Conor McGregor returns to the Octagon

By Martin Green12 January 2020
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Conor McGregor

FA Cup

The third round replays take place on Tuesday and Wednesday and there are some exciting games to look forward to. Newcastle should manage to get the better of lowly Rochdale, while you would expect an under-strength Tottenham side to beat Middlesbrough in north London. There is plenty of value available on Watford to win away at Tranmere, as the Hornets are priced at 7/10 with William Hill. The big game takes place on Wednesday, when Man Utd host Wolves. These teams met in this competition last year and Wolves prevailed, but Man Utd battled to a draw at Molineux last week and they are even money with Bet365 to get the job done at Old Trafford on Wednesday night.

The Masters

Ronnie O’Sullivan is not competing in The Masters, but all the other big names are in the tournament, which runs until Sunday at Alexandra Palace in London. World number one Judd Trump is the 13/5 favourite with Betfair to win it, followed by Neil Robertson, Mark Selby and Mark Allen. Some punters might also like the look of Ding Junhui at 12/1 after the Chinese star won the UK Championship for the third time last month. You can go each-way on any player and get half of the odds on the place if he finishes as runner-up.

South Africa v England

More heroics from the irrepressible Ben Stokes handed England an exhilarating victory in the second Test last week. The series is now tied at 1-1 and the teams head into battle for the third Test at Port Elizabeth on Thursday. England will be without their star man, as James Anderson is out injured. Young gun Jofra Archer is likely to replace him, which will place considerable pressure on his shoulders, but Mark Wood could also come in. The English will have to place their faith in youth and hope for another exciting performance from the likes of Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley, Dom Bess and Sam Curran. The bookmakers cannot split the teams, with 13/10 available on both of them at Bet365. Perhaps the draw might appeal at 9/2. Only Stokes’ late intervention prevented the draw last time out, and he may not be able to conjure up more heroics in this contest.

Conor McGregor v Donald Cerrone

Irish superstar Conor McGregor makes his eagerly anticipated return to the Octagon on Saturday night in Las Vegas. He has headlined five of the six bestselling box office events in UFC history, so the organisation will be keen to welcome him back. He made his last appearance in October 2018, when he lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight championship bout. His opponent on Saturday is Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, who has lost his last two fights. It would appear to represent an easier challenge for McGregor than the devastating Khabib, and he should prevail. He is best priced at 11/25 with Unibet to win the fight, and you would have to look at round betting for more value. Cerrone is regularly involved in fight of the night bouts, and it should be a hugely entertaining contest. Many punters are backing McGregor to win in the first or second round at 2/1 and 5/1 respectively.

Weekend Football

Watford are priced at 5/2 to beat an injury ravaged Spurs team at Vicarage Road on Saturday and those long odds might tempt a few punters. Arsenal are 11/12 to beat Sheff Utd at home, but they will be without the suspended Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. You can find 7/9 on Leicester returning to winning ways away at struggling Burnley on Sunday, while Liverpool to beat Man Utd and under 4.5 goals is a tempting 5/6 for the big game at Anfield. In-form Lazio should destroy Sampdoria, while Napoli have a great chance of picking up a long overdue win when they host Fiorentina. Inter to win away at Lecce would complete a strong treble, and you could throw in Juventus to beat Parma at home to make it a four-fold. Valencia are priced at 21/20 to beat Mallorca, which also looks really tempting.