Just a few days to go until Cheltenham and this weekend should get us in the mood for a great week ahead with some excellent sports action on Saturday.
Here are the Sporting Life team's best picks for the weekend.
- Click on the tipster's name for a more detailed preview and extra tips.
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A genuine Group 2 performer over seven furlongs, Oh This Is Us has a significant class edge on his Listed opponents in the Lady Wulfrana Stakes at Wolverhampton on Saturday. Also proven on the all-weather after his last couple of starts at Wolverhampton and Lingfield, his win at the latter track last time was a career-best effort. Those last two runs were over a mile, but he has the pace for this trip and could even improve for the drop back, if anything. He looks banker material.
Oly Murphy's charge caught the eye when second at Market Rasen last time, closing well having been badly positioned when the pace quickened. There's more to come and he's capable of going close off 131.
The form of his win at Chepstow in January continues to work out very well and he lost little caste in defeat at Carlisle next time. Sent off an even-money favourite, he narrowly failed to reel-in the freewheeling Budarri, making good headway three out but unable to quite reach the leader.
There’s a strong pace on the cards here which will help and while a four pounds higher mark means he’ll need to improve again, the Henry Oliver team continue to go well and a big run is on the cards.
Former Richard Hannon inmate Lethal Lunch has always been held in quite hard regard and he took his form to a new level when bolting up at Lingfield when last seen in September. Clive Cox handled his sire Lethal Force extremely well and it wouldn’t be a big surprise if Cox managed to develop the four-year-old into a Group-race performer through 2019. If that’s the case then a mark of 90 shouldn’t be beyond him and if he’s ready to rock first time out for the year, Saturday’s 32Red.com Handicap could be there for the taking.
Carries top weight for good reason as he's a class act on his day and most of his best days have come at Sandown. Will handle the conditions and keeps a few of these rivals out of the weights.
Scott Parker will have been keen to shore up the Fulham defence, but the Cottagers' away record has been the worst in the Premier League this term, collecting just two points from a possible 45 so far, and Brendan Rodgers' City side will be fired up and ready to go on his first home clash.
The Foxes have scored in both halves in four of their 10 wins this term and, even potentially without Jamie Vardy, they can burst out of the blocks and use their exciting and youthful attack to impress their new boss.
The price alone on them to win with over 1.5 total goals at 13/10 is appealing but the north Londoners to win to nil at 5/2 is the preferred option.
The Saints boast one of the league's worst scoring records on home turf in the Premier League with just 17 goals in 14 games at St Mary's, while Spurs are the strongest away side with 33 points collected on the road.
Palace did hit four at Leicester and three at Burnley, but playing on the counter away from home is arguably easier for a team like Palace than trying to force the issue at home, and Brighton have certainly proved capable of defending and keeping things tight. Palace have enough to win, but it shouldn't be a landslide.
The Hornets have a dreadful record on the road against the top six with 12 straight defeats, conceding an average of three goals a game. Watford will most likely try to sit in and try to avoid conceding another glut of goals, limiting their attacking abilities, and if so it will be a familiar story of City dominating and probing to look for openings - and they usually find them.
Once again, the conversations surrounding Bolton Wanderers Football Club are about matters off-the-field. That said, it hasn't been much better on it with the club battling the drop down to Sky Bet League One.
It's a battle that they will likely lose. Millwall aren't safe from trouble either. They are just one point above the relegation zone and have lost their last three. This is a cliche 'six-pointer' at the bottom end of the division.
However, Millwall will be confident of victory given the problems for their opponents. Neil Harris' men also picked up a surprise away win at promotion-chasing Derby too, while points have come in recent trips to Middlesbrough and Ipswich.
Nottingham Forest (to beat Hull)
Martin O'Neill's men have been strong at home, winning their last three at the City Ground. This week sees them take on a Hull side who have lost four of their last five away in all competitions, drawing the other.
Fleetwood (to beat Walsall)
Walsall have endured a torrid second-half of the season and now find themselves among the favourites for relegation. A win in their last home game against struggling Bradford ended a run of three consecutive home defeats. Fleetwood, on the other hand, have won their last three away and remain a contender for the play-offs.
Colchester (to beat Newport)
Both sides have seen mixed fortunes in recent weeks but Colchester are only out of the play-off positions on goal difference. They have lost just one of their last five at home and take on a Newport side who have failed to win in 13 of their 17 away games this season.
Bury (to beat Stevenage)
We may as well name the Manager of the Month award in League Two after Ryan Lowe given the fact he is winning it so many times this season. His title contenders Bury are away at Stevenage on Saturday, who have lost two of their last three at home - stretching their winless run to four. The Shakers can be confident here given how they are unbeaten in their last seven away in all competitions, five of which have been wins.
England’s winning margins in their last five matches against Italy read 41, 30, 31, 21 and 31.
But the handicap line is 35 in a place and I find that pretty insulting on current form, even if the weather appears dry and mild for Saturday at the time of writing, though it threatens to be a very windy day.
I am not a massive fan of the five changes England have made from the Wales game – especially the introduction of Ben Te’o at centre and Brad Shields at blindside and they are still shorn of two of their best workhorses in the pack in Mako Vunipola and Maro Itoje and you only have to go back to the turn of the decade to find three occasions when Italy stayed within a score of England – going down by just five points in 2010, four in 2012 and seven in 2013 – and they have rewarded their handicap backers in all of their three matches in this tournament, as well as all three half-time handicaps, too.
One suspects that the Ireland of 2018 would give these a 20-plus hammering, rather than the 13 points they are asked to concede on Sunday afternoon, but you have to be worried about the way they are playing at the moment.
They simply look a very tired and jaded outfit, and Italy really rattled them two weeks ago. Ireland should have kicked on from 12-3 up in the first-half but they were knocked out of their stride, though perhaps we are doing the Italians a disservice.
Matches between these sides in Dublin have been very even in recent years - exactly even in fact, with Ireland winning the last two matches (by 10 and 7), drawing 13-13 in 2013, and losing (by three and four points) in a brace of 2011 encounters.