Pearson early favourite for Boro vacancy

NIGEL PEARSON is the bookmakers’ favourite to become Middlesbrough’s next permanent manager after Aitor Karanka was sacked on Thursday.

Pearson is 21-10 with Paddy Power to be next in at the Riverside following the decision to axe Karanka with Boro in a desperate Premier League position.

Boro, 19th in the table and without a league win since Christmas, are 4-11 to be relegated and 7-4 to stay up with Manchester United at home the next fixture for the strugglers on Sunday.

Caretaker Steve Agnew has been put in charge on a temporary basis and can be backed at 5-1 to get the gig on a permanent basis.

Former Boro boss Steve McClaren is 12-1 and Guus Hiddink is available at a best-priced 14-1, although Ladbrokes reported money for the Dutchman who is as low as 5-1 in places. 

Sunderland striker Jermain Defoe has been recalled to the England squad for the friendly away to Germany next Wednesday and home World Cup qualifier against Lithuania four days later at Wembley.

Betway reacted by making the 34-year-old 9-2 to be in England’s squad for the World Cup finals in Russia next year.

England squad – goalkeepers: Forster, Hart, Heaton; defenders: Bertrand, Cahill, Clyne, Jones, Keane, Shaw, Smalling, Stones, Walker; midfielders: Alli, Antonio, Barkley, Dier, Lallana, Lingard, Livermore, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Redmond, Sterling, Ward-Prowse; forwards: Defoe, Rashford, Vardy.

Match in Focus

20:00 TODAY SKY

Man Utd v Burton

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • United have conceded in just one of five league games
Expert verdict
Holders Manchester United have started the season in excellent form and the title-chasing Red Devils should have little trouble overcoming poor-travelling Burton in the third round of the League Cup at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho fielded a strong team throughout last term’s competition, which saw his side oust Northampton, rivals Manchester City, West Ham, Hull and Southampton on their way to silverware. Burton have won just two of their last 12 league away games.

 

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