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Aston Villa sacked manager Steve Bruce on Wednesday afternoon after a disappointing 3-3 draw with Championship struggles Preston North End. Bruce sacking was the first time since 18 years ago he was sacked by Huddersfield Town in 2000. Now, the odds on who will replace the veteran manager at Villa Park are already out and we take a look at top three names in the betting.

Dean Smith

Brentford boss Dean Smith’s stock is rising every week as his side are challenging at the top end of the Championship week in week out. His side have been one of the best teams to watch so far in the Championship, with their incredible passing styles paying dividends in many of their games.

Smith’s side are currently fifth in the league but could lose their gaffer after three years at the club. His win ratio of 40% at the club is remarkable and Aston Villa have one major draw for the 47-year-old. Dean Smith is a lifelong Villa fan. Being a fan or not, it would be touch decision to ditch Brentford, who are looking like a club on the up, but his boyhood side could be the ones drag him away from his current project.

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce is remarkably the second favourite to take over the reigns at Villa Park. The former England boss hasn’t managed any club in the second tier in England since he led West Ham United to promotion via the play-offs but he could be tempted back into the management by the bright lights and big pay that Villa could offer.

Allardyce has been out of work since he left Everton at the end of last season, where he was not best-loved by the Goodison Park fans. Although, the English boss did a decent job rebuilding his reputation at Crystal Palace after the whole England stint and he could be tempted back by the big pay that Aston Villa could offer.

Thierry Henry

The third favourite on the list is Thierry Henry. The Belgium national team assistant head-coach comes with no prior experience and was surprisingly thought to be lined up for the job in the summer under the new owners and it looks as if the owners could go back to the Frenchman in the coming days.

Despite Henry’s lack of Championship experience, he would be a surprise appointment for Aston Villa. But with Frank Lampard’s Derby County performing brilliantly in his first season as a manager, Henry would find it difficult to do as their is much difference between taking over way through the season and starting afresh as Lampard did with Derby.