Biggest Sporting Events of the Week

By Martin Green21 May 2018
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Champions League Final

Holders Real Madrid are bidding to win the Champions League for a third time in a row after vanquishing Bayern Munich in the semi-finals. But they must contend with a rampant and exciting Liverpool side, led by the irrepressible Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian has been on fire this season, and he has emerged as a credible rival to Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the Ballon d’Or stakes. The competition between those two will add extra spice to what promises to be an exhilarating final between two teams that take risks, play attacking football and go for the win. Jurgen Klopp’s men are underdogs at BMR's green-listed bookmakers, but many will be tempted by a flutter on the Reds after watching them destroy Champions League favourites Man City at home and away in the quarter-finals. They are 5/4 with William Hill and Paddy Power to lift the trophy, and 21/10 with Bet365 to win in 90 minutes.

French Open

Qualifying for the French Open begins on Monday and the first round takes place at the weekend. Clay-court king Rafa Nadal is bidding to win the tournament for a remarkable 11th time – and he is best priced at 1/2 with Betfred to pull it off – but young upstarts like Alexander Zverev and Dominic Thiem stand in his way. The women’s draw looks wide open. Last year an unseeded player won it, and dozens of stars will believe they can land the title this time around, particularly as Serena Williams is yet to return to her best form after giving birth. Expect upsets aplenty in the women’s tournament.

Monaco Grand Prix

Formula 1 returns at the weekend and fans can look forward to the most prestigious and glamorous race of the season: the Monaco Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari took the chequered flag last year, ending a four-year period of Mercedes dominance. Vettel and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton are once again battling it out for the Drivers’ Championship this year, and Mercedes looks to have the edge once more, but in recent times the Ferrari has proved best suited to tight street races like this and Vettel heads the betting at 2/1 with Bet Stars and 7/4 with most other bookmakers.

NBA

We are into the Conference Finals and the Cleveland Cavaliers are now 2-1 down in their series against the Boston Celtics after winning at the weekend. The Golden State Warrior’s Western Conference Finals series against the Houston Rockets is delicately poised, and both series are thrillingly unpredictable right now.

Giro d’Italia

The Giro d’Italia rages on this week and Britain’s Simon Yates is leading the way. The 25-year-old is the 11/10 favourite to win the race, but Tom Domoulin provides stiff competition.

Manager Betting

Mikel Arteta is widely expected to be appointed as the new Arsenal manager soon, despite having no managerial experience whatsoever. The Spaniard is 1/6 in the betting to land the job, while Bet Victor has 10/1 on Unai Emery, who has just left PSG. Luis Enrique has gone in to 5/2 to become the next Chelsea manager, as Antonio Conte is likely to be sacked despite winning the FA Cup on Saturday.