Wimbledon 2015
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Wilko takes lead in the 'Great Sack Race'

EVERY year, on the eve of a new season, one of the English tabloids prides itself in publishing 'The Great Sack Race' - an in-depth guide to the managers most at risk of losing their job.

Arsenal caught everyone out this season, though, by sacking their manager just five days before the season and making Bruce Rioch the Linford Christie of the Premiership - eliminated before the race had even started.

So who else looks vulnerable just two matches into the campaign? Of the eight teams without a win, Leeds United's Howard Wilkinson must be the favourite to receive his marching orders unless things pick up quickly - and they won't have a better chance of recording their first win when they entertain Wimbledon at Elland Road on Monday.

His treatment of Swede Tomas Brolin towards the end of last season, accompanied by Leeds' miserable showing in the League Cup final against Aston Villa, left Wilkinson on shaky ground and the pressure has increased following a 3-3 draw at Derby (after leading 2-0 and 3-2 in the second half) and a 2-0 home defeat by Yorkshire rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

Talking of Wednesday, that takes us straight to the top of the Premiership and the only team with maximum points from the first two matches.

After beating Aston Villa 2-1 on the opening day, Wednesday travelled north to Leeds and came away with a proud 2-0 victory. New boy Richie Humphries has scored in both games and has been joined on the scoresheet by the former Pompey and Villa marksman Guy Whittingham and by Andy Booth, a prolific scorer with Huddersfield Town before his transfer to South Yorkshire.


Today, Wednesday take on Newcastle United at St James' Park just three days after the Magpies celebrated their first points - and goals - of the new campaign.

Following the 4-0 Charity Shield humiliation by Manchester United and the 2-0 defeat by Everton at Goodison Park last Saturday, Newcastle and Alan Shearer are up and running after a 2-0 victory over Wimbledon and should be able to maintain that momentum against Wednesday.

While Geordie-boy Shearer was celebrating his first goal for Newcastle, Jordi-boy Cruyff sparked Manchester United's revival against Everton at Old Trafford, where almost 55,000 fans watched a 2-2 draw.

Alex Ferguson's 1996 champions entertain 1995 champions Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford tomorrow and it's hard to see Rovers picking up their first point from this one.


The most eye-catching result during midweek was Sunderland's 4-1 victory away to Nottingham Forest.

The Roker Park men, under former England midfielder Peter Reid, hardly set the football world alight in winning the First Division championship last season and four goals away from home is more than their most ardent fan could have dreamed of. Who needs Alan Shearer when you've got Niall Quinn! Today, third-placed Sunderland will really feel they are back in the big time when they play Liverpool at Anfield, where Liverpool recovered from their Ravanelli roasting to tame Arsenal 2-0 on Monday with two goals from Steve McManaman.


Everton have started brightly, beating Newcastle 2-0 and drawing 2-2 at Old Trafford after leading 2-0, and today face Spurs at White Hart Lane. Chris Armstrong and Teddy Sheringham are both off the mark for Tottenham already and Everton will be hard pressed to keep a clean sheet.