Sporting events of the week

By Martin Green20 January 2019
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Serena Williams

Australian Open

We are now approaching the second week of the Australian Open and only a small handful of elite players are left to battle it out for glory. Monday sees top seed Simona Halep take on tournament favourite Serena Williams in the most eagerly anticipated clash of the last 16. Halep destroyed Venus Williams in the last round, and now her sister will be keen to take sweet revenge. She is just 4/9 with William Hill to pull it off. Garbine Muguruza is the underdog against Karolina Pliskova, but she looks well priced at 11/10 with Unibet to pull off an upset. Naomi Osaka is 4/6 with William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral, Paddy Power and a few others to beat Anastaija and that looks like a great bet, while the following day Petra Kvitova is favoured to beat Ashleigh Barty in the first quarter-final. The big shock saw Roger Federer crash out at the hands of Stefanos Tsitsipas in the fourth round, and the Greek youngster is now 13/17 with Marathon Bet to vanquish Roberto Bautista Agut too. Another young gun making waves is Frances Tiafoe, who has already toppled Kevin Anderson and Grigor Dimitrov, and he is 12/1 with Bet365, Paddy Power and Boyle Sports to claim the scalp of second seed Rafa Nadal too.

West Indies v England

England take on a struggling West Indies side in the first Test in Barbados on Wednesday and they are best priced at 2/5 to secure victory. They just annihilated Sri Lanka away from home, and they should also be able to take care of a West Indies group that lost their last two series to underwhelming opposition. This really should result in a whitewash for England, who are bidding to return to the top of the world Test rankings under the leadership of Joe Root. A 3-0 series win is well priced at 15/8 with Sky Bet, Unibet and 888 Sport and 6/4 with various others. You could also cover yourself on 2-0 at 4/1 with Ladbrokes and Coral in case there is a draw in one game. It finished 2-1 to England in the last series, which took place on English soil, but that West Indies win at Headingley was a huge shock and England – playing in their final series before the 2019 Ashes – will be keen to avoid any such complacency this time around.

Chelsea v Tottenham

A tantalising Carabao Cup semi-final second leg takes place on Thursday night and it could be a tense, low-scoring affair. Tottenham lead 1-0 on aggregate, but they have now lost star striker and talisman Harry Kane to injury and they could struggle for goals. Chelsea just lost 2-0 to Arsenal in the league and that is pretty embarrassing against an extremely leaky Gunners defence. The Blues lacked a focal point in their attack, and manager Maurizio Sarri publicly lambasted his players after the game. This could develop into another low-scoring contest and under 2.5 goals looks great at 27/25 with Marathon Bet and even money with Bet365, Ladbrokes, Coral, Bet Victor, Paddy Power and Betfair.

FA Cup fourth round

The FA Cup takes centre stage over the weekend and the biggest clash sees Arsenal host Man Utd on Friday night. The Red Devils have won seven on the bounce since bringing in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace Jose Mourinho as manager, including an impressive victory in London over Tottenham. But Arsenal looked to have rediscovered a measure of confidence in their win over Chelsea, so this game looks delicately poised. Both teams to score and over 2.5 goals looks good at 20/23 with Boyle Sports and 5/6 with William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral. Elsewhere, Watford look well priced for an away win at Newcastle, who will be keen to focus their attention on the relegation battle in the Premiership instead of this tournament.

Lazio vs Juventus

Juventus continue to destroy all and sundry in Serie A and they are running away with the league title in supremely comfortable fashion. They look very well priced to pick up an away win over Lazio on Sunday, considering they remain unbeaten in the league all season.