The sporting week ahead (03/02/13)

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The Independent Online


Liverpool don't have any problem scoring against the teams around them, they just can't beat them. Last Wednesday saw them concede a 2-0 lead at Arsenal, and today they travel to Manchester City seeking victory over a top-10 Premier League team for the first time since Kenny Dalglish was in short trousers... or something like that. In rugby union, France, who are many pundits' pick for this year's Six Nations, begin their campaign with a trip to Rome, which is hardly the worst place to start. There is also the small matter of the Super Bowl from New Orleans between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers.


What better place to start an England cricket tour than Whangarei, or Whyohwhy as some of their bemused followers like to call it. Little more than a week after they finished up in India, they face a New Zealand XI. Hope you enjoyed your time off, lads.


Managerless Huddersfield Town travel to Leicester City for their FA Cup fourth-round replay.


Brazil are in town but, given everyone's obsession with Chelsea, expect Big Phil Scolari to be cross-examined about his time at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea's Oscar could well be the poster boy of next year's World Cup and will welcome the chance to shine in his adopted home. The new Scotland boss, Gordon Strachan, returns to Aberdeen to see his new charges face Estonia, while Wales host Austria, Northern Ireland head to Malta and the Republic face Poland.


There are those who say that Britain's ice hockey team are the best for a generation. And today they will be hoping to beat Latvia, who are 10 places above them in the world rankings, in the final Olympic qualifier. Victory in the four-team tournament will see them qualify for the first time since 1948.


A clash of the wannabes – Watford versus Crystal Palace.


No England on the second Saturday of the Six Nations – they play in Ireland on the Sunday – but there is a cracking game scheduled in Paris, where France play Wales, while in Edinburgh, Scotland face Italy. In the Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur against Newcastle United should test Alan Pardew's Gallic resolve.