The sporting week ahead (03/03/13)

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The Independent Online


Those planning to strike a bet on Spurs v Arsenal should be aware that this is the highest-scoring fixture in Premier League history, with 121 goals. Not that you will find too many Gooners expecting a repeat of the five they managed last time out and, for once, Spurs will start as favourites. No prizes for guessing who is shortest-priced to score their first goal! In athletics, the European Indoor Championships conclude in Gothenburg with a possible three golds for Britain.


A visit from Manchester City is hardly the sort of fixture to cheer up Aston Villa supporters, already fearful of losing their top-flight status for the first time in 26 years.


One of the most regrettable of modern trends is for goalscorers to refuse to celebrate at their former clubs, thus depriving us of a moment of spectacle with an empty and self-important gesture. So here's hoping that Cristiano Ronaldo, on his return to Old Trafford with Real Madrid in the Champions' League last-16 second match, might forget his first-leg reticence and plant a kiss on the Madrid badge right in front of Fergie... preferably after scoring the winner in the 94th minute. What a hoot that would be. In cricket, England begin the First Test against New Zealand in Dunedin.


Still with the Champions' League, Celtic travel to Juventus hoping for a miracle but probably expecting a rout.


Amazingly, the Europa League is starting to get interesting, with Spurs v Internazionale today's top draw. Chelsea travel to Steaua Bucharest and Newcastle to the Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala.


Elise Christie leads Britain's challenge in the World Short Track Speed-Skating Championships in Hungary.


No England today in the Six Nations but a mighty clash at Murrayfield, where Scotland entertain Wales, who can still win the Championship if they deliver a barrel of tries today and then see off arch-rivals England. In Dublin, a win for France could spell the end of Declan Kidney's tenure as Ireland coach. Football's FA Cup quarter-final draw is less than inspiring, with Barnsley heading for Manchester City and Wigan going to Everton. Enough said. In the Premier League it is hard to see Reading v Aston Villa as anything other than, well, a relegation six-pointer.