The world’s greatest tennis players are in Melbourne to contest the first Grand Slam tournament of 2020. Smoke has smothered the city in recent weeks due to the bush fires raging across the state, and the air quality was dangerous during some qualifying matches. Thunderstorms have brought some relief and the tournament is expected to go ahead as planned, but air quality could be an issue. Novak Djokovic will bid to win a record eighth men’s title and he is the 6/5 favourite with Bet365 and various others to pull it off. He has won all six matches so far this year, leading Serbia to victory at the ATP Cup, and it is hard to see anyone stopping him clinching more silverware in Melbourne.
The women’s tournament looks a lot more open and unpredictable. Bianca Andreescu is out with an injury, leaving Serena Williams as the 4/1 favourite to lift the trophy. She has reached several Grand Slam finals since giving birth to her daughter, but she has not won any of them. Yet she did finally return to winning ways at the ASB Classic in New Zealand last week, and she might make a good each-way bet. Defending champion Naomi Osaka is out at 8/1 along with Australian star Ashleigh Barty, with 11/1 on offer for Karolina Pliskova and Simona Halep. Belinda Bencic is also attracting attention at 33/1, while Paddy Power has 100/1 on 15-year-old sensation Cori Gauff.
There is a full round of Premier League action for punters to look forward to this week. Watford draw no bet looks like a great option at 4/5 when they head to Birmingham to take on Aston Villa on Tuesday night. Man City could only draw with Crystal Palace at the weekend and they will be desperate to return to winning ways when they take on Sheff Utd and Brammal Lane. Man City to win and under 4.5 goals looks good at 31/40 with Betway. Leicester should beat West Ham at the King Power, while Tottenham should make short work of Norwich. Liverpool are 3/5 to beat Wolves on Thursday night, and you can combine that with a goal market for more value.
Derby travel to Northampton for their fourth round clash on Friday night and the 4/5 available on the Rams looks attractive. You can find 7/8 on Leicester picking up an away win against Leicester, while Burnley look well priced at 39/40 to beat Norwich at Turf Moor. Bet365 has 3/4 on Chelsea -1 Asian handicap against Hull, which looks like another good bet. Punters looking for value might be tempted by the 10/3 on offer for Championship leaders West Brom to beat West Ham at the London Stadium.
Two huge clashes stand out this weekend. Serie A champions Juventus face a stern test of their mettle when they take on Napoli at San Paolo Stadium. Maurizio Sarri’s men are locked in a ferocious title battle with Inter this season and they need to keep fighting for points. Napoli are enduring a poor season, having sacked their manager and ridden out an almighty clash between the owner and the players, and they are marooned in 13th place. They still have a talented squad, but morale is low and Juventus should win this game, so the even money on offer is really attractive. Barcelona head to the Mestalla to face a strong Valencia side, and that should prove to be an entertaining clash. Lionel Messi and co are 5/6 with Betway to win it, but punters currently like the look of Valencia at 3/1.
Kemboy is the 15/8 favourite to win the Irish Gold Cup at Leopardstown on Sunday, leaving him just ahead of the highly rated Delta Work in the betting. Yet punters are lumping on Chriss Dream, who is 9/1 with Coral and as low as 6/1 with other bookmakers. You can get a fifth of the odds on the place, with second and third paying out, so that might make a good each-way bet.