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Ravi looks a good bet to get runs.


ENGLAND'S cricketers get their summer under way in earnest on Tuesday as they take on Sri Lanka in a one-off T20 contest at the Oval.

Despite a tough winter, the hosts get the nod from bookies at 10-11 via Ladbrokes to overcome the tourists, Stan James' 11-10 outsiders.

But that looks a touch lop-sided given that the Sri Lankans landed the T20 World Cup a few months ago. They have lost Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene since then, which levels the playing field somewhat, but they may still have the edge.

Nevertheless, in betting terms there's still value to be had where England are concerned, not least in the 'Top Batsman' market, where Ravi Bopara is slightly overpriced at 14-1 (Paddy Power).

Next Saturday's Champions League final is a mouth-watering derby between the two Madrid clubs and it's Real, at 11-10 (Stan James) that are favoured by bookies to get the better of neighbours Atletico, 13-5 at BetVictor to prevail in normal time.

However, the underdogs have enjoyed an incredible season and, having defeated Barcelona in the semi-final, there's no reason they can't stifle their rivals. They look decent value at 11-8 via bet365 to lift the trophy.

No less important to supporters of Cambridge and Gateshead is this afternoon's Conference play-off final showdown at Wembley.

The U's are betway's 27-20 favourites to win in normal time but form and momentum is undoubtedly with the Heed, who look a steal at 11-5 via BetVictor to emerge triumphant.

Finally, the announcement of England's World Cup squad on Monday, did little to convince punters that they can go all the way in Brazil and subsequently Roy Hodgson's troops remain an unlikely-looking 33-1 chance at Stan James to lift the famous trophy.

BEST BETS Ravi Bopara to be England's top batsman v Sri Lanka in T20 - 14-1 (Paddy Power) Atletico Madrid to win the Champions League - 11-8 (bet365) Gateshead to beat Cambridge in normal time - 11-5 (BetVictor)
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:May 18, 2014

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