The sporting week ahead (02/09/12)
How times change. The last time Arsenal visited Liverpool, Robin van Persie smashed an astonishing winner to leave Kenny Dalglish in one of those familiar tight-armed grimaces. Now everyone, including Charlie Adam, Andy Carroll and Alex Song, seems to have literally moved on. This is the sort of game that Liverpool must learn to win again. As for Arsenal, they just need to learn to score again. With Southampton entertaining Manchester United, and Newcastle at home to Aston Villa, Channel 4 might find their Paralympic ratings take a dip. In the one-day series England play South Africa at Lord's while London Welsh begin life in rugby's Premiership with a "home" game against Leicester in Oxford.
Lee Pearson's quest to become Britain's most decorated Paralympian concludes at Greenwich Park today in the equestrian individual freestyle. The Polish table tennis player Natalia Partyka begins her fourth Games at the grand old age of 23. She started as an 11-year-old in Sydney and went on to compete in Athens and Beijing, at the Olympics and Paralympics.
Unless Hurricane Isaac takes an unexpected twist to flatten Twickenham, Warren Gatland will today be named as British and Irish Lions coach for the tour to Australia. There is no other realistic candidate. Whether that is a good or bad thing will be revealed on tour next summer.
England's win on Friday has reinvigorated the one-day series with South Africa, and the final game takes place today – though 72 hours later, the Twenty20 series starts.
This is the big one at the Paralympics: the showdown between the US world champion Jerome Singleton, Oscar Pistorius and Britain's world-record holder Jonnie Peacock.
Euro 2012 seems an age away now, a hazy image from early summer. But for Roy Hodgson the memory of how England subsided in familiar fashion has probably haunted his summer. And today another campaign begins with a World Cup qualifier in Moldova. It will probably end in tears in Rio or thereabouts but, for now, that seems as far away as Kiev.
It's the last Olympic weekend of the year! Take your pick: wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, five-a-side football. With no Premier League football, it should be guaranteed a good send-off. North of the border, Scotland v Serbia looks an early step too far for Craig Levein's side.
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