Benitez favourite for West Ham switch

Rafa Benitez has emerged as the frontrunner for the West Ham managerial vacancy which became available when David Moyes parted company with the Londoners on Tuesday.

The Hammers have been linked with moves for Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca, who reportedly held talks with West Ham co-owner David Sullivan, and Manuel Pellegrini, the head coach of Chinese Super League side Hebei China Fortune.

Pellegrini touched 1-2 with Hills on Tuesday and remained prominent in the betting on Wednesday.

But Fonseca eased from a low of 4-6 to 6-1 with BoyleSports after it was reported that he had agreed a contract extension with Shakhtar.

Benitez became the third manager in two days to trade at odds-on to replace Moyes, shortening to 4-5 with Sky Bet, but he would have to negotiate an exit from Newcastle, where he has been manager since March 2016.

Hoffenheim manager Julian Nagelsmann had his backers, shortening from 10-1 to 7-1 with Coral and Ladbrokes, and Unai Emery, approaching the end of his tenure at Paris St-Germain, is a 14-1 chance.

Match in Focus

19:45 Sa 26May BT2

Real Madrid v Liverpool

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Real have won just one of their last four Champions League meetings against English opposition
Expert verdict
Real Madrid have lifted the Champions League in three of the past four seasons but they could struggle to retain their crown against a lively Liverpool. Real have been the dominant force in Europe, with last year’s 4-1 thumping of Juventus in the final in Cardiff showcasing their superiority. However, Zinedine Zidane’s men have not bumped into a front three like the Reds’ often - Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have netted 29 of their 40 Champions League goals this season - and they are vulnerable to the counter-attack.



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