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 - Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes

When: Saturday

Where: Doncaster

TV: ITV Racing/Sky Sports Racing

Sky Bet odds

The British Flat season takes another step closer to its conclusion with the Group One Vertem Futurity Trophy Stakes at Doncaster on Saturday.

This race has proven a stepping stone to many a classic success in recent years and Magna Grecia ran out a game winner at Doncaster 12 months ago before going on to win the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket the following spring.

His trainer, Aidan O'Brien, has plenty of entries to choose from again this year and it looks a safe bet to assume that his Ballydoyle team will be a particularly strong one once more.

Football - Champions League

When: Tuesday/Wednesday

Where: Europse

TV: BT Sport

Sky Bet odds

The Champions League returns on Tuesday night, and while there aren’t the same blockbusters we have been treated to in recent weeks, there’s still plenty of interest in the games being played.

Manchester City will be looking to continue their perfect start as they welcome Atalanta to the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s men have won two from two and are yet to concede – something that they will aim to continue on Tuesday.

For Tottenham, they were embarrassed in a 7-2 defeat at home to Bayern Munich in their last European contest and will be wanting to make amends as Serbian side Crvena Zvezda make the trip to North London. Spurs are bottom of their group but victory could fire them into the second.

On Wednesday, Chelsea are one of the two earlier 17:55 kick-offs as they go to Ajax. The Dutch champions were denied a spot in the final when they were stunned by Tottenham’s second-half fightback in the semi-final last season, but there have been no signs of a hangover as they possess a 100% record in Group H. Ajax are also yet to concede after two games.

For Liverpool, they are in Belgium taking on a Genk side who currently prop up the group. Jurgen Klopp’s men survived a scare in their last Group E fixture as they held off a fightback from FC Salzburg. Victory here could take them above their Austrian rivals in the standings.

Rugby Union - World Cup semi-finals; England v New Zealand

When: Saturday

Where: International Stadium, Yokohama

TV: ITV

Sky Bet odds

The best two teams of the competition to date meet in this mouth-watering encounter, the first time the two have clashed at a World Cup since 1999.

History is against England, having failed to beat New Zealand in their three previous World Cup meetings, including losing the 1995 semi-final 45-29 to a Jonah Lomu inspired All Blacks.

To add to that, England last beat the Kiwis in 2012, losing the next six, but were unlucky to lose by just a point last November. However England have built nicely in Japan and will truly believe they can finally end New Zealand’s dominance, especially when history shows they can be vulnerable at the semi-final stage, scrapping passed South Africa by just two points in 2015.

Golf – PGA and European Tours

When: Thursday to Sunday

Where: Portugal Masters and Zozo Championship

Sky Bet odds

It’s the final European Tour event of the regular season in Portugal, and that means playing rights for 2020 are on the line as some of the lesser lights play under intense pressure at Dom Pedro Victoria.

Watch out for the big hitters here, including defending champion Tom Lewis, in an event which has again failed to attract the stars of the circuit.

Meanwhile the PGA Tour breaks new ground by teeing it up in Japan for the first time in the Zozo Championship.

Tiger Woods is in the field here along with local hope Hideki Matsuyama and, in contrast to the Portugal Masters, it’s an elite event which is sure to generate plenty of interest.

Don’t forget to get your bets on early, though, with play under way in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Formula One - Mexican Grand Prix

When: Sunday

Where: Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez

TV: Sky Sports F1

Sky Bet odds

Famous vegan Lewis Hamilton can secure his sixth F1 Drivers’ Championship if beating team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 14 points or more in the Mexican Grand Prix.

Hamilton, whose Mercedes team wrapped up the constructors’ title in Japan, has only taken the chequered flag in this race once, in 2016, and has in fact failed to finish on the podium in each of the last two years.

The layers expect that trend to come to an end here – he’s odds-on for a top-three finish and challenging for favouritism to win the race – but as well as Bottas and the Ferrari duo, watch out for track specialist Max Verstappen.

Either way it should be a return to normality in the world of F1 after a typhoon wreaked havoc at Suzuka.

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