In the last 10 years cyclists and one tennis player have accounted for six winners of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year. This year’s award appears to be a four way battle and the only contender from those sports is Geraint Thomas who won the Tour de France. However, his prospects won’t be helped by the perception that the sport has a doping problem. That may or may not be true but Thomas is also at a disadvantage as the Tour was shown on ITV4 which is a minority channel compared to the ITV main channel and the BBC.
The last decade has also seen winners from Formula 1, athletics, football and horse racing. Ryan Giggs and Sir Anthony McCoy were subject to campaigns within their sport to get them the honour. Last year’s winner, Mo Farah, was a big outsider and an interview on the night which was gate crashed by one of his young children could have been the decisive factor. A year ago Anthony Joshua was the sixth odds-on favourite in 12 years not to win SPOTY. The market is more open this time and there are four names with a genuine chance of picking up the award.
Thomas also suffers from the theory of recency. It takes a special performance in July that resonates with the voting public in December. The Welshman rode into Paris at the end of the seventh month wearing the Yellow Jersey. The scarcity value of a British rider winning the most famous bike race in the world has gone due to the wins for Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome. Until there is evidence to the contrary cycling has an image problem which makes Thomas the most unlikely winner of the four. The late announcement of the nominees makes campaigns from a sport difficult.
Lewis Hamilton won the award in 2014 which was a World Cup year. England were dismal in that tournament in Brazil and Rory McIlroy finished second behind Hamilton after winning two major championships, including the British Open. I’m sure it takes great skill and commitment to win the F1 Driver’s Championship but the sport is predictable and Hamilton did not produce a SPOTY winning year. Five championships should not be sniffed at but the other contenders are preferred.
Harry Kane won the Golden Boot at the World Cup and England reached the last four for the first time since 1990. They look nailed on for the Team of the Year but I have a sneaking feeling that the honour will go to Leicester City for non-sporting reasons. Kane started the World Cup well but did not score in England’s last three matches. His sporting achievement was in June and July and something happened last weekend that could trump anything else.
Love him or hate him you can’t deny that Tyson Fury has made a stunning return to boxing. Many judges thought he beat Detonay Wilder is Los Angeles but the fight was declared a draw. Tyson has come back from the brink and proved all his doubters wrong. Boxing has a history of winning the BBC award with Henry Cooper and Lennox Lewis. Fury actually showed some dignity in reacting to the perceived injustice of the Detonay fight and that could give him an edge when the public vote for the Sports Personality of the Year.
Today’s Sports Betting Preview – By Rick Elliott
Three More Points For City At Chelsea
Chelsea have not been able to beat Everton or Manchester United at home this season so avoiding defeat against Manchester City at Stamford Bridge today looks beyond them. If it’s possible City are looking an even slicker outfit after their record breaking Premier League campaign in 2017/18. The champions are unbeaten in 14 matches on the road in the Premiere League and all but three of those road trips have resulted in winning three points. MANCHESTER CITY are the bet at Evens.
Liverpool could have overhauled City at the top of the league by kick-off time. Their match at Bournemouth is the early live TV fixture while Chelsea and City lock horns at 5.30. Liverpool were fortunate to beat Everton and the win at a struggling Burnley midweek was expected. They have kept winning without impressing and just like Arsenal most of the damage is done in the second half. However, Bournemouth are unlikely to fold so the DRAW at 7/2 with bet365 is the prediction.
There is a third televised match in the Premier League this evening which is Tottenham’s match at Leicester. The visitors are third in the Premier League despite not buying any players in the summer and still having to play home matches at Wembley. Crowd numbers are plummeting at the national stadium but the club’s travels continue to bring rewards. In fact Tottenham have scored in all but one of 22 Premier League matches and Leicester are unbeaten in six matches. It’s tricky to call the outcome but BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE at 4/6 with Ladbrokes is on.
Blaklion was unseated at the first fence in the Grand National this April after finishing fourth the previous year when looking like the most likely winner for most of the race. The plan to hold up the horse this year never materialised due to that very early mishap. BLAKLION is back at Aintree today for the Becher Chase over three miles and two furlongs of the National course and distance and is the tip at 4/1 with Coral.