Starts: Saturday 18th May
Live on TV: 8.00pm BBC1
With a generally meaningless final round of Premier League fixtures this weekend, why not look elsewhere to a competition that is far from done and dusted.
The majority of Europe will be casting an eye on proceedings in Sweden as the 2013 Eurovision song contest kicks off on Saturday night. With entries from Albania to San Marino and many more with almost 40 entrants, a rich man you may be if you manage to pick out the winner!
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Despite the much maligned voting format and politics over talent debate that rings true almost every year this is still a fantastic spectacle and a celebrated night of music for the entire continent to enjoy.
The most important factor from a betting perspective is that although there may be many cross-country agreements to secure the votes, the bookmakers aren’t as in the know as they’d like to be on this market.
Granted last year the well-backed favourites Sweden won as Loreen’s ‘Euphoria’ took home the coveted prize but there’s been some long-odds winners in recent years with the record points total being held by the 2006 winners, Finnish Heavy Rock group Lordi, who stormed to victory at a tasty 10/1.
The task of retaining the title for the Swedes lies with Robin Stjernberg, a 66/1 shot with Betfred to retain the title for his country, a feat that hasn’t been achieved in almost 20 years and Fred Done is obviously confident that a back-to-back title is unlikely!
The unenviable task of carrying the flag for the UK this year lies with the veteran Welsh Rocker, Bonnie Tyler who will perform her new single “Believe in Me”, for those of you who want to heed Bonnie’s cry, she’s also available at 66/1 with Betfred to become the first UK winner since Kimberley Rew was victorious in Dublin ’97.
Perhaps a more realistic chance though is the 4/1 on offer for a top 10 finish in Malmo. Such is the level of achievement gained by UK entries of late, the bar now lies dangerously low and just to get a few points on the board and avoid the dreaded ‘nil pois’ will be the Welsh stars first aim although English fans can at least take some pride in the fact that we can’t exit this European competition on penalties.
Many bookies may have you believe that the 39 horse race is a mere formality as the young Danish songstress Emmelie de Forest is as short as 4/7 with Betfred to take the prize back to Denmark for the first time since the turn of the millennium. Such is the confidence in this selection that it’s been backed in from 6/5 in just the time it has taken me to complete this very article so if you’re going to get on, get on fast!
Following last year’s victory for the bookies when the favourite emerged victorious, anything but a Denmark win could leave many a punter’s pockets bulging whilst the bookmaker’s may well take quite a hit!