According to William Hill, Italy is the new favourite to win this year’s Eurovision song contest. The Italian entry is priced at 12/1, with guest “European” nation Australia second favourite at 16/1 and Cyprus and France at 20/1. The 64th edition of the pan-continental singing competition will take place in Israel on the 18th May.

Italy has won the contest only twice, and not since 1990. This year’s entry, “Soldi” by Mahmood, is the winner of the prestigious Sanremo song festival and though sung in Italian is full of contemporary references sure to translate across the continent.

The “Big Five”

Italy is one of the so-called “Big Five” group of countries, along with France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. As the biggest financial contributors to Eurovision, these nations are spared having to go through the qualifying rounds. Though this may seem like an advantage, since 2000 only one of the Big Five has managed to win the competition: Germany securing victory in 2010 with “Satellite” by Lena, a hit throughout Europe.

Sweden, who often produce a strong entry, are in the middle of their Melodifestivalen song selection process. William Hill is also offering odds on this event, with Hanna Ferm and LIAMOO the current favourites at 2/1.

Recently the UK has struggled to secure votes in Eurovision. If the odds are to be believed then little will change this year with UK entrant Michael Rice. A Rice win is currently being priced at 33/1.