Some noteworthy teams are battling for a place at Europe’s top table for the 2018/19 campaign. The likes of Basel, Celtic, Ajax, Dinamo Zagreb, Legia Warsaw and Red Star Belgrade have all made it through to the second qualifying round, and the first-leg fixtures take place this week. Celtic have a tricky game against Norwegian outfit Rosenborg, but the Hoops scraped past them last season and they should do so again. They are 1/2 with William Hill to win their first leg tie at Celtic Park and that looks appealing. For more value, Ladbrokes has 21/20 on Celtic to win and 'under' 3.5 goals. Last year, Celtic beat them 1-0 at home and they drew 0-0 in Rosenborg, so this is unlikely to be a high scoring contest. As always, Ajax have been forced to sell their brightest young stars, but they have bolstered their squad with players like Daley Blind, who has returned to the club from Man Utd. They should pick up a home win against Sturm Graz, and they are 1/2 to do so, which could make an interesting double with Celtic. Bet365 has 12/5 on Basel picking up an away win at PAOK Saloniki, which looks interesting as the Swiss team made it all the way to the last 16 in last season’s Champions League.
The Tour de France concludes this week and it looks like it could turn into a straight fight between Team Sky teammates Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. Froome has won this race for the last three years running, but he trails his teammate by more than 90 seconds as we head into the final stages. Bet365 has Froome at even money and Thomas at 5/4. It is a risky strategy for Team Sky to have both men going for the win, as you would normally have one leader and the others in the team supporting him. That could backfire and open the door for someone like Tom Dumoulin (5/1) to snatch victory.
Lewis Hamilton will bid to make up ground on championship leader Sebastian Vettel when Formula 1 heads to Hungary at the weekend. But Vettel won at Hungaroring last year and he should go into this race full of confidence. His car has been reliable of late and he has held his nerve, so he looks well-priced to take the chequered flag in this race.
The next US general election is not for another two years, but a flurry of bets has gone on Donald Trump winning a second term. The odds on him winning the election are 11/8 with Bet365, and despite recent controversy surrounding his joint press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, punters are convinced he has what it takes to secure another term.
A big fight takes place in London’s O2 Arena on Saturday night as New Zealand’s Parker seeks to rebuild his career with a bout against Whyte. The Kiwi was a world champion and unbeaten in 24 fights before locking horns with Anthony Joshua a few months ago. Joshua prevailed on points, taking his belt, and Parker is now seeking to return to the top of the division. He takes on Whyte, another man whose only defeat came at the hands of Joshua, and it should be a gripping contest. There is little between them in the betting, with Sky Bet and Bet Victor offering 10/11 on Parker and William Hill offering 11/10 on Whyte. Most of the action is going on Whyte, the more aggressive fighter, but Parker looks more polished and 10/11 is a great price on him securing victory.