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News & Comment

The week ahead 16/11/2008


Play a game with yourself by running a sweepstake on how long it takes the commentators to ask whether Robinho, Elano and Jo will really fancy a trip to Humberside on a freezing cold Sunday afternoon. In other football, Airdrie United take on Ross County in the Alba Challenge Cup final in Perth – no, we don't know what that is either. In the rugby league World Cup semi-final in Sydney, Fiji are the sacrificial lambs – if Australia don't win this one, I'll eat this paper and the 'Daily Mail'.


Oh dear, what have the FA done? The Respect campaign is in enough trouble as it is without getting Stuart Pearce involved. Just pray Psycho doesn't put the nuton his "colleague" – referee Howard Webb.


The "romance of the FA Cup" will be typified by one carload of Eastbourne fans making the 9,500-mile round trip to Barrow for a first-round replay. The more misty-eyed among us remember a famous victory for Munster over New Zealand in 1978 – the two giants meet again in Ireland tonight.


Germany fans breathe a sigh of relief as the 5-1 destroyer from Munich in 2001 can't play... but Emile Heskey might be fit for the weekend. Maradona takes on Scotland at Hampden – sounds like it could be close.


You set the alarm for the third one-dayer between India and England, then rub your eyes in disbelief as you see Peter Moores keeping wicket and Andy Flower listed at No 4 in the batting order. Either half the team have gone down with the runs or after the mauling in Rajkot it's time for drastic measures.


Who sorts out the football fixtures? A computer? Well sack it. Why do Bournemouth travel to Grimsby tonight? And for some reason the Guinness Premiership rumbles on despite the best players taking part in internationals. Tonight it's a second-string West Country derby as Bristol go to Gloucester.


Ricky Hatton fights Paulie Malignaggi in Las Vegas. It's billed as a "light-welterweight" bout, but if the big Manc has been on the burgers again, the canvaswill be groaning.