Sky Bet tells us who they are expecting to collect the major honours across the sporting world in 2013
By Tim Clement - Twitter: @SkyTimClement. Last Updated: 02/01/13 2:49pm
Barcelona: Favourites to claim Europe's top club prize in 2013
Football - Spain to reign
With the African Cup of Nations the only international tournament next year, it is all about club competition in 2013.
Manchester United will head into the New Year as favourites for the Premier League title in what has panned out into a two-horse race with neighbours Manchester City.
In the Champions League, it would be a real surprise if one of Spain's big two fails to lift the trophy, with Barcelona 5/2 favourites ahead of Real Madrid (100/30), while another Spanish side, Atletico Madrid, head the betting for the Europa League at 7/1.
Sky Bet Football Trader Chris Spicer says: "We anticipate that Spain will continue to show their dominance of the game with their club sides head and shoulders above the rest, but it should be another intriguing battle between the two Manchester clubs for the Premier League title."
Cricket - Unbeatable England?
Further glory is expected for England in 2013 as we make them strong favourites to beat New Zealand and then retain the Ashes on home turf. We actually consider Alastair Cook's men as marginal favourites to triumph again in the following Ashes series, which starts at the end of the year. England firmly established themselves as the world's number two Test nation in 2012 but it's hard to see them knocking South Africa off the top of the rankings given how low New Zealand, who are faced home and away, are ranked. For those fancying another sensational year, we're offering 20/1 for the Three Lions to remain unbeaten in 2013 Test matches.
Golf - Rory rules, Colsaerts comes through
Rory McIlroy heads both the PGA Tour Money List and the Race to Dubai markets again at 11/4 and 5/4 after winning both in 2012.
Obviously the four majors play an enormous part in deciding who will win these markets each year and McIlroy is favourite the win the first of the year, the Masters, but it is Tiger Woods who heads The Open betting at 9/1.
Sky Bet trader John Rhodes says: "A host of Europeans head over to America for their rookie campaigns including Martin Kaymer, Peter Hanson, Ross Fisher and Nicolas Colsaerts. I personally think the 'Belgium bomber' Colsaerts could thrive on the target golf courses in the states, and 13/2 to be 'Top Rookie' could be a nice price.
"One player to look out for in 2013 on either side of the pond is Moritz Lampert. The young German came through all three stages of Q School at the end of 2012 to gain a full card and, while a win in 2013 might be out of the question, it won't be too many years before he gains multiple titles."
Tennis - Big four become top two
The battle for dominance in 2013 is expected to be played out between Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray amid questions surrounding Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. We are expecting further Grand Slam glory for Murray, going odds-on that he will add to his US Open title in 2013 and making him second favourite for three of the four majors. However, Djokovic's consistency and superior ability to rack up points on the clay puts him at the head of our betting to end 2013 as world number one, while he is favourite for everything except the French Open, which could change if Nadal struggles to rediscover his fitness. While it would be extremely foolish to write Federer off, it's hard to see him repeating the success of 2013 and we make him third favourite to retain his Wimbledon title.
Formula 1 - Vettel the man to stop again
It is hard to see Sebastian Vettel not being mightily competitive next season, but we must not forget about Fernando Alonso who finished 2012 only three points behind the youngest ever three-time world champion in an arguably inferior car. Big question marks surround Lewis Hamilton's chances after he transferred to Mercedes for 2013 - a team that struggled to even get in the points towards the end of this year, let alone challenging the frontrunners. Having said that, the Ross Brawn-led team may have opted to put more effort into developing the successor of their W03 model than improving the current version, so do not be surprised if the Brackley-based team will be competitive from the off. With the departure of Hamilton, Jenson Button has now become the number one driver at McLaren, who will be partnering 22-year-old Mexican up-and-comer Sergio Perez. McLaren often looked to be the fastest car on the grid in 2012, and if their reliability was better they would have finished a lot closer to the top. For many, Button will be a tempting each-way bet at 8/1.
Horse Racing - Gamble on Camelot
Last year's triple-classic winner Camelot stays in training in 2013 and he is going to be very hard to beat in races from 10-12 furlongs. We expect him prove what a good horse he is after his season tailed off slightly with defeats in the St Leger and Arc. Former top jump jockey Graham Lee has made a great transition from National Hunt riding to the flat and 2013 looks set to be a big year for this stylish rider and he could even be challenging for champion jockey. In the National Hunt, Sprinter Sacre is the best two-mile chaser around by some distance and the Queen Mother Champion Chase is going to be his for a few years to come. Betting on the Grand National is wide open, with On His Own and Seabass the 16/1 antepost favourites.
Rugby union - Lions roar to victory
As well as the Aviva Premiership Grand Final and the 6 Nations, 2013 has added impetus with the return of the British and Irish Lions tour of Australia.
The Lions start the year as 8/13 favourites to come out on top in the series, but there is plenty of action to go before then which could significantly impact those odds. The home nations will be competing in the 6 Nations long before the tour Down Under, yet it is the French who currently own the favourites tag at 2/1. As expected, Scotland and Italy start the year as long outsiders at 20/1 and 150/1 respectively. In club rugby, Leicester remain 7/4 favourites to win the Aviva Premiership Grand Final, yet they don't fare as well in the odds for the Heineken Cup. The Tigers are 20/1 to win the European competition as the French outfits Toulon and Clermont are joint favourites at 4/1.
Rugby league - The world awaits...
2013 has the potential to become the most important year in the sport's history. The World Cup is on home soil and the marketing campaigns have been in full flow throughout 2012. As with the majority of international tournaments, the Aussies go into it as massive favourites at 2/7 with England following at 5/1. It is much closer in the World Club Challenge however, and we find it impossible to pick a favourite between Leeds Rhinos and Melbourne Storm for the clash at Headingley in February. In Super League, Warrington are favourites to win the Grand Final this year at 5/2 after being beaten by the Rhinos in that fixture in 2012. Sky Bet's Rugby League Trader, Dave Sykes says: "We presume that it will be one of the 'big four' who will finish the season at the top of the tree again this year and this is reflected in the betting, with St Helens and Wigan separate Warrington and Leeds."
British heavyweight hope David Price faces two-time world title challenger Tony Thompson in February, and a win may prompt the Liverpudlian to go looking for Wladimir Klitschko. American Thompson has twice lost to the dominant Ukrainian, but undefeated Price saw his reputation surge with every fight in a glorious 2012, in which he made light work of four high-profile British opponents. Price may have to face and defeat the likes of Dereck Chisora before Klitschko will take him seriously, though, while we're already taking bets on a potential bout with trash-talker Tyson Fury. Either way, a world title challenge in the latter stages of 2013 is not out of the question, with Price in the good hands of promoter Frank Maloney.
Best of the rest...
The 2013 Sports Personality of the Year odds give a pretty good indication of who else we expect to deliver the goods. Jessica is the second favourite behind Murray as she heads to the World Championships as a huge favourite to claim gold in the heptathlon, while Mo Farah will also have the chance to add to his Olympic glory. Chris Froome is expected to lead the Team Sky charge at the Tour de France this year so is ahead of Bradley Wiggins in the betting at 11/4, although Alberto Contador is our favourite. Across the pond, San Francisco are favourites for Super Bowl XLVII, Washington head the World Series betting, Miami are the team to stop in the NBA, while Pittsburgh are our fancy for the Stanley Cup.