The Premier League returns this weekend with a belter of a match to kick things off. Liverpool play Manchester United in a match between two of football’s biggest rivals with pride as well as points at stake.
Liverpool haven’t had the best start to their season whilst United remain unbeaten. Saying that, Liverpool convincingly won this fixture last season and there’s some value in the home side at 21/10.
Chelsea should see off Everton in Saturday’s late kick-off while Arsenal are 4/9 to beat struggling Sunderland on Sunday. Newcastle remain unbeaten and are a tempting 2/1 to beat Spurs at St James’ Park whilst improving Swansea are 5/2 to win at Norwich.
In Scotland, Celtic desperately need a win and are 4/11 to beat Kilmarnock while Rangers host St Mirren.
The third Shanghai Masters takes place this week with the tournament being voted the players’ favourite in both of the last two years.
Andy Murray won this title in 2010 and the Scot was in excellent form as he defeated Rafael Nadal to win the Japan Open last week. The Spaniard is Murray’s main opponent this week in a field that also contains David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and last week’s China Open winner Tomas Berdych.
The WTA Tour is in Austria this week for the indoor tournament in Linz. Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova leads the field with Jelena Jankovic and the German pair of Julia Goerges and Sabine Lisicki also featuring strongly in the betting.
The European Tour is at the Oceânico Victoria Golf Course this weekend for the Portugal Masters. Three of the four former winners – Alviro Quiros, Steve Webster and reigning champion Richard Green – are present as is former world number one Martin Kaymer who is the 14/1 favourite.
Thomas Bjorn has been in excellent form of late and is available at 33/1 and Francesco Molinari is 16/1 to go one better than his second place finish in each of the last two years.
The PGA Tour makes its final stop in Georgia this weekend at the McGladrey Classic. Webb Simpson is the 14/1 favourite to win at the Seaside Course and any finish above 15th would see Simpson overtake Luke Donald at the top of the PGA earnings table and give him a five year exemption.
Rickie Fowler ended his wait for a professional win in South Korea last weekend and is 18/1 whilst I also like the chances of David Toms at 20/1.
There’s plenty of limited overs international cricket action this weekend.
England begin their tour of India with a one day match against the world champions on Friday. While they may have thrashed the hosts in England this summer, winning in the sub-continent is a different proposition altogether and India are 8/11 to win.
Bangladesh play the West Indies in the second of their one day internationals in Mirpur on Saturday and South Africa host Australia in a Twenty20 international on Sunday.
The Rugby World Cup reaches the semi final stage this weekend.
Wales reached their first World Cup semi-final since 1987 with their win over Ireland and a win over France would see them into the final for the first time.
France played well as they beat England but their win was as much down to a poor England performance as anything else. Wales have scored 169 points in their last three matches and so I firmly believe that they can make history in Auckland on Saturday. Back Wales to overcome the two point handicap at evens.
A match which most people expected to be the final takes place on Sunday as favourites New Zealand take on local rivals Australia.
The All Blacks are down to their third choice fly-half and have some injury worries over other key players. Australia will have to play better then they have in the tournament so far to have a chance, but they did beat the hosts in this year’s Tri-Nations.
It should be a corking game between the world’s two best sides but I expect New Zealand to prevail.
There’s some excellent racing to look forward to on Saturday at Ascot as Champions Day finally arrives.
The highlight is the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes with Frankel the 1/3 ante-post favourite. His main challengers are likely to be Immortal Verse and Excelebration.
Twice Over is 7/1 to win the Champion Stakes for the third consecutive year with So You Think the favourite from Nathaniel. Deacon Blues is the 9/4 favourite for the Champion Sprint, Fame and Glory is 9/4 for the Long Distance Cup and the mile and a half Fillies and Mares Stakes will see Vita Nova and Ferdoos compete for favouritism.
Elsewhere there is racing from Catterick, Kelso, Cheltenham and Wolverhampton.