La Liga concluded this weekend with Valencia taking the vital 4th place and Girona having their relegation confirmed. Inevitably talk will quickly turn to transfer speculation and coaching switches even with the Copa del Rey Final still to come. There appears to be fewer managerial vacancies this summer than last but there will be at least two big jobs up for grabs in Spain with both Seville clubs already searching for a new boss.
Quique Setien left Real Betis by mutual consent on Sunday just hours after his side had wrapped up an impressive 2-0 win at the Bernabeu. Setien also led Betis to victory at Camp Nou earlier this term becoming the first La Liga boss since 2003 to win at both stadiums in the same season. However he had long since lost the faith of the fans at the Benito Villamarin and those supporters have finally got their wish.
Betis may end up competing with city rivals Sevilla who are also currently without a permanent boss. Joaquin Caparros guided them to a 6th place finish and Europa League qualification in a caretaker capacity following the sacking of Pablo Machin in March but a new man is likely to take over in August.
These are the current front-runners in the races for the top jobs in Seville:
Next Real Betis Manager Betting Odds
Current Favourite – Phillip Cocu at 5/4
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Phillip Cocu has emerged as the 5/4 favourite with Betfair to take over from Setien at Betis. The 48 year old Dutchman had a glittering playing career which saw him win over 100 caps for the Netherlands and spend six years in La Liga with Barcelona.
A move back to Spain would be the next logical step for Cocu whose management career began successfully with a five year stint in charge of PSV between 2013 and 2018 which saw him win the Eredivisie on 3 occasions. He has been touted as a future Barca boss too but his stock fell during an unsuccessful spell in Turkey with Fenerbahce at the start of this season which ended with Cocu sacked after just 16 games with the side languishing in 15th place.
On the surface, Cocu and Betis might be a good fit for each other but he is by no means the only candidate.
More Summer Managerial Changes – Allegri Out, Pochettino In? Next Juventus Manager Betting Odds and Predictions
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If Betis opt to stay closer to home then Abelardo may be the more logical choice. He left Alaves at the weekend after a successful spell at the club which he rescued from the very real danger of relegation last season before guiding them to a safe mid-table finish this term having flirted with European qualification for much of the season. The job he did with a limited budget and a squad short on star quality suggests he could excel with greater financial backing at a club like Betis.
Abelardo was the favourite at one stage but the picture is a bit more blurry with speculation that Luis Enrique may need to step down as Spain boss due to an unspecified family problem. If that happens, Abelardo appears to be the man the Spanish Football Federation are lining up as a replacement but it’s still possible that Betis may jump the gun and try to get their man. At 11/5 to be the next Real Betis boss, Abelardo could be worth a punt.
There are reasons to doubt the likelihood of any of the other bookies’ favourites getting the job. Julen Lopetegui is next at 9/4 with Betfair. He is available but his brand of possession football is not totally dissimilar to that favoured by Setien with the slow, passing game a major reason why the Betis fans turned against him. On the other side of the coin, Jose Bordalas at 7/2 and Mauricio Pellegrino at 14/1 would surely represent too radical a change in the other direction with both men favouring a much more direct, physical style.
You can also get 33/1 for Rafa Benitez to be the next Real Betis boss with Betfair but even if he does leave Newcastle this summer, Benitez is likely to be in high demand and without European football to offer, Betis may struggle to attract him.
Next Sevilla Manager Betting Odds
Current Favourite – Eusebio Di Francesco at 2/1
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Across town at Sevilla, the picture is perhaps even more blurry. Current caretaker boss Joaquin Caparros, a legendary figure at the club, is said to be keen on taking the role on a permanent basis and is 4/1 to do so. However he hasn’t impressed as much in his latest stint in charge of Sevilla and sporting director Monchi, another very powerful man at the Sanchez Pizjuan, looks keen to appoint a younger man.
Top of the list is Eusebio Di Francesco, 2/1 to be the next Sevilla boss with Betfair. Di Francesco worked under Monchi at Roma with both men leaving the Stadio Olimpico earlier this season. The Italian was the mastermind behind tiny Sassuolo’s rise towards the pinnacle of Italian football and he also successfully guided Roma to the Champions League Semi-Finals in 2018 although he was widely criticised for his side’s approach in the last four 1st Leg tie at Anfield as Liverpool raced into a 5-0 lead.
He left Roma with the club 5th in Serie A in March, one place higher than where they currently are under Claudio Ranieri. He’s certainly a decent candidate but Sevilla appear to be some way off appointing a new boss right now and like many of these manager markets, the picture could change rapidly over the coming days and weeks.
Real Madrid 2018-19 managerial records:
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Several of the candidates for the Betis job are also in the running with Abelardo at 11/2, Jose Bordalas at 5/1 and Julen Lopetegui at 16/1. Having appointed a coach from one of the smaller clubs in La Liga last summer, Sevilla may opt to go in a different direction this time around. In fact Sevilla haven’t really made a good coaching appointment since Unai Emery in 2013 or arguably his immediate successor Jorge Sampaoli although that relationship ended on a sour note twelve months later. Eduardo Berizzo, Vincenzo Montella and Pablo Machin have all been sacked over the past two years so they could do with a low-risk appointment this time around with some stability needed.
The value bet looks like Lopetegui. He was hastily sacked by Real Madrid after just 14 games but the failure of both Santi Solari and Zinedine Zidane to improve matters suggest there are much deeper problems at that football club. The lure of European football will help attract Lopetegui who is still held in high regard by some and will certainly feel he has a point to prove having lost his job as Spain boss on the eve of the World Cup prior to the Madrid debacle. Sevilla may be just the club he needs to restore his reputation while the Andalusians might be wise to this time go for a man who has managed at a higher level than their most recent appointments.
If you’re looking for a darkhorse then Quique Setien can be backed to cross the Seville divide at 20/1. He left a lasting impression at the Sanchez Pizjuan with a thumping 5-3 derby win for Betis last term. However it would be a controversial move with both sets of supporters with the Seville rivalry the feistiest in Spain.
Current River Plate boss Marcelo Gallardo is 14/1 to take over at Sevilla, a club that has often acted as a gateway for South American players and coaches looking to break into the European game. Again, there looks to be some value there and Gallardo may see this as a good time to bow out in Buenos Aires having guided River to Libertadores glory at the back end of 2018.