Having secured their Champions League spot for next season, Manchester City are the 5/6 favourites to win their first FA Cup since 1969 at Wembley on Saturday. However, Stoke City have proved in recent weeks that they are a force to be reckoned with and were excellent in their 3-1 win over Arsenal last weekend. I really like the 7/2 available on Tony Pulis’ side to lift their first FA Cup.
Manchester United could have been crowned Premiership champions for a record 19th time by the time the Cup Final kicks off. United are 8/11 to get all three points at Ewood Park against struggling Blackburn Rovers, although remember that the draw at 13/5 will be enough.
There’s also a relegation six pointer on Sunday as Wigan take on West Ham.
The League One and League Two play-off semi-finals all take place this weekend with Huddersfield the 7/4 favourites to win promotion to the Championship and Shrewsbury 2/1 to join Chesterfield, Bury and Wycombe Wanderers in League One.
Rafael Nadal’s 37 match unbeaten run on clay was finally ended last weekend when 4/1 chance Novak Djokovic beat the Spaniard in the Madrid Open final. Djokovic’s straight sets win was his 32nd consecutive win and the Serb has yet to be beaten in 2011.
The two are the clear favourites for the Internazionali BNL D’Italia in Rome this week with Djokovic closing in on John McEnroe’s record of 42 consecutive wins at the start of 1984.
Victoria Azarenka has been in good form of late and reached the final of last week’s WTA tour event in Madrid. Caroline Wozniacki is the favourite in Rome from local favourite Francesca Schiavone.
The Players’ Championship is often called the ‘fifth Major’ and the cream of the world’s golfing talent will be in Florida this weekend. Luke Donald is arguably the world’s form player at the moment and is available at 16/1 whilst Ben Crane has a superb record at TPC Sawgrass and can be backed at 33/1. Tiger Woods is the 14/1 favourite with Phil Mickelson a tempting 16/1.
The European Tour heads to Mallorca for the Iberdrola Open. In the week of the death of Seve Ballesteros, Spain’s greatest ever player, it promises to be an emotional occasion. Pablo Larrazabal was third at last week’s Open de Espana and is available at 16/1 with previous tournament winner Jose Maria Olazabal a 100/1 chance.
The Clydesdale Bank 40 continues this weekend with last year’s beaten finalists Somerset looking to continue their excellent 100% start to this campaign with a home win over Lancashire. Sussex play Derbyshire at Hove whilst Surrey have won three out of three and travel to face Scotland.
There’s also a Test match this weekend as the West Indies host Pakistan in the First Test in Guyana. Pakistan are 7/4 to triumph with the draw available at evens.
Even though they topped the regular season table, Leicester Tigers face an awkward tie on Saturday as they host Heineken Cup finalists Northampton Saints. The Tigers are the favourites to progress to the final with a win at Welford Road, but Jim Mallinder’s side are in good form right now and can be backed at 10/11 with a five point start.
The other semi-final sees Saracens the favourites to overcome Gloucester.
Munster ended up running away with the Magners League title and I fancy the Irish side to overcome the six point handicap to beat the Ospreys in their semi-final at 10/11. It’s an all Irish affair in the other semi-final as Heineken Cup favourites Leinster host Ulster on Friday night.
Just three points separate the top seven sides in the Superleague making it one of the most open competitions in recent memory.
Warrington lead the four teams on 18 points and should maintain their top spot by beating Castleford on Friday. The match of the weekend is on Saturday as second place Huddersfield welcome third place St Helens whilst last season’s champions Wigan should see off Harlequins.
Catalans Dragons are the form team in the Superleague right now although they face a tricky tie away at Leeds.
The highlight of Saturday’s racing comes at Newbury with the one mile Lockinge Stakes (3.45pm). The first group 1 event for older horses of the British season, Canford Cliffs is the clear 4/5 favourite from Dick Turpin, Twice Over and Cityscape.
Elsewhere there is racing from Doncaster, Bangor, Uttoxeter, Newmarket and Thirsk.