The sporting week ahead (06/01/13)

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The Independent Online


A survey last week revealed that Swansea City's first season in the Premier League generated £58 million for the Welsh economy, an astonishing statistic which explains why today's FA Cup third-round tie with Arsenal probably won't be a priority for the Swans today. Apparently, 400 jobs – not including that of their manager Michael Laudrup – owe their existence to the Welsh side's place in the top flight. But the Dane knows he will be judged by whether he keeps his team in the Premier League, a task he looks well up to. In fact the FA Cup is not even this week's main task, with a midweek Capital One Cup semi-final trip to Chelsea probably rating as a higher priority. Elsewhere, Mansfield play Liverpool.


Everton look racing certainties to see off Cheltenham this evening. Altogether less certain is Salford's future as a rugby league club. Today they face a winding-up petition.


And so to the other domestic cup. The Capital One has been full of drama this season and, with beleaguered Aston Villa involved in today's semi-fnal, there should certainly be plenty more goals tonight. Lowly Bradford City will be looking to heap more embarrassment on the Premier League's leakiest defence after disposing of Arsenal.


It's Chelsea against Swansea in the other semi-final.


European Tour golf returns, even if few of you probably realised it had been away. The Volvo Champions opens this season in Durban but most of the big guns will not be firing.


England are back in India for their first one-day international, which almost makes you sympathetic to Kevin Pietersen's moans about the relentless schedule of international cricket. Almost.


A rather low-key football programme is probably topped by Stoke versus Chelsea. In the Heineken Cup, Racing Métro against Saracens looks a belter.