The sporting week ahead (08/07/12)

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The Independent Online


In so far as Formula One can be said to have spirit, it returns to its spiritual home of Silverstone this afternoon. The British Grand Prix has been lined up to take the edge off any Wimbledon disappointment. With Lewis Hamilton third in the drivers' championship and Jenson Button sixth, there may even be a local hero for F1's equivalent of Henman Hill to roar on.


England conclude their group stage of the European Under-19 Championship with a game against France. For years we have been told about Clairefontaine, the French youth training centre, the source of their humbling technical superiority over English boys. But now England have St George's Park. Could it work its magic in time to close the gap?


The fifth and final of England's ODI series with Australia, under lights at Old Trafford. It has been an enjoyable series, with England playing some very good cricket at times and Australia not looking radically better than they did in the last Ashes. But the next Ashes, next summer, is all that matters. Whether scars inflicted here will still matter when that time comes is unknowable. But what could be the harm in trying to find out?


Lancashire's struggling County Championship campaign continues. The champions have won just one of their first nine games, and now look desperately far behind Nottinghamshire and Warwickshire. They need to beat Surrey at Guildford. What if they have to wait another 77 years?


Missing club football? Thank you for the Europa League first qualifying round, where it is another Celtic fringe festival: Bangor, Cefn Druids, Cliftonville, Crusaders, Llanelli, Portadown, Bohemians and St Patrick's Athletic all represent this corner of Europe against various part-time postmen and fishermen.


Another day of the Tour de France, and the longest stage yet. Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Annonay Davézieux is 226km of punishment, and with all the recent crashes it will be another ferocious physical examination.


David Haye and Dereck Chisora: not a fight that Britain needed, but maybe one that we deserved. These two have been on a publicity tour for months, starting in February when Chisora threatened to "physically shoot" Haye in Munich. Since then the banalities have built up, and here it ends: at the Boleyn Ground, under the auspices of the Luxembourg Boxing Board of Control. No one can say they have not been warned.