Liverpool to win the Premier League – 4/7
Yes, Reds fans you read it here first (well in 2019 anyway), this is the bloody year.
Liverpool and Manchester City looked locked in a game of chicken as the Premier League rolled into early December, but it was Pep Guardola’s men who blinked first – losing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge at the start of the month and then falling foul of Leicester Foxes on Boxing Day.
Despite being seven points clear, no doubt Liverpool will pull a … well, Liverpool at some stage in the season and get turned over by a minnow unexpectedly (see Red Star Belgrade). However, Jurgen Klopp’s recent additions of Messrs Van Dijk, Keita and Fabinho – coupled with the emergence of Joe Gomez and Andy Robertson – mean that the Anfield outfit are made of sterner stuff these days.
That pattern of dropping points to sides they shouldn’t, may only be a one-time deal this season.
Klopp now has a side built for a marathon rather than a sprint (although with Salah, Mane and Firmino up front, they’d probably win one of them too) and we believe they can finally bridge the 29-year gap to be kings in England’s top tier again at 4/7.
LA Rams to win the Superbowl – 5/1
They may be less loved in Hollywood than Donald Trump’s star on the Walk of Fame, but Sean McVay has built a juggernaut at the LA Coliseum capable of intercepting the Vince Lombardi trophy.
In Jared Goff they’ve got an ice cool head on young shoulders who is capable of leading his franchise to the big dance multiple times in a long career to come. However, as always in the game of gridiron luck will play a part.
They’ll need to keep offensive sensation Todd Gurley on the field to keep up their scoreboard blitzes, especially given the injury to favourite Goff target Cooper Kupp and they’ll also require their defensive stars like Michael Brockers, Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald to keep their feet on the gas pedal to get the ball back into Goff intelligent hands, if they are to go all the way after an impressive 13-3 regular season effort.
Finally, one suspects the weather could also play a part, as surprisingly the Rams don’t seem too fond of grazing out in the cold. If they can keep as many games as possible in the warm climate of Los Angeles, then don’t be surprised to see McVay, Goff and Co lifting the grand-daddy of them all at 5/1 in early February.
Novak Djokovic to win the Australian Open – 5/4
You know the way you promise yourself to go to back to the gym in the new year, only to give it up two weeks into January?
Well, Novak Djokovic is like that one guy in a thousand that actually sticks with it and shoves it in your face in the pub while he sips a tasty tonic water. The super Serb loves nothing more than starting the year on the right foot and his SIX career Australian Open victories to back up that theory perfectly.
With both Rafa Nadal and Andy Murray on the treatment table more than Daniel Sturridge these days and Roger Federer’s robotic wiring finally showing its age, who is out there to stop Novak claiming a seventh title at Melbourne Park?
Alexander Zverev may be the only one of the sport’s new breed with a shot having recently won the ATP Tour finals in November, but he’s never reached the mountain top at Grand Slam level and we’re backing the favourite Down Under at 5/4.
Ronnie O’Sullivan to win the World Snooker Championship – 3/1
Amazingly, it’s been six years since The Rocket blasted his way to victory at the Crucible Theatre and yet, he remains the sport’s main man.
There’s no doubt who those making the pilgrimage to Sheffield are paying to see and O’Sullivan is showing major signs of fancying the big prize again.
He’s already banked the Shanghai Masters, the Champion of Champions tournament and the UK Championship this season, while he’s also closing in on a magnificent 1,000 career century breaks.
Such is the talent of the man, much of the time only Ronnie can beat himself and we reckon he’s primed to claim his sport’s richest prize once more at 3/1.
Ireland to win the Grand Slam – 5/2
This might seem a big call given that Ireland have only ever claimed the Grand Slam three times in their entire history, but honestly who can you see beating the lads in green at the moment?
Not even World Champions New Zealand could manage to put a blot in Joe Schmidt’s column in November as they were beaten for the first time on Irish soil in the November series. You can also bet your bottom dollar the Kiwi coach will want to send out a serious message during the Six Nations, ahead of the Rugby World Cup later in the year.
Ireland also have the so-call ‘easier route’ to the Grand Slam as they welcome England and France to the Aviva Stadium in 2019. Given that they managed it the harder way last year, we see no reason they can’t do it all again this time around at 5/2.
After all this lot love a bit of history making, don’t they?
* All odds correct at time of posting.