Paul Krishnamurty - Back Paul Casey @ [29.0]
It seems bizarre to see Paul Casey languishing outside the world's top-100 and he needs to do something miraculous in order to qualify for the forthcoming WGC events. The good news is he's definitely on the way back, illustrated by the fact he's ranked inside the top-25 of the pivotal greens in regulation stats on all of his last seven starts. The putts haven't started dropping yet, but perhaps they will at a venue where he's repeatedly fared well in the past. In five previous attempts at the Emirates Course, Paul has never missed the top-20.
Dan Geraghty - Back Rafael Cabrera-Bello @ [34.0]
I must admit, I'm left scratching my head a little this week, the list of players that have played well at the Emirates golf club is varied (although the last three winners have Spanish nationality in common). However, one player I'm sure will go well is defending champion Rafael Cabrera-Bello. The Spaniard upped his game last year with a career best 17th finish in the Race to Dubai. His win at this tournament ranks as the finest moment of his career to date and he can't wait to defend the title, saying "I really enjoy the Desert Swing and feel very comfortable out here in the sunshine, being surrounded by palm trees". Which perhaps goes some way to explaining the recent Spanish dominance. Like last year, Cabrera-Bello has started the season solidly and everything points to a strong defence.
Steve Rawlings - Back Shane Lowry @ [61.0]
Just as there was last week in Qatar, there's a really strong correlation between this week's venue, the Emirates in Dubai, and Oceânico Victoria, home of the Portugal Masters. Of the six winners to date in Portugal, two have also won the Dubai Desert Classic (Richard Green and Alvaro Quiros) and Lee Westwood, the Portugal Masters winner in 2009 has finished second at this event in two of the last three renewals. The association between the two venues is crystal clear and although he hasn't played brilliantly here yet, last year's Portugal Masters winner, Shane Lowry, has shown an aptitude for desert golf in Abu Dhabi and he looks the best value on display in Dubai this week.
Mike Norman - Back Michael Campbell @ [61.0]
There's something romantic about seeing an old favourite return to some very good form, and I dare say there's not a golf fan out there who would begrudge Michael Campbell another victory. This eight-time European Tour and former US Open winner has had two very respectable finishes during the Gulf Swing (17th and 16th), and both should arguably have been better but for a couple of average final round displays. He has no form at all to recommend him at this venue, but then he's never had his game in such good order as it is now when competing here in previous years.
Joe Dyer - Back Romain Wattel @ [81.0]
I'm putting my faith in youth this week with a tentative each-way stab at Romain Wattel. This long-hitter has been relatively accurate in recent weeks when making the cut in both Abu Dhabi and Qatar and a 12th place in Dubai last year shows a liking for the course. Let's hope the 22-year-old has got himself tuned up at the last two events, ready to go a few places better this week. Two second-places last year show he has the ability to go close.