Sporting Life pick out five betting highlights for the week ahead

Sporting Life picks out the top five events or fixtures of the week
Sporting Life picks out the top five events or fixtures of the week

Every week throughout summer, Sporting Life will pick out five highlights so you never miss a beat.

Our writers will provide all of the key information such as TV channels and kick-off times, plus the latest odds from Sky Bet and, finally, their own unmissable verdict.

With Royal Ascot starting on Tuesday and both the U21 European Championship and the Copa America ensuring that the football bandwagon rolls on, there's plenty to talk about across our key sports.

Another golf major in July, the ICC Cricket World Cup, Wimbledon and the World Athletics Championship are other main events we'll cover along with the latest from the world of darts.

We continue with five sporting highlights for the week ahead, from June 17-23

Racing - Royal Ascot

When: Tuesday June 18-Saturday June 22

Where: Ascot, Berkshire

TV: ITV and Sky Sports Racing

Sky Bet Royal Ascot betting odds

Flat racing's showpiece meeting gets under way on Tuesday with the St James's Palace Stakes one of three Group One events on a fantastic opening day in Berkshire.

Irish 2000 Guineas hero Phoenix Of Spain will once again lock horns with Too Darn Hot while last year's winner Accidental Agent heads a competitive field in the opening race of the meeting, the Queen Anne Stakes.

Battaash will be the star attraction in the King's Stand Stakes but faces high-class opposition in the form of Blue Point and Mabs Cross while Aidan O'Brien's Arizona is likely to go off a warm order in a typically intriguing renewal of the Group Two Coventry Stakes.

On Wednesday, Magical and Sea Of Class are set to do battle in the the Prince Of Wales Stakes before the Group One action continues on Thursday when Stradivarius will bid to win back-to-back Gold Cups.

On Friday, the three-year-old sprinters take centre stage in the Commonwealth Cup followed by the older brigade in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes 24 hours later.

Along with the feast of Group One action, there will be plenty of punting opportunities in the famous Royal Ascot handicaps which include the Royal Hunt Cup and Britannia Stakes.

Best bet: Gunnery in Tuesday's 5.00 (Ben Linfoot)

Cricket - Afghanistan v England

When: Tuesday June 16

Where: Old Trafford

TV: Sky Sports Cricket with highlights on Channel 4

Sky Bet odds: Afghanistan 12/1, England 1/33

England's World Cup campaign continues in Manchester on Tuesday as they take on competition debutants Afghanistan in Manchester.

England have made amends for their shock defeat to Pakistan with commanding victories over Bangladesh and the West Indies and will be confident of taking another step towards the knockout stages with Tuesday's opponents, Afghanistan, yet to make an impact in the competition.

Despite boasting a potent spin attack that includes the likes of Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, Afghanistan's batting has struggled to adapt to English conditions and they currently sit bottom of the table.

Despite injury scares to captain Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy, England's biggest threat might come from the current wet spell and they will be hoping the British summer finally shows its face.

Best bet: Ben Stokes top England batsman (Richard Mann)

Football - England U21 v France U21

When: Tuesday June 18

Where: Stadio Dino Manuzzi

TV: Sky Sports Football

Sky Bet odds: England 6/4, France 9/5, Draw 11/5

England U21's kick off their UEFA European Championship campaign against France on Tuesday with a tough opening match expected.

With Croatia and Romania also housed in Group C, both sides will see this is a big opportunity to take the ascendancy on the road to qualifying for the next stage of the competition.

England beat Italy 2-1 back in November with Dominic Solanke netting both, and in fact he's got five goals in his last four games for the Under-21s so there's plenty to like about his chances of finding the back of the net again.

Best bet: Dominic Solanke to score anytime v France

Formula One - French Grand Prix

When: Sunday June 23

Where: Circuit Paul Ricard

TV: Sky Sports F1

Sky Bet odds

After just under two weeks for us all to catch our breath, the Formula One season resumes with the French Grand Prix on Sunday where Sebastian Vettel is sure to attract plenty of attention.

Vettel was first past the post in the recent Canadian Grand Prix, only for a controversial five-second penalty to hand victory to arch-rival Lewis Hamilton.

Vettel was understandably distraught at the conclusion of the race and made his feelings known, most notably when in front of Hamilton's parked-up Mercedes, the German driver removing the board saying Hamilton had finished first and replacing it with the second-place marker reserved for his Ferrari.

With Hamilton powering towards another Drivers' Championship, Vettel will be desperate to set the record straight in France and get his own title bid back on track.

Best bets:

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Golf - Travelers Championship

When: Thursday June 20-Sunday June 23

Where: TPC River Highlands

TV: Sky Sports Golf

Sky Bet odds

Stars of the PGA Tour head to Cromwell, Connecticut, for the traditional post-US Open comedown at the Travelers Championship.

One of the most popular events on the schedule, the Travelers has again attracted a stellar field including three-time winner Bubba Watson, who will bid to bounce back from a missed cut in the US Open.

This year's renewal is made all the more enticing by the presence of Matthew Wolff and Viktor Hovland, two stars in college for Oklahoma who will make their professional debuts alongside each other.

Hovland signed off a brilliant amateur career by making the cut in the US Open, having also done so in the Masters, while Wolff's unique swing has been the talk of the amateur circuit - along with his impressive list of achievements - over the last 12 months.

With Brooks Koepka, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Cantlay, both halves of 'Moliwood', Phil Mickelson, Jason Day and Justin Thomas all set to appear, it promises to be one of the strongest fields of the season outside of the majors.

Best bet: Emiliano Grillo each-way (Ben Coley)

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Simon Holt: Story time at Ascot

The top commentator has four bets for day two of Royal Ascot, including 22/1 and 25/1 fancies in the Royal Hunt Cup.

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French late show sinks England

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Racing Tips

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Oli Bell: Jalmoud can shine

Our tipster expects Charlie Appleby to make a flying start to day two of Royal Ascot and he has a 33/1 fancy for the Hunt Cup.

Agrotera is backed by Simon Holt

Simon Holt: Story time at Ascot

The top commentator has four bets for day two of Royal Ascot, including 22/1 and 25/1 fancies in the Royal Hunt Cup.

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