The FA Cup reaches the semi-final stage this weekend with two local derbies in prospect. Liverpool play Everton on Saturday and while the Reds may be the 6/4 favourites, Everton are the form team. I fancy David Moyes’ side to prevail at 15/8.
A few weeks ago Spurs would have been the clear favourites to beat Chelsea in the second semi-final but a month is a long time in football. Both sides are available at 13/8 and while many neutrals would like to see Harry Redknapp potentially end his Spurs career with an FA Cup Final appearance, Chelsea should be backed at 13/8.
Manchester United again have the easier fixture of the two title chasing sides this weekend as they host struggling Aston Villa on Sunday. Manchester City could all but have conceded the title by then if they fail to win at Norwich on Saturday lunchtime. Considering City’s poor away form, Paul Lambert’s side are great value at 5/1.
It’s also the Scottish Cup semi-finals this weekend. Aberdeen play Hibernian on Saturday before Celtic take on Hearts on Sunday.
The Dutch Eredivisie has been brilliant this season and just four points separate the top six sides with six games to go. Fourth place PSV face second place AZ Alkmaar in this weekend’s big game.
After the excitement of last week’s US Masters, the European Tour heads to the Kuala Lumpur Golf and country Club this weekend for the Malaysian Open. Former world number one Martin Kaymer is the 10/1 favourite with Italian teenager and reigning champion Matteo Manassero available at 14/1.
Louis Oosthuizen came within a play-off of winning his first Masters and is 12/1 to win in Asia.
The RBC Heritage has been hosted by the Harbour Town Golf Links every year since 1969 and Brandt Snedeker is 28/1 to win his title. Luke Donald was disappointing in Augusta last week but on his last three appearances in this tournament has finished second, second and third. With 11 consecutive under par rounds in this tournament, the Englishman can be backed at 7/1.
It’s also worth keeping an eye on 2010 winner Jim Furyk who also has an excellent record at this event. Furyk is available at 18/1.
Nottinghamshire, Somerset and Surrey all got their County Championship campaigns up and running with a win in their first match and all three sides face an away fixture this weekend. Notts travel to Durham, Surrey take on Middlesex and Somerset visit Edgbaston to take on Warwickshire.
There’s also a Test match this weekend as the West Indies take on Australia in Port of Spain from Sunday while the IPL continues with reigning champions Chennai Super Kings in action in Pune on Saturday.
The clay court season begins in earnest this week as the ATP tour heads to Casablanca and Houston.
The Grand Prix Hassan II saw an unfancied winner last year in Spain’s Pablo Andujar and again this is anyone’s title. Florian Meyer leads the field but has a poor record at this event and so it may be better to consider the chances of clay court specialist Albert Montanes. Americans Mardy Fish and John Isner lead the betting at the US Men’s Clay Court Championship.
The Barcelona Women’s Open is also on clay and after the surprise early elimination of Francesca Schiavone, Julia Goerges is the highest ranked player left in the tournament.
Caroline Wozniacki is the clear favourite to take the e-Boks Open title this week in her native Denmark.
Reigning champions Wigan look to have a straightforward fixture against Crusaders while 2010 and 2011 beaten finalists Leeds welcome Wakefield on Friday night. The Catalans Dragons are in good form and are tipped to win at Hull KR while St Helens should win at Superleague strugglers Widnes.
There are plenty of chances for an underdog to spring an upset as Keighley host Warrington, Featherstone play Castleford and Whitehaven welcome Salford. Current Superleague leaders Huddersfield face a tricky tie away at Hull on Sunday.
It looks like a five horse race for four play-off places in England and Exeter can keep up the pressure on fourth placed Northampton with a win at Worcester. The Saints face a tough match as they welcome Leicester to Franklin’s Gardens in the big East Midlands derby. Harlequins continue to lead the way and should beat Wasps while Saracens travel to struggling London Irish.
There are six teams with a realistic chance of making the RaboDirect Pro12 playoffs and just seven points separates the Ospreys in second place and the Scarlets in sixth. Munster can take a huge step towards securing their berth by beating Glasgow whilst Ulster need to follow up their stunning Heineken Cup win last weekend with a win at Connacht. The Scarlets can keep up the pressure with a win in Aironi on Sunday.
The eyes of the world will be on Aintree this Saturday at 4.15pm for the 2012 Grand National. Synchronised is the 7/1 ante-post favourite for the most famous race of all with Junior available at 10/1 and West End Rocker at 11/1.
There are likely to be two previous winners in the field. Last year’s National winner Ballabriggs is a 12/1 chance while 2009 winner Mon Mome is available at 40/1. Welsh National winner Le Beau Bai could be an interesting choice at 33/1.
Elsewhere, there is racing on Saturday from Newcastle, Wolverhampton, Chepstow and Lingfield Park.