Sporting Events of the Week

By Martin Green02 August 2020
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Sporting Events of the Week

West London rivals Brentford and Fulham will lock horns in a bid to secure promotion to the Premier League on Tuesday night. These teams finished third and fourth respectively in the Championship table. Brentford overcame a first leg defeat to reach the Championships playoff final with a 3-1 victory over Swansea. Fulham beat Cardiff 3-2 on aggregate in their semi-final, despite losing the second leg. Promotion is worth £170 million, so this will be a keenly fought battle. Brentford won both meetings between these clubs in the regular season, including a 2-0 victory on June 20. You might therefore like the look on the 11/10 that William Hill is offering on a Brentford win.

England take on Pakistan in the first Test at Old Trafford from Wednesday. Joe Root’s men should be full of confidence after putting the West Indies to the sword last month. Rain is expected on Wednesday in Manchester, but the following few days are supposed to be dry and sunny, diminishing the chances of a draw. England should fancy their chances of winning it, as Pakistan might be a little rusty. The visitors have not played a Test for several months, and they have been training in a bio-secure bubble since arriving in England. That extra sharpness could help England win this Test, and they are 4/9 with Bet365 to pull it off.

The Europa League round of 16 resumes with eight second-leg clashes on Wednesday and Thursday. Man Utd thrashed LASK 5-0 in their first leg encounter, so they will not have to exert too much energy in the reverse fixture on Wednesday. However, the Red Devils will be keen to build momentum, as the one-legged quarter-finals begin next Monday. Man Utd win to nil looks appealing at even money with Bet365 and Paddy Power. Bayer Leverkusen look well priced at 8/11 to get the better of Rangers the following day. The tie between Olympiakos is delicately poised, and you can find an appealing 4/5 on a Wolves win at GentingBet.

There are also four Champions League games to look forward to this week. Juventus take on Lyon on Friday night, while Man City host Real Madrid. Pep Guardiola’s men hold a 2-1 aggregate lead over Los Blancos, who will be without suspended captain Sergio Ramos. However, Real Madrid won all their games after the restart and romped to the title, so it should be a fascinating clash. Yet Man City have more firepower than any of the teams Real Madrid played in their domestic league, while the absence of Ramos will be keenly felt, so the 14/19 on offer at 10Bet on a Man City win does look appealing. Bet365 has 8/15 on both teams to score. Lyon are 7/1 underdogs against Juve, but the Bianconeri have been woeful in recent weeks, so Lyon +1.25 Asian handicap might appeal at 13/15. Barcelona will have had plenty of time to recover from their exploits in La Liga, whereas Napoli continued to play their best 11 right up until the end of the Serie A and they now have several injury problems, so Barca should win that game. Bayern Munich are 3-0 up against an injury ravaged Chelsea side on aggregate, so that game is not worth bothering with.

The first golfing major of the year takes place at TPC Harding in San Francisco this week. Several bookmakers make Rory McIlroy the favourite to win the US PGA Championship, but the dangerous Brooks Koepka looks well priced at 11/1 to win the tournament for the third year in a row. There will be great interest in Bryson DeChambeau after he bulked up during the lockdown and emerged as the world’s most powerful hitter. Betfred has a market leading 14/1 on him, and on new number one Jon Rahm, who just overtook McIlroy in the rankings.