Southgate named England manager
Gareth Southgate has been named the permanent England manager on a four year contract. The 46-year-old stepped up from his role as Under-21 manager to take temporary charge after Sam Allardyce's departure and after two wins and two draws from his four interim games in charge, has now been given the opportunity to lead England in to the next two major international tournaments.
The ex-Middlesbrough manager earned 57 caps for his country as a player saw qualifying wins over Malta and Scotland as well as a 0-0 draw in Slovenia. In the final game of his temporary spell, Southgate saw his side held to a 2-2 by Spain in a friendly in Wembley and will now look to oversee a successful qualification campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Skybet have been quick to create a market on a number of specials following Southgate's appointment, offering odds on a vareity of different potential scenarios during the new manager's tenure. England have six games remaining in their World Cup qualifying campaign and Skybet have England odds-on at 4/6 to remain unbeaten for those games. Given the fact England have already faced their toughest two tasks on paper; Slovenia and Slovakia away, this is a distinct possibility although Scotland may have something to say about that when the two sides meet at Hampden Park in June of next year. For England to win their next four fixtures is 2/1 whilst to win each of the remaining qualifiers is 4/1.
As well as markets related to the remaining qualifying fixtures, there are also odds regarding certain players. Much has been made over Wayne Rooney's position as captain and although Southgate has stated in his press conference that Rooney will remain skipper, Skybet offer odds of just 4/1 on Jordan Henderson to be named the new permanent England captain. There is also a market involving another Liverpool player, Ben Woodburn. The 17-year-old became the Reds youngest ever scorer when he netted against Leeds in the EFL Cip this week and is just 3/1 to be handed his England debut by Southgate before the end of 2017. Whilst there is obviously still some time to go in this one, there is the slight issue that Woodburn has represented Wales at youth level and would have to be convinced to switch allegiances and play for the country of his birth. The short odds on offer here makes this one seem a bet to avoid.
Last up on the Skybet Southgate specials is a slightly less optimistic market as they offer odds on Southgate to leave his post before the end of the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign. Be that for bad results or a Sam Allardyce style scandal, it does seem unlikely nonetheless and is currently available at 66/1.
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