There’s no shortage of sporting action to enjoy this weekend, including the return of the Premier League and the conclusion of the ATP Finals.
1. Premier League returns
The final international break of 2021 is over, and domestic action returns to the fore as clubs look to build some momentum ahead of the busy Christmas period.
There are plenty of talking points ahead of this weekend’s Premier League action, but Steven Gerrard’s first game in charge of Aston Villa deserves a special mention.
🦁 | Aston Villa to finish in the top half – 10/3
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— BETFRED (@Betfred) November 18, 2021
Gerrard has been drafted in as Dean Smith’s replacement after a run of five successive defeats, and he leads his new club out at home to Brighton on Saturday (Match betting – Aston Villa 7/5, draw 11/5, Brighton 15/8).
Meanwhile, leaders Chelsea head north to take on Leicester in Saturday’s 12:30 kick-off (Match betting – Leicester 18/5 draw 5/2, Chelsea 8/11) and Liverpool host an improving Arsenal at 17:30 (Match betting – Liverpool 9/20, draw 7/2, Arsenal 5/1).
2. Qatar hosts maiden Grand Prix
The Formula One campaign has been full of intrigue with Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton (4/6 Qatar GP outright) facing a battle to retain his title amid a serious challenge from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (7/4).
Hamilton trails Verstappen by 14 points with three races left to play out after the Brit put in one of his best-ever performances to scoop first place at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix last weekend.
They head to Qatar this weekend as the state hosts its first-ever event, and the pair are more than likely to be scrapping it out once again.
3. England looking for revenge
England and South Africa meet at Twickenham on Saturday (Match betting – England 11/10, draw 20/1, South Africa 4/5) in a repeat of the 2019 World Cup final when the latter ran out 32-12 winners.
South Africa, who have beaten Wales and Scotland during the Autumn Nations series, will need to be at the top of their game to prevail at Twickenham.
Wales are also in action on Saturday when Australia will attempt to bounce back from last weekend’s loss to England at the Principality Stadium (Match betting – Wales 4/6, draw 20/1, Australia 13/10).
4. ATP Finals draw to a close
The season-ending ATP Finals will conclude on Sunday, and defending champion Daniil Medvedev remains firmly in the mix.
Medvedev has already sealed his place in the semi-finals and will face either Novak Djokovic or Alexander Zverev if he comes through his last-four tie.
There’s still one spot in the semis up for grabs ahead of the final round of group games with Andrey Rublev and Casper Rudd, who meet on Friday, battling it out for the right to take on Medvedev (Match betting – Andrey Rublev 1/2, Casper Rudd 13/8).
5. McIlroy setting the pace
Rory McIlroy (6/4 DP World Tour Championship 2021 Outright) will hope to build on a fine opening round at the DP World Championship in the United Arab Emirates.
The world number eight hit four birdies and an eagle in the opening eight holes before going on to sign for a seven-under-par 65.
He sits two shots clear of Tapio Pulkkanen (66/1 DP World Tour Championship 2021 Outright), Joachim B Hansen (25/1) and Christiaan Bezuidenhout (12/1), while Race to Dubai leader Collin Morikawa (11/2) is a shot further back in a six-way tie for third.
McIlroy, who arrived at the tournament after returning to work with long-time coach Michael Bannon, is a two-time winner of the event.