Grand Final underdogs Salford look to become latest outsiders to upset the odds

Salford are one win away from what would have seemed a fanciful Super League triumph at the start of the season, having been priced as outsiders at 150/1 and tipped for relegation.

The Red Devils have confounded the bookmakers simply by reaching the Grand Final at Old Trafford and must do so once again with St Helens hot favourites to be celebrating on Saturday night.

Here, the PA news agency looks at individuals and teams that have upset the odds in some of sport’s greatest fairytales.

Leicester win the 2015/16 Premier League title

Leicester were memorably crowned Premier League champions three years ago (Nick Potts/PA)
Leicester were memorably crowned Premier League champions three years ago (Nick Potts/PA)

Odds of 5,000/1 among some bookmakers on Leicester to win a first ever top-flight crown were not without merit given only a late-season surge had seen the Foxes avoid relegation to the Championship in 2014/15. In retrospect Leicester had some top-quality talent in the likes of N’Golo Kante, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, all of whom rose to the fore under Claudio Ranieri to topple the established order in unforgettable and endearing fashion.

Buster Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson

Buster Douglas, left, sent shockwaves through boxing in 1990 (Sean Dempsey/PA)
Buster Douglas, left, sent shockwaves through boxing in 1990 (Sean Dempsey/PA)

Iron Mike had been a ferocious wrecking machine in becoming the undisputed heavyweight champion. Compiling a daunting 37-0 professional record, he seemed unstoppable – until February 1990. Douglas, a 42/1 underdog, was inspired by the death of his mother three weeks earlier and though he was knocked down in the eighth in the unlikely setting of the Tokyo Dome, he rose from the canvas to wrench the WBC, WBA and IBF titles from Tyson by knocking out his vaunted foe two rounds later in boxing’s biggest upset.

Goran Ivanisevic wins Wimbledon

Goran Ivanisevic eventually got his hands on the Wimbledon trophy after three final defeats (Tom Hevezi/PA)
Goran Ivanisevic eventually got his hands on the Wimbledon trophy after three final defeats (Tom Hevezi/PA)

The affable left-hander had reached the Wimbledon final on three occasions in the 1990s, losing each time. By 2001, he had fallen to 125 in the world rankings, necessitating a wild card into the main draw. Fate smiled on the 150/1 outsider in a rain-interrupted semi-final against Tim Henman as the Croatian prevailed in five sets. Ivanisevic was then taken the distance by Pat Rafter in a thrilling final but ultimately came out on top to get his hands on the prize he had coveted for so long.

Sri Lanka win the 1996 Cricket World Cup

They won it in 1996 & they'll be back again in 2019! 🇱🇰

Relive the moment @OfficialSLC became champions of the world 🏆#CWC19pic.twitter.com/byJruoYLJN

— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) September 20, 2017

Hindsight has perhaps taken the shine away from how much of a shock this was. But it is a worthy inclusion here as Sri Lanka were rated at 66/1 before the 12-team tournament started, had no prior triumphs and were a small island in the midst of civil war. Yet their template of bulldozing bowlers from the get-go, led by pinch-hitter Sanath Jayasuriya, was trailblazing as they followed up topping their group with five wins from five by comfortably beating England and India before toppling Australia in the Lahore final.

Jon Daly wins the 1991 US PGA Championship

Nick Price’s withdrawal to attend the birth of his first child had far-reaching ramifications for the world of golf as Daly announced his arrival in spectacular style. The brash American was the ninth alternate who only qualified because several others pulled out, while he drove through the night to reach Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana, in time for the tournament. A few days later, a score of 12 under gave Daly victory by three strokes over compatriot Bruce Lietzke, making a mockery of odds of 1,000/1.

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