Sporting Life pick out five betting highlights for the week ahead

Sporting Life picks out the top five sporting events of the week not to be missed
Sporting Life picks out the top five sporting events of the week not to be missed

Every week throughout the year, 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.

We continue with five sporting highlights for the week ahead.

Racing - Betfair Chase

When: Saturday

Where: Haydock

TV: ITV & Racing TV

Bristol De Mai heads to Haydock on Saturday to bid for an unprecedented third successive victory in the Betfair Chase. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ charge was forced to miss his intended reappearance in the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase at Wetherby following a small setback but was reported to be firing on all cylinders by our columnist Daryl Jacob after he schooled him last week.

He’s favourite to win it – and that’s no surprise given how effective he is around the Newton-Le-Willows venue and in the forecast deep ground. But he faces a new challenger this time around in the shape of Lostintranslation, one of last season’s leading novice chasers and a very impressive winner at Carlisle on his reappearance. He took lengths out of his rivals at every fence at the Cumbrian track and his slick jumping and positive tactics, mean the market leader won’t get it all his own way at the head of affairs.

With the race forming leg one of the £1million of the Jockey Club’s Triple Crown bonus a strong field is assured and Frodon, Ballyoptic and Elegant Escape are all pencilled in but the market has it right. It looks a clash between Bristol De Mai and Lostintranslation and a thrilling duel is in store from the moment the tapes go up.

Darts - Christy 1965 Chase

When: Saturday

Where: Ascot

TV: ITV & Racing TV

Altior v Cyrname, over two and a half miles, at Ascot – what National Hunt dreams are made of.

Well, that’s what lies in store on Saturday as steeplechasing’s two powerhouses are set to lock horns in an unmissable, early-season Grade Two blockbuster.

The Nicky Henderson-trained Altior will be bidding for a remarkable 20th straight success over obstacles but Paul Nicholls’ Cyrname has earned a higher official rating, primarily based on his sensational Ascot efforts last season.

Something has to give but for jumps fans it simply looks a case of a race to savour.

Golf - DP World Tour Championship

When: Thursday to Sunday

Where: Dubai

TV: Sky Sports Golf

The European Tour season comes to a conclusion in Dubai, where it's all to play for in the DP World Tour Championship.

While the tournament itself is sure to provide drama - last year, Danny Willett emerged from his slump to win in style - much of the focus will be on the Race to Dubai, with Bernd Wiesberger leading the way.

The Austrian, who has won three times this season, knows he'll need to dig deep for one more push as Shane Lowry, Jon Rahm and Tommy Fleetwood could all overhaul him.

Rahm won the event two years ago, when Fleetwood took the Race To Dubai, while Lowry played well in the event in 2018 and will have been focusing on it for some time.

Excitement is guaranteed as another season ends in the Middle East.

Football - Wales v Hungary

When: Tuesday

Where: Cardiff

TV: Sky Sports

Wales have given themselves a chance for automatic qualification for Euro 2020 and now need a win from their final game against Hungary at home to return to the European Championship finals – where they famously reached the last four in France in 2016.

Ryan Giggs and his men will have the Cardiff City Stadium bouncing in support with the hosts knowing only a win will do to avoid the murky world of the play-offs.

Wales lost the away fixture 1-0 so there’s not too much to be scared of, and they’re odds-on favourites at 8/11 to get the job done. They’re also unbeaten in the four qualifiers since that defeat in Hungary, and with Gareth Bale fit and firing they’ll fancy their chances of making a return to major championship football.

Football - Premier League

When: Saturday

Where: All over!

TV: Not at 3pm, pal

The Premier League returns from another international break and there’s no time to settle back into club life as the games come thick and fast with plenty on the line.

West Ham face Tottenham in a tasty London derby to kick things off, and both sides are under pressure as two of the biggest under-performers this season.

In the 3pm starts, Everton face fellow strugglers Norwich, Arsenal welcome Southampton to the Emirates in another clash of two under-pressure managers, while leaders Liverpool face a testing trip to Selhurst Park to face former manager Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace.

The big game comes on Saturday teatime, as Pep Guardiola faces the rare situation of going into a game needing to answer a few critics after Man City's loss at Anfield – with Frank Lampard’s flying Chelsea visiting the Etihad.

Chelsea have been on a hot streak of late and they’ll be high on confidence and fancy taking on City’s dodgy defence, but they’re not that great at the back themselves – there should be goals on the Saturday night menu.

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