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Eurovision betting tips: Early slot no help for Sweden

The 67th Eurovision Song Contest takes place in Liverpool on Saturday evening and Phil Agius feels it wise to avoid backing the outright favourite to win at the Liverpool Arena.

Phil Agius' Eurovision Tips:

Israel - To Win Outright each way @ 14/1
Ukraine - Top 5 Finish @ 11/10
France - To finish as Top Big Five Country @ 6/5
United Kingdom Finishing Position - 20th or better @ 6/5

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

Setting the scene…..

There's a red-hot favourite this year with Sweden's Loreen odds-on to become the second two-time winner of the Eurovision Song Contest - Ireland's Johnny Logan having won in 1980 and 1987.

She first triumphed in 2012 with Euphoria, which was a massive hit across Europe, and clearly she still has a strong fanbase.

However, at odds of just 4/9 she can be opposed as she looks to emulate Abba's win for Sweden when the UK hosted the show in Brighton in 1974.

Draw makes a big difference

The draw for the running order at Eurovision makes a huge difference to the voting.

Whether it's just that viewers have short memories and vote for something they just heard, or missed the early songs because they started watching late, the draw position in the final can make as much difference as in a sprint handicap at Chester.

If Sweden do win this year, it would be the first time the winner has come from a single-figure draw since Turkey in 2003.

Last year Ukraine won from 12, but there were special circumstances behind that win and the UK's Sam Ryder was second from 22, with four of the final seven acts to perform finishing in the top seven.

In 2021, Italy won from 24, with France (20) in second, while the Netherlands won from 12 in 2019, with Italy (22) runners-up and the top two were drawn 22 and 25 in 2018. Loreen herself had a solid late draw in 17th when she won in 2012.

For that reason, Sweden and Finland are on dodgy ground in the first half of the draw at ninth and 13th respectively, and that also hampers the chances of the terrific entry from France, which has drawn the sixth slot.

Israel - To Win Outright each way @ 14/1

One contender who has a plum draw and therefore represents some value is Israel. Like Sweden, Israel has fond memories of the UK hosting the show after Dana International won in Birmingham in 1998.

This year's entry, Noa Kirel, singing Unicorn, has a huge following after having number one hits at home and she puts on a spectacular dancing show.

Phil Agius' Tip:

This song maybe lacks the quality of some of the other contenders but the great draw could make up for that and 14/1 each way offers good value.

Related Eurovision News

Eurovision: Mae Muller 'I Wrote a Song'

The UK at Eurovision: Ryder leads rebuild of UK reputation

Ukraine - Top 5 Finish @ 11/10

Ukraine's 2022 win was realistically not for entirely musical reasons and the general feeling of good will across the continent should again make them a popular pick for voters wanting to bring a moment or two of happiness to people in the troubled nation.

This year's entry, Tvorchi with the song Heart of Steel, is a decent enough modern number and it would be a surprise if it doesn't do well in the televoters at least.

Phil Agius' Tip:

With a solid late draw in 19th and supportive references to Ukraine providing an element of home advantage throughout, they look a solid bet for a top-five finish at 11/10.

France - Top Big Five Country @ 6/5

Having said all that about the importance of a late draw, the quality of the France song Evidemment by La Zarra, is hard to ignore.

It should still come out on top in the smaller heat between the Big Five nations - UK, France, Spain, Italy and Germany - who do not have to qualify via the semi-finals.

It would absolutely have been a contender for the win if not for a horrible draw at number six, but the only real opposition in this group is from Italy's Marco Mengoni.

He performs another strong song, but again is hampered by a first-half draw at 11.

Phil Agius' Tip:

France have finished second and 24th in the last two years, but should bounce back with a high finish again this year and 6/5 to finish as top Big Five Country looks very reasonable.

United Kingdom Finishing Position - 20th or better @ 6/5

It had become accepted wisdom that the United Kingdom entries would struggle in this competition pretty much regardless of the quality of their songs.

So it came as a surprise when Sam Ryder was able to overcome that situation to finish second last year.

The markets expect normal service to resume with this year's UK hopeful, Mae Muller with I Wrote A Song, as she is short odds to finish last and odds-on to finish 21st or worse.

Phil Agius' Tip:

The host nation has a strong draw in 26th, making Muller the final act to perform before televoters make their selections and that alone makes the odds of 6/5 for her to finish 20th or better worth taking.

Phil Agius' Eurovision Tips:

Israel - To Win Outright each way @ 14/1
Ukraine - Top 5 Finish @ 11/10
France - To finish as Top Big Five Country @ 6/5
United Kingdom Finishing Position - 20th or better @ 6/5

Odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and subject to fluctuation.

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