Something for the Weekend: Vardy on fire as three managers fight for their jobs

Three managers facing the sack and evergreen Jamie Vardy's chances of picking up various awards come the spring are among Jamie Pacheco's topics of the week...


What awards can Vardy snap up this year?

Jamie Vardy is not your archetypal Premier League player. He spent almost half of his career playing non-league football rather than taking the more common route of stepping up from youth team player at a bigger club to the big time. His slight frame makes him look better suited to middle distance running than the physicality of English football. He used to chew a type of chewing tobacco called 'snus' but still drinks Red Bull for breakfast.
Make of him what you like but he's currently in the form of his life with 12 goals and four assists being one of the chief reasons as to why Leicester are second in the table.
It's 4.20 he ends up as the Premier League's top goalscorer - he's currently two clear of next best Tammy Abraham - and it's 11.00 he's voted PFA Player of the Year, something he was unlucky to miss out on when team-mate Riyad Mahrez pipped him to it, when they won the title.
And if he keeps going on like this, it will be virtually impossible for Gareth Southgate to ignore him with Euro 2020 coming up. Vardy is sort of semi-retired from England duty in that he's made himself temporarily unavailable but hasn't ruled out a return entirely. One thing is for sure: his qualities are unlike those of anyone else in the squad.
But first things first. He's up against a struggling Everton side on Saturday and it's 4/1 he scores two or more to further establish his credentials.

Are Mourinho and Aurier about to start a 'bromance?'

If ever there was a raw, talented player who could benefit from Jose Mourinho's guidance when it comes to defending, positioning and discipline, it's Serge Aurier.
Already sent off once this season, turning him into a marauding right-back without compromising his defensive duties could give Spurs a huge boost down that right-hand side. On Tuesday night he scored with a fine finish against Olympiakos.

And he may just be Mourinho's sort of player. He's had a soft spot for the maverick over the years with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Diego Costa just two of the players whose indiscretions he's been able to forgive if they give it their all on the pitch and come up with the goods when it matters.
He may well go from being a player the club was happy to release for the right offer a few months ago to indispensable. It's 6/4 that Spurs win to nil when Bournemouth come to town.

'Bad boy' Barkley may have to bide his time

Ross Barkley was pictured shirtless in a nightclub during the last international break, something which Frank Lampard understandably wasn't ecstatic about.
As it happens, he missed Chelsea's game against Valencia as he was injured anyway but with good options in that attacking midfielder position including Willian, Christian Pulisic and Mason Mount, he may have to wait a while till he makes his return to Chelsea's starting line-up.
Mount is 7/1 to be first goalscorer against West Ham with Pulisic 13/2 and Willian a tad shorter at 5/1.
But what about N'Golo Kante at 14/1? He opened the scoring at Man City last week and already has three league goals this season despite starting just five games.

Slow-starting Man City

Newcastle were pretty toothless in attack on Monday night at Villa Park but they'll be encouraged by a stat which tells us that Man City have conceded first in all of their last three league matches, including that Kante goal last Saturday.
As it happens, City went on to in two of those games but it may not be so easy this time around with Sergio Aguero out injured.
Betfair Sportsbook make it 7/2 that the Magpies score first and 13/8 that City win while conceding.

At least three managers on borrowed time

There are currently 20 Premier League managers in a job but come Sunday evening that may no longer be the case.
At the time of writing, heading the list of those facing the axe is Unai Emery at 1/2 with Marco Silva (7/2) pretty fortunate there's something even more out of favour at their club than he is. It's 10/1 Manuel Pellegrini is out of work next.
It's hard to think of the last time there were at least three managers in such precarious positions and results this weekend will surely have a huge bearing on those odds.
Silva has a pretty uphill task on his hands as his Everton team travel to Leicester while Pellegrini's West Ham are away at Chelsea. Emery might just defy those odds given those fixtures (the Gunners are at Norwich) but he's far from safe from facing the sack, even if he does survive the weekend.

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