Defending overall champions Hirscher, left, and Shiffrin, right, are the favourites for this weekend's FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup events ©Getty Images

The International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Skiing World Cup gets back underway this weekend with male athletes heading to Adelboden and women to Kranjska Gora.

After his win in the slalom event in Zagreb, Austria’s Marcel Hirscher will once again be favourite for both the classic slalom and giant slalom events in Adelboden, Switzerland.

Hirscher, who is looking for his third straight overall World Cup title, currently leads the rankings by 94 points.

He holds that lead over Henrik Kristoffersen of Norway, who, after his disappointing bronze medal finish in Zagreb, will be looking to close that gap with an improved performance and is likely to be Hirscher’s closest challenger in Switzerland.

Kristoffersen won the classic slalom event in Adelboden last season.

However, Hirscher’s compatriot Michael Matt will also be looking to be on the podium after successive silver medal finishes in the last two events.

French skier Alexis Pinturault, who won a bronze medal in the giant slalom at Sochi 2014 and also won last year’s giant slalom race in Adelboden, is also likely to be in contention.

Alexis Pinturault won last year's giant slalom event in Adelboden ©Getty Images
Alexis Pinturault won last year's giant slalom event in Adelboden ©Getty Images

This weekend’s women’s “Golden Fox” event takes place in Kranjska Gora in Slovenia, which is holding a FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup event for the seventh time, with Mikaela Shiffrin once again tipped to take the title.

The race was initially set to be held in Maribor, Slovenia, but was moved to Kranjska Gora due to lack of snow.

Defending champion Shiffrin has won five of the last six FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup events and now leads the overall standings by 571 points over Germany’s Viktoria Rebensburg, who is likely to be a contender for a podium place.

Rebesnburg, a 2010 Winter Olympic gold medallist, could even be the favourite, ahead of Olympic champion Shiffrin, for the giant slalom event as she currently tops the rankings on 298 points.

The outside bet in the women’s event will be Switerzland’s Wendy Holdener, who has taken silver in three of the last four World Cup events.

Both the men’s and women’s event will see the giant slalom races take place tomorrow before the classic slalom races round off the weekend on Sunday (January 7).