IVORY COAST TO WIN THE AFRICAN NATIONS CUP @ 7/4 PINNACLE
The Elephants have been perennial underachievers but, after finishing as runners-up last year, this could be the time their golden generation finally comes good in South Africa. Apart from losing out on penalties to Zambia in the final of this competition 12 months ago, having reached that decider with five straight wins without conceding a single goal, Ivory Coast were otherwise unbeaten in 2012. The likes of Didier Drogba, Yaya Toure and Didier Zokora have a wealth of experience, while the supporting cast includes highly-rated Premier League performers such as Arouna Kone and Cheick Tiote.
BARCELONA TO WIN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL @ 5/2 WIDELY AVAILABLE
Scuppered at the semi-final stage by Chelsea last season but the Catalan giants look on course to regain the European crown they claimed for the third time in six years when outclassing Manchester United in the 2011 decider. Wembley was the scene of that impressive triumph and few will be betting against Barca returning to England’s national stadium this term.
RORY McILROY TO WIN A MAJOR IN 2013 @ 6/4 BOYLESPORTS AND PADDY POWER
Followed up his 2011 US Open triumph by taking the USPGA Championship in 2012, each time destroying the opposition to romp home by an amazing eight shots. After enjoying a Ryder Cup victory, he went on to top the money list on both the European Tour and the PGA Tour last season, with a series of outstanding performances. Nothing appears to faze the talented Northern Irishman on the course and as long as girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki doesn’t prove too much of a distraction off it, McIlroy will surely continue to shine.
ANDY MURRAY TO WIN A GRAND SLAM EVENT IN 2013 @ 8/15 STAN JAMES
Buoyed by picking up a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, when routing Roger Federer in the final, Murray broke his grand slam duck at the US Open, becoming the first British winner of a major crown since Fred Perry in 1936. The confidence gained from ending a run of four straight grand slam final defeats will only strengthen his resolve ahead of the new season.
ENGLAND TO WIN THE ASHES SERIES @ 8/13 WIDELY AVAILABLE
England prevailed for the third time in the last four Ashes series when winning in Australia a couple of years ago and the manner of that 3-1 triumph suggests they can continue to have the upper hand against the old enemy.
ENGLAND TO WIN THE SIX NATIONS @ 5/2 LADBROKES
Stuart Lancaster has been rebuilding the England side and after playing well in defeat against both Australia and South Africa, everything came together with a resounding triumph over the mighty All Blacks at Twickenham. That amazing victory, which ended New Zealand’s 20-game unbeaten run, should be a springboard to future success and they are fancied to repeat their 2011 triumph in this competition.
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS TO WIN SERIES AGAINST AUSTRALIA @ 5/6 BLUE SQUARE AND STAN JAMES
England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales will unite to seek a first series win since 1997 and the feeling is they will seldom get a better chance to come out on top in the southern hemisphere.
JUDD TRUMP TO WIN THE WORLD SNOOKER CHAMPIONSHIP @ 5/1 BOYLESPORTS
With defending champion Ronnie O’Sullivan taking a sabbatical, Trump can confirm his status as the new king of the green baize.
Odds correct at time of writing