Premier League News – Hodgson set for Watford survival mission

Watford 5/2 with bet365 to stay up as Hodgson bids to weave his magic

Say what you like about Roy Hodgson, and many have throughout his managerial career, but his track record says a lot more.

The 74-year-old is set to be tasked with saving Watford from relegation as their new manager on a short-term deal until the end of the season.

The Hornets sacked Claudio Ranieri on Monday with the club in the Premier League’s bottom three.

It followed last Friday’s disastrous 3-0 home defeat at the hands of fellow strugglers Norwich City, which blew the fight to avoid the drop wide open.

The result lifted the Canaries above Watford and out of the relegation zone, breathing new life into their survival scrap.

bet365 are offering odds of 5/2 on Watford staying up, while Betfair have priced Norwich at 10/3 to beat the drop.

Norwich have the momentum of two straight wins but remain favourites to finish bottom.

Odds of 2/7 for them to be relegated look about right, with all the teams around them having games in hand.

Hodgson is facing a mountainous task to turn Watford’s fortunes around after the shambles they served up against Dean Smith’s men.

#WatfordFC Breaking

Understand Roy Hodgson will be new Head coach on short term deal until end of the season, assisted by ex-Watford boss Ray Lewington. Hodgson previously worked for Pozzo at Udinese in 2001. Due to meet players today. @TheAthleticUK

— Adam Leventhal (@AdamLeventhal) January 25, 2022

Yet the veteran boss is a wily old campaigner and is nothing if not a safe pair of hands.

Take his tenure at Crystal Palace, who he left at the end of last season.

Hodgson, the oldest man to manage in the Premier League, had been in charge at Palace from September 2017 until his departure.

He replaced Frank de Boer as manager with the Eagles bottom of the Premier League after they had lost their first four matches of the 2017-18 season without scoring a goal.

Despite losing his first three games in charge, he guided Palace to 11th in the table, while they finished 12th, 14th and 14th in subsequent seasons.

Watford want to give Ranieri’s replacement as much time as possible to work with the team before a crucial Premier League trip to fellow strugglers Burnley on February 5.

The Pozzo family own the Vicarage Road side and Hodgson worked for them when he had a brief spell in charge of Udinese.

Burnley are 6/4 with William Hill to stay up but the better bet might be to back them to go down at 4/7 with Paddy Power.

The Clarets will struggle to score goals following the departure of Chris Wood and face a fixture pile-up later in the season.

Newcastle remain right in the thick of the dogfight, too, of course.

Eddie Howe’s side gave their survival hopes a massive boost by winning at Leeds United last weekend.

Everton, Brentford and Leeds remain far from safe but the bottom three looks increasingly like to be three from Norwich, Watford, Burnley and Newcastle.

Could Hodgson come up smelling of roses again come the end of the season?

With trusted lieutenant Ray Lewington alongside him, Hodgson may just be what the Hornets require to secure their Premier League status.

Craig Jones

Craig Jones

US Sports lover and watcher of the EFL, Craig will guide you through the NFL, NHL and English football