Last Sunday saw excellent wins for both Liverpool and Arsenal. Liverpool picked up their first trophy under Kenny Dalglish by winning the Carling Cup after Arsenal had earlier rallied from 2-0 down to record a stunning 5-2 victory over Spurs.
The pair meet at Anfield in Saturday’s early kick-off and Arsene Wenger’s side are good value to win at 11/4. The home side can be backed at 21/20.
After Spurs’ defeat in the North London derby it looks like being a two horse race for the league title. Manchester City are 1/7 to see off struggling Bolton on Saturday while neighbours Manchester United face a trickier task at Tottenham on Sunday. Spurs were rotten after Arsenal scored their first goal last Sunday and United should be backed at 7/5.
West Brom were in irresistible form last weekend and are good value at 16/5 to pile more misery on Chelsea at the Hawthorns. There’s a North East derby as Newcastle take on Sunderland on Sunday while I fancy Blackburn to beat Aston Villa at 7/5.
There’s no European Tour event this week which means that many of the continent’s top golfers are in action at the PGA National course for the Honda Classic.
After his runner’s up finish at the WGC Accenture Matchplay last weekend, Rory McIlroy is the 9/1 favourite to take a title which has often seen an unfancied winner.
Mark Wilson, Y.E.Yang, Rory Sabbatini and Camilo Villegas have all won this event in the last five years and so backing someone like Ben Crane at 28/1 or previous winner Mark Wilson – the American beat Lee Westwood to finish third at the Matchplay last week – at 40/1 may be a better investment than running with the favourites.
There are a couple of one day international matches to enjoy this weekend. New Zealand face South Africa in Auckland in the third match of their series while the triangular series between Australia, India and Sri Lanka continues on Sunday in Brisbane.
After my tip Agnieszka Radwanska won the women’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last week, it’s the men’s turn this week.
A strong field is headed by Novak Djokovic who is looking to win a fourth straight championship in Dubai and is on a 15 match winning streak at the tournament. The Serb beat Roger Federer 6-3 6-3 in last year’s final and the Swiss former world number one is joined in the Middle East this week by the likes of Andy Murray, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych.
There are a couple of low key events on the WTA tour this week. Italy’s Flavia Pennetta is the 5/2 favourite to win the clay court Abierto Mexicano while last week’s WTA tour winner Agnieska Radwanska is the favourite to win the BMW Malaysian Open.
The big Superleague match of the weekend pits second against fourth as Wigan welcome the Catalans Dragons.
The Dragons leapfrogged St Helens in the table after their excellent 34-32 win at Langtree Park last weekend while Wigan thrashed Castleford 46-4. I think the French team could be one to watch this season, although I expect the home side to win this one.
Warrington remain top of the table after their 42-10 win over Hull KR and can consolidate their position by beating Bradford on Saturday. Third place Huddersfield play St Helens on Sunday in a match that’s too tough to call while Hull can beat Wakefield and Hull KR can beat bottom club Widnes.
There’s an unexpected Six Nations match to look forward to this weekend as France take on Ireland in the fixture postponed from the 18th February.
Ireland will have been delighted with the delay as it gave them a chance to bounce back – and in some style – from their defeat to Wales. Declan Kidney’s side ran in five tries in their 42-10 win over Italy and travel to Paris in better spirits than they would have a fortnight ago.
Four Ireland players carrying niggling injuries including Rob Kearney and Gordon D’Arcy are expected to be fit for the game this Sunday. France do have to make a change as full back Maxime Medard sustained a knee injury in their 23-17 victory over Scotland.
Ireland can keep the game close and are great value at 10/11 with a 9 point start.
It’s a quiet weekend of racing ahead of the Cheltenham Festival in the next ten days or so.
There is racing on Saturday from Doncaster, Lingfield Park, Kelso and Newbury.