Weekend Sport on Betfair: Warriors, Kings and Lions all set for battle
We have another fantastic weekend of sport to look forward to here on betting.betfair, with tennis, golf, cricket, horse racing, and football all hosting big events. Mike Norman has the details...
"The Dante is usually one of the most informative trials ahead of the Derby, and there was no doubting the manner in which John Gosden's colt destroyed a strong line-up, but as the trainer admitted himself, that victory just franked the form of Saxon Warrior who was someway clear of Roaring Lion at Newmarket."
Can anyone stop Rafa at Roland-Garros
French Open Tennis
The second Grand Slam of the year continues all this week (concludes Sunday 10 June) and if solid odds-on shots are your thing then you'll be hard pushed to find a more reliable performer than the King of Clay himself, Rafa Nadal. The Spaniard is available to back at [1.46] on the Exchange to win the Mens Tournament, which quite incredibly would be his 11th French Open title, and he arrives at Roland-Garros in terrific form having won the Monte-Carlo Masters, the Barcelona Open and the Rome Masters in recent weeks.
If the Mens Tournament looks at the mercy of one man then the complete opposite can be said about the Womens Tournament as the Betfair Exchange currently goes [6.0] the field. Recent Rome Masters winner Elina Svitolina currently heads that market just ahead of world number one Simona Halep ([6.4]). Unfortunately Britain's Johanna Konta has already been eliminated, but with at least a dozen players trading between [6.0] and [30.0] this looks a wide-open betting heat to get stuck in.
Molinari and Rose looking to follow up
There are two big tournaments either side of the pond this week as the second Rolex Series event of the season gets underway on the European Tour with the Italian Open, where home favourite Francesco Molinari will be hoping to follow up last week's terrific win at the BMW PGA Championship. The Italian heads the early Sportsbook betting at 10/1 alongside Alex Noren, who finished third at Wentworth last week, just ahead of European number one Tommy Fleetwood, 12/1, and his fellow Englishmen Matthew Fitzpatrick, 16/1, and Ian Poulter, 18/1.
A truly world class field will be assembled over at Muirfield Village on the PGA Tour as Tiger Woods bids to win the Memorial Tournament for a sixth time. The former world number one and 14-time major winner has shown some terrific form this season since his return from injury and is available to back at 18/1 on the Sportsbook to complete a memorable return to 'Jack's place'. Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Justin Rose - who won last week's Fort Worth Invitational - and Rory McIlroy all share favouritism at 12/1, while best friends Justin Thomas, 14/1, and Jordan Spieth, 16/1, are just two more huge names bidding to win the title.
Wounded England looking to bounce back
Cricket - England v Pakistan
Second Test, Headingley
Starts Friday 1 June
Following England's dreadful performance at Lord's, where they lost by nine wickets to Pakistan with a day and a half of the five-day test remaining, Joe Root's men will be desperate to win the second test at Headingley and draw the series 1-1. Following that first test defeat however, not many might be willing to risk their cash at 8/15 on England, while the tourists can be backed at 10/3 with the Draw priced at 9/2.
Our resident cricket expert Ed Hawkins - who correctly predicted that Pakistan could cause a shock in the first test - will be here later in the week to preview the second test in full as well as give his very popular Hawk Eye statistical selections.
Warrior all set for battle at Epsom
The biggest Flat race in the calendar takes centre state at Epsom on Saturday as the 239th running of the Derby will see 8/11 odds-on favourite Saxon Warrior bid to retain his unbeaten tag. The Aidan O'Brien-trained three-year-old was sensational in the 2,000 Guineas, romping to victory in a race that was expected to be too short in distance, and with the extra four furlongs at Epsom almost certain to bring about more improvement, it will take a brave person to back against him. Second favourite at 6/1 is impressive York Dante winner Roaring Lion. The Dante is usually one of the most informative trials ahead of the Derby, and there was no doubting the manner in which John Gosden's colt destroyed a strong line-up, but as the trainer admitted himself, that victory just franked the form of Saxon Warrior who was someway clear of Roaring Lion at Newmarket.
Before Saturday's Derby we have the Fillies' Classic, the Epsom Oaks on Friday and this promises to be a far more competitive head with the Betfair Sportsbook currently going 7/2 the field. Don't forget to check back later in the week to read Tony Calvin's thoughts from a betting perspective on both races, and Ryan Moore's exclusive views on all his Epsom rides over the weekend.
England's World Cup starts now
Football - England v Nigeria
Saturday 2 June, 17:15
We're just two weeks away from the 2018 World Cup, and on Saturday Gareth Southgate's England - available to back at [19.0] in the Outright Winner market - commence their build-up with a Wembley International Friendly against Nigeria. Players from Liverpool - most notably Jordan Henderson - are unlikely to feature just one week after their Champions League disappointment, but Southgate should name a strong starting XI as he attempts to put the final pieces of the jigsaw together before the competition starts. The Three Lions are available to back at 2/5 on the Sportsbook, with Nigeria at 7/1 and the Draw at 10/3. We will have a full preview of the game here on betting.betfair on Friday morning.