps, is how the Blues perform under Avram Grant.
The former director of football will be in charge for the foreseeable future,
though not all bookmakers believe he will be manager at the start of next
season. Hill's has Grant as 4-7 favourite, but Ladbrokes goes 5-2, making
Juande Ramos 2-1 market leader. The Sevilla coach is 9-1 with Hill's; Guus
Hiddink is 5-1 with Ladbrokes and Didier Deschamps 8-1 with Coral.
United have been backed into odds-on (from 11-8) with most firms to
beat Chelsea on Sunday - Betfred a stand-out 11-10 - and the Blues have drifted
to 10-3 (Bet365). The draw is best at 9-4 with Boyle Sports and VC Bet.
almost certainly been an over-reaction to Mourinho's departure when it comes to
this weekend's match. But the bookmakers had to cut United's price, with
punters likely to pile into Sir Alex Ferguson's team at any price. The
champions, however, are not playing particularly well, with four unconvincing
1-0 wins coming into this game. Grant will make his team hard to beat at Old
Trafford, so the advice is to lay United at 2.1 (11-10) or shorter. Backing
under three goals in the match has been profitable in five of the last six
meetings between these two sides, so it could pay to do so again.