The sporting week ahead (01/09/13)

Today

Given the return of Mathieu Flamini, and the flirtation with Nicklas Bendtner, it would be no great surprise if Arsène Wenger announced Thierry Henry as his big deadline day signing. Like David Cameron, Wenger is misjudging the public mood and could well lose his own vote of confidence should Arsenal lose today to Spurs, who have been waving their wedges around like Harry Enfield in party mode. Liverpool fans will find the thought of losing to Manchester United today equally unpalatable, particularly as they go into their traditional grudge game ahead of their old rivals for the first time since 2008.

Tomorrow

Transfer deadline day. Jim White. Hysteria. Enough said.

Tuesday

England's cricketers go to Dublin to officially open Irish cricket's new ground at Malahide. They are very proud of it so any repeat of England's Oval antics would probably see the team clapped in irons at adjoining Malahide Castle.

Wednesday

The world's most exclusive club, the IOC, meet in Buenos Aires to elect a new president and decide which city of Madrid, Tokyo or Istanbul will host the 2020 Olympics.

Thursday

Gareth Southgate officially begins life as the England Under-21 manager with a game against Moldova in Reading. Whether that represents a step up or down from his previous incarnation as an ITV pundit is open to question.

Friday

And so to the seniors. Moldova are again the opposition in the sort of World Cup qualifier that the FA will struggle to sell to an already sceptical public. But Scotland v Belgium should be a proper game, along with Republic of Ireland v Sweden. Wales travel to Macedonia and Northern Ireland entertain Portugal. If you thought Australia's cricketers had already departed, then think again. Today sees the start of the NatWest one-day series at Leeds. By the time they leave, it will be time for England to follow for the next Ashes series! In rugby union, the news season kicks off with Newcastle v Bath.

Saturday

With no Premier League or Championship fixtures, today is officially National Non-League day, an idea spawned from one fan's pre-season trip to see Tavistock play QPR. It is a worthy initiative and those who like to watch their football standing up at 3pm on Saturday should support it.

In rugby union Wasps v Harlequins looks to be the pick of the day's games in the Premiership.

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