Benitez backed

Rafa Benitez: Early favourite to be next Chelsea manager

Rafa Benitez is Sky Bet's early front-runner in the next Chelsea manager betting after being backed into odds-on favourite to replace Roberto Di Matteo.

The Blues confirmed Di Matteo's sacking this morning following their Champions League defeat to Juventus, with the holders now 2/1 to qualify for the knockout stages and 40/1 to retain their title.

Benitez was available at 2/1 to be the next permanent Chelsea manager prior to confirmation of Di Matteo's sacking, but is now 4/6 to take over at Stamford Bridge following some early backing.

Manager Specials

Rafa Benitez is the early front-runner to replace Roberto Di Matteo as Chelsea boss. Bet now.

Former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola is currently 3/1 to break away from his sabbatical and return to the game early, while Harry Redknapp is 8/1 after leaving Tottenham in the summer.

Our market suggests a three-horse race for the west London club's post, with Avram Grant next in the betting at 12/1 and the likes of David Moyes, Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink all 25/1.

Sky Bet football trader Chris Spicer commented: "Pep Guardiola would be the popular choice with Chelsea fans, but it remains to be seen whether he would come out of his sabbatical to manage the London club.

"Harry Redknapp has been well backed and he will almost certainly apply but it is Rafael Benitez who is attracting the majority of the early money."