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

19:45 TODAY PMSK

Ireland v Iceland

Home Win Draw Away Win
Key stats
  • Ireland have lost only one of their last eight friendly matches
Expert verdict
Ireland are difficult to beat with only two losses in their last ten matches and those came at Euro 2016 against high-quality opponents in France and Belgium. Iceland are fairly similar in style to the Irish and this could be a low-scoring friendly with the draw looking the value for punters.

 

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