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Sebastian Ogier may lead the World Rally Championship standings, but Finland will provide tough competition from all sides this August.

The 2013 World Rally Championships head to Finland next month for the eighth instalment of this intense season. Home favourite Jari-Matti Latvala has hit the Finnish podium in his last four outings, including a win in 2010, and is a good sports betting tip to finish first again this season.
However, we’ve witnessed some real French domination so far and punters are advised to consider Sebastian Ogier, the clear front-runner to take the title. Ogier, in his Volkswagen, has impressed greatly this season with four victories and two runners-up places alongside co-driver Julien Ingrassia. The VW team has shattered the field, yet Ogier’s dominance means teammate Latvala has played second fiddle all year. Expect the Finn to have it his way on his home course.
As for VW opposition, Finnish pair Mikko Hivronen and Jarmo Lethinen are solid contenders in the Citroen. Hivronen always impresses on his home rally, having won it in the Ford Focus in 2009 and finishing second last year behind Sebastian Loeb.
Hivronen benefits from knowing the course extremely well, and despite stage changes over the years, he has developed a consistency to eking out results. This year, World Rally betting fans should expect a podium place for the Citroen racer who has two second placings to his name already in 2013.
It certainly looks like a French/Finnish top three, yet Belgian Thierry Neuville has the power to surprise in his Ford. This may be his first full WRC season, but Neuville is ready to claim titles having placed three times already. His second-place finish in Italy this month proved the 25-year-old can compete with the big boys, and healthy odds in Finland means he’s a tempting bet to beat Ogier and co.

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