Week in Sport Betting Preview 20 January : Australian Open, Premier League and Test Cricket tips
- 20 January - 2 February
- Live on BT Sport, Sky Sports and Eurosport
The Australian Open begins in Melbourne, the busy Premier League period continues and England’s Test series in South Africa reaches its conclusion in a cracking week of sport ahead.
Australian Open 20 January – 2 February
The first Grand Slam of the year is underway and it is set to be two fabulous weeks of tennis from Melbourne, although set against the tragic backdrop of the Australian bushfires.
In the men’s singles there is little getting away from the two favourites for the event and the top two players in the world, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. Of course others cannot be ruled out, the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem and obviously Roger Federer, but it looks very likely to be either Djokovic or Nadal lifting the trophy based on form over the last 18 months. The two men have shared the last seven Grand Slam titles with Djokovic leading 4-3 on that score.
The Serb is the favourite as the defending champion and seven-time winner in Melbourne, with Nadal only triumphing here once, way back in 2009. This is Djokovic’s tournament and he should be backed before he goes odds-on to win it.
The women’s singles is much more open as Serena Williams remains the clear favourite, but is not that appealing to back at this stage. Still a serious force, but at 38-years-old and without a Grand Slam title in three years, her short price should not tempt us in. It is better to look for a good value each-way bet in Melbourne.
With every chance of providing that value us Elina Svitolina who comes in as the number five seed, having reached the semi-finals of her last two Grand Slams. She improved significantly over 2019 and if she can remain on that upward curve she has every chance of winning a big one this year.
Nine of her 13 WTA titles have come on hard courts and while 2019 wasn’t her year for silverware, it certainly was for Grand Slam development as she matched or bettered her best run in three of the four Slams. Not the hardest draw, the Ukrainian is a good each-way shout.
Chelsea vs Arsenal - Tuesday 21 January
Two teams trying to find some consistency under new and inexperienced managers as Chelsea host Arsenal in the Premier League on Tuesday night. The Blues are further along in that process, with the Gunners only really just beginning under Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal do not have a good record at Stamford Bridge, last winning there way back in 2011 and these two teams met just last month at the Emirates, which Chelsea won 2-1.
Frank Lampard’s side are coming off a frustrating loss to Newcastle, while Arteta’s men were held to a draw at home by Sheffield United. Neither team is especially good, but Arsenal’s defence remains a serious problem and they are still struggling with a number of injuries. Chelsea’s pressing game is going to be a nightmare for David Luiz, Sokratis or Shkodran Mustafi at centre-back, while young Bukayo Saka filling in at left-back is an accident waiting to happen.
The Lampard revolution is more advanced that Arteta’s overhaul and the home side will win.
Wolves vs Liverpool - Thursday 23 January
Liverpool didn’t really need a psychological boost in the Premier League title race, but they got one by beating Manchester United on Sunday at Anfield, gaining revenge for their only dropped points of the season so far.
Now with seven clean sheets on the spin in all competitions, the Reds look as unstoppable as ever and are not about to come unstuck at Molineux on Wednesday night. Wolves are actually one of the very few teams to beat Liverpool in 2019, when they dumped them out of the FA Cup a year ago, but Jurgen Klopp’s men are even more solid now than they were then.
Wolves are impressive, but are not actually in great form, with their win over Southampton on Saturday their first in six games. In that time they lost 1-0 at Anfield at the end of December. Wolves may have scored three against the Saints but they have been a bit blunt of late and with Liverpool having tightened up their defence again this will be another win to nil for the Reds. As they have managed in their last four meetings with Wolves in the league.
South Africa vs England Fourth Test - Friday 24 January
After a shaky start to the tour of South Africa, England have responded brilliantly and now go into the final Test just needing to avoid defeat to claim the series.
The victory by an innings and 53 runs in the second Test was an absolute demolition of a side that looked like they had given up at times, especially with the bat. Despite winning the first Test of the series there are big problems in this South African side and they do not look ready to fight back in Johannesburg starting on Friday.
In contrast, England are brimming with confidence, with new star Ollie Pope and Ben Stokes both making hundreds in Port Elizabeth, while Stuart Broad, Dom Bess and oddly Joe Root were among the wickets. They may even bring Jofra Archer back into the side. All the momentum and confidence is with England and they should be backed, even at a short price.
- Djokovic and Nadal have shared the last seven Grand Slam titles
- Djokovic has won the Australian Open more than any other male player
- Serena Williams has not won a Grand Slam title in three years
- Elina Svitolina has reached the Australian Open quarter-finals in both the last two editions of the tournament
- Arsenal have not won at Stamford Bridge since 2011
- Chelsea beat Arsenal at the Emirates less than four weeks ago
- Wolves have not beaten Liverpool in the league since 2010
- Liverpool have kept seven clean sheets on the bounce
- England won by 7 wickets on their last visit to the Wanderers
- Ben Stokes is the leading run-scorer in the series with 288