The Roy Hodgson era begins on Saturday as the former West Brom coach takes charge of England for the first time. His first outing is a tricky away fixture in Norway who are an excellent 12/5 chance to give our boys ‘one hell of a beating’.
Ireland are also in action ahead of their Euro 2012 campaign and are 8/11 to beat Bosnia-Herzegovina. Reigning European champions Spain are 4/11 to beat Serbia while Euro dark horses Denmark are 7/2 to beat Brazil.
It’s also the football league play-off finals this weekend. Saturday sees Sheffield United play Huddersfield for a place in the Championship and the Blades are good value at 6/4. Sunday sees Cheltenham play Crewe and I fancy the in-form Crewe to win this one at 6/4.
The world’s top three golfers are at Wentworth this week for the BMW PGA Championship. Luke Donald beat Lee Westwood in a play-off twelve months ago and the former world number one is 8/1 to retain his title. Westwood is an 11/2 chance while the 12/1 available on Rory McIlroy will tempt many.
Talented Scot Martin Laird is one to watch at 50/1, as is the in-form Nicolas Colsaerts who won the Volvo World Matchplay last weekend.
After two PGA Tour wins in a month, Jason Dufner is the 16/1 second favourite for the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.
Zach Johnson has finished in the top ten in his last three visits to Colonial and can be backed at 16/1 while reigning champion David Toms can be backed at 25/1.
It was tense for a short while, but England eventually saw off a spirited West Indies challenge in the first Test at Lord’s last weekend. The two teams head to Trent Bridge this weekend for the second Test. England invariably perform well on the banks of the Trent and can be backed at 4/11.
Elsewhere, the Clydesdale Bank Pro 40 continues on Sunday with Warwickshire looking to make in three wins out of three with a win over Northants.
The IPL reaches a climax this weekend with the final on Sunday. The Kolkata Knight Riders are the 6/4 favourites.
The second Grand Slam event of 2012 starts this weekend as the French Open kicks off in Paris.
The men’s event looks like a two horse race between the world’s top two players. Rafael Nadal has got the better of Novak Djokovic twice in recent clay court finals and is the 8/11 favourite. The Spaniard has only ever lost one match at Roland Garros and is a worthy favourite. Djokovic has been eased to 9/4 after his straight sets defeat to Nadal in Rome last week.
The women’s event is wide open this year. The 9/4 favourite is Serena Williams who has a 17-0 record on clay in 2012. Williams did withdraw from the WTA event last week with injury, but is expected to be fit for the start of this tournament.
Maria Sharapova has never reached the French Open final but was a winner on clay last week and can be backed at 6/1. World number one Victoria Azarenka is the 4/1 second favourite while reigning champion Li Na can be backed at 9/1.
Just three points separates the top five teams in an intriguing Superleague season and Wigan lead the way. The Warriors recorded an excellent 32-12 victory over Huddersfield last weekend and travel to their great rivals St Helens on Sunday.
Warrington are up to second place and have a straightforward looking home tie with Widnes on Saturday. The two Hull sides also meet on Saturday while there’s a fierce Yorkshire derby on Sunday as Bradford welcome Leeds.
The play-off finals take place this weekend starting at Twickenham on Saturday as Leicester play Harlequins. It’s Leicester’s eighth consecutive final and the Tigers are the favourites to secure a record tenth title.
Quins Joe Marler said: “They’re annual visitors to Twickenham, we’re the newcomers, but we are hungry for this. We have had great games against Leicester recently and we will front up.”
The underdogs are 10/11 to win with a 6 point start.
Leinster staked a claim to be the greatest ever club side in modern rugby with their third Heineken Cup win in four years last weekend and are favourites to add the RaboDirect Pro12 title to their trophy haul. They face the Ospreys in Dublin on Sunday.
Leinster won the Heineken Cup in 2011 before losing the play-off final a week later, and so could history repeat itself?
The highlight of Saturday’s racing comes at the Curragh with the one mile Irish 2,000 Guineas (3.15pm). Parish Hall is the 9/2 favourite from Hermival, Power and Takar.
Haydock Park hosts the Temple Stakes (3.00pm) on Saturday. Last year’s winner Sole Power is the 7/2 favourite from Bated Breath and Tangerine Trees.
Elsewhere, there is racing on Saturday from Chester, Goodwood, York, Lingfield Park and Newbury.