After the international break, the battle at both ends of the Premier League table kicks off this weekend at Upton Park as West Ham take on Manchester United. Both teams are desperate for three points for different reasons, and with the Hammers’ recent upturn in fortunes and United’s defensive worries, I fancy the home side to cause an upset at 7/2.
Arsenal can keep up the pressure on United by seeing off struggling Blackburn at 2/7 whilst Chelsea face a tricky away tie at Stoke, who are good value at 9/2.
Sunday’s matches see Fulham 4/7 to beat Blackpool whilst Manchester City can eke out a win over Sunderland at Eastlands.
In the Championship, Nottingham Forest will be looking to end their seven match winless streak at Leeds United whilst for fans of European football the Milan derby takes place on Saturday evening.
Novak Djokovic is undefeated in 2011 and is the 11/8 favourite to win the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami this weekend. Rafael Nadal lost to the Serb in the Miami final recently and is 9/4 to win here, whilst Roger Federer is 7/2.
In the women’s event, Caroline Wozniacki’s surprise defeat to Alex Petkovic means that Kim Clijsters is a clear 2/1 favourite for the title. Vera Zvonareva is 7/2 with Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic available at 9/2.
The European Tour is in Morocco this week for the 38th edition of the Trophée Hassan II at Golf du Palais Royal and Golf de L’Ocean in Agadir. Last year’s winner Rhys Davies is a 40/1 chance to defend his title whilst Qatar Masters champion Thomas Bjorn is available at 20/1.
Raphael Jacquelin has enjoyed an excellent few weeks after his win in Sicily and his T4 at the Open de Andalucia and is the favourite at 14/1. Simon Dyson had a poor tournament last weekend but has enjoyed several top ten finishes already in 2011 and is a good each way bet at 28/1.
The PGA Tour heads to Texas for the Shell Houston Open with Lee Westwood leading the betting at 14/1. Matt Kuchar hasn’t finished outside the top 35 in 2011 so far and is also available at 14/1 whilst Phil Mickelson is available at 18/1.
The Cricket World Cup reaches its finale in Mumbai on Saturday. Sri Lanka were the beaten finalists four years ago and have looked in excellent shape as they bid to win the World Cup for the first time since 1996. However, they have played all their matches so far in front of a home crowd which can be a huge advantage.
Home advantage for the final will go to India, the pre-tournament favourites who are desperate to end their 28 year wait for a second World Cup title. India are 4/6 to win in front of a passionate Mumbai crowd, but I have a sneaking suspicion that they won’t find things easy against a talented Sri Lanka side. Could Murali get the better of Sachin in the pair’s final showdown?
There’s a huge match in the Magners League this weekend as the two giants of Irish rugby go head to head. Runaway leaders Munster host second place Leinster with both teams in good form. It should be a classic encounter.
Ulster leapfrogged the Ospreys into third place in the Magners League after their win in Glasgow and they can consolidate that position by beating the Scarlets this weekend. There’s also a Welsh derby as the Ospreys face the Cardiff Blues.
Leicester remain at the top of the Aviva Premiership after their win over Bath although the Tigers face a tricky away tie this weekend. They travel to Harlequins, who thumped title challengers Gloucester 53-15 last weekend.
Northampton should be too good for Sale whilst London Irish can follow up their win over Exeter with a victory over Wasps.
My tip for the Superleague title, Warrington Wolves, climbed to the top of the table this weekend after a superb 24-6 win at last season’s Grand Final winners, Wigan. Wolves are starting to look really good and should have no trouble in disposing of Catalans Dragons this weekend.
Surprise package Castleford remain second after thumping Crusaders although they face a tricky away tie at Hull FC. Third place Huddersfield should beat Wakefield whilst St Helens can see off Hull KR on Friday night.
Elsewhere, Leeds play Wigan, Bradford welcome Harlequins and Saturday’s match sees Salford play the Crusaders.
The highlight of Saturday’s racing is at Doncaster with the Lincoln the main event. Taqleed is the clear 4/1 favourite for the mile long race, with Gunner Lindley and Irish Heartbeat both available at 10/1.
As well as the main event there is also a strong supporting card including the listed Cammidge Trophy over six furlongs, and the Brocklesby, for two year olds.
Kempton hosts the ten-furlong Magnolia Stakes and the mile long Snowdrop Fillies’ Stakes as well as the Rosebery and the Queen’s Prize.
Elsewhere there is racing from Uttoxeter and Chepstow.