The sporting week ahead (10/06/12)

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The Independent Online


One of the most closely fought competitions at Euro 2012 will be to find the tournament's most boring team. There is no shortage of competition, though England are ready to see off most contenders. But the Republic of Ireland, who have a track record in bore draws, deserve a serious mention. No goals against Croatia today would do for starters. In tennis, Novak Djokovic seeks his career grand slam, against Rafael Nadal in the French Open final.


And so to England. Seldom – make that never – have they gone into a tournament with expectation so low. No one seriously thinks they will win the tournament but punters may sniff an opportunity here and without Wayne Rooney they may yet see off France in the day's early kick-off. Later, Ukraine are unlikely to lose to Sweden.


Back in Poland, it's time to put on the tin hats for the game against Russia. For those unversed in recent Polish history, it's all about the aircrash which wiped out half the Polish government in 2010. Conspiracy theorists blame Russia, which adds an extra layer to today's game. Meanwhile, Greece will look to build on their encouraging start by beating the Czech Republic. In London, assuming the rain relents, the Aegon Championships, otherwise known as Queen's, begin.


Another grudge game sees Holland play Germany, while Denmark v Portugal also looks tasty as Group B begins to gain shape. In rugby, England's mid-weekers play the South African Barbarians in Kimberley. Meanwhile, the British cycling team for the Olympics will be named.


Italy v Croatia and Spain v Republic of Ireland look worth staying in for. Golf addicts will gather deep into the night to see how Rory McIlroy fares in his defence of the US Open.


England play their second game, against Sweden, who they might find harder to beat than France, as Euro 2012 reaches the end of its first week.


Another Saturday for sports addicts: football from Poland; rugby from South Africa – where England play the second Test – Australia and New Zealand; golf from the United States; plus top-quality tennis at home. Turn on the TV and veg out.