Weekend Talking Points: Monaco GP, Giro and UCL Final the highlights
Preview and odds for the weekend’s sport
Bank Holiday weekend means a bumper three days of sporting action from across the UK and Europe.
The Champions League Final is the pick of the bunch on Saturday evening, but there’s also the small matter of the Monaco Grand Prix, the Rugby Union Premiership Final and the conclusion of the Giro d’Italia to fawn over.
The Coral News Team have cast their eye over all of the vital action on a bumper weekend of sport…
Big names key in Kiev
Big games are often decided by big players. Think Zinedine Zidane v Bayer Leverkusen in 2002 or Steven Gerrard inspiring Liverpool’s comeback against AC Milan in 2005. This year it’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah who are tasked with stepping up to the plate in the Champions League Final.
The pair have netted a combined 25 goals in the UCL this season. Both have been exceptional throughout the campaign and are expected to light up the stage in Kiev on Saturday. Salah is 19/20 to net Anytime against 3/4 for Ronaldo.
Villa and Fulham face-off
Over 85,000 fans are expected to pack out Wembley Stadium on Saturday evening as Fulham and Aston Villa meet in the Championship Play-Off Final. Both sides have been exceptional in the second-tier this season, but only one of them can land the estimated £170m prize and a place in the Premier League.
Cottagers boss Slavisa Jokanovic has already stoked the fires ahead of the match, calling opponents Aston Villa an “old and tired” team. He’ll be relying on young guns Ryan Sessegnon (19/10 Anytime) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (6/4) to do the business in North London.
But Villans chief Steve Bruce is a wily old fox. He’s going for a fifth promotion from the Championship and will be looking towards Lewis Grabban (11/5 Anytime) to spearhead the Midlands charge.
Hamilton and Vettel duel in Monaco
One of the most exciting F1 seasons in recent years heads to Monte Carlo on Sunday for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton chalked up a second win on the bounce in Barcelona last time out to extend his lead over title rival Sebastian Vettel to 17 points. The pair have both won two races apiece this season, but our traders think the duo could be outgunned by Red Bull in the principality.
Exeter v Saracens at Twickenham…again
It’s becoming a regular occurrence that one –or both – of Exeter Chiefs and Saracens contest the Rugby Union Premiership Final. The pair went head-to-head in the 2016 showpiece and at least one of the sides has been involved in every final since 2014.
And while the Chiefs may have finished top of the league during the regular season, it’s Sarries who are favourites at Twickenham on Saturday. Mark McCall’s men are 4/5 to claim a fourth crown against 5/4 for the Chiefs, who are bidding for a second consecutive win.
The performances of Owen Farrell and Gareth Steenson will be vital to the outcome of the match.
Can Simon Yates hold on in Italy?
If you’ve been following the Giro d’Italia these past two weeks, you should be in for a treat this weekend. The 101st edition of the three-week Grand Tour has been headed by Britain’s Simon Yates for over a fortnight since the Mitchelton-Scott rider first claimed the pink jersey on 6th May.
The 25-year-old looked almost certain to win the Giro earlier this week but a late fightback from Dutch ace Tom Dumoulin has reduced his chances. Yates still has the advantage at even-money, but 6/4 chance Dumoulin is now right back amongst it ahead of Sunday’s finale.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing