The sporting week ahead (10/10/10)

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The Independent Online


The trouble with golf... Exhibit A: It's only six days after the most thrilling, heart-stopping Ryder Cup that captured everyone's imagination, so what's on today? A "celebrity" pro-am in Scotland with Huey Lewis, Michael Flatley and Franz Klammer playing alongside Lee Westwood & Co. It shouldn't be on telly, it shouldn't be an official event, it's all about money.


No, don't rub your eyes in disbelief, the boys from Brazil really are playing a friendly in Derby. The beautiful game comes to Pride Park (note to Robbie Savage: for the first time ever) as the Samba kings take on Ukraine.


Euro 2012 qualifiers. As an England fan, I always say things like: "If he ever plays for England, I'll stop watching them and start supporting the Faroe Islands." Well, if Kevin Davies starts against high-flying Montenegro tonight... Elsewhere, the mighty Faroes host Northern Ireland, Scotland have a humdinger at home to Spain, the Republic go to Slovakia and Wales have a mountain to climb in Switzerland. England's Under-21s also have the second leg of their play-off in Romania.


Only one day to go now until the Commonwealth Games actually finish. The closing ceremony is being kept under wraps (which leak) but rumours abound that there will be a fireworks display (aimed at the crowd), a parade of medallists (on a collapsing stage) and a speech from India's prime minister (using a 20,000 volt microphone).


Dull. The highlight could be a coachload of Newcastle rugby fans going to Montpellier for a Challenge Cup tie.


A step up from the Challenge Cup as the Ospreys host London Irish in a potential Heineken Cup classic. Cardiff can avoid castration in Castres.


After a two-week break, the Premier League is back with a tasty Aston Villa-Chelsea match-up and probable home wins for Arsenal (versus Birmingham) and Manchester United (against West Bromwich). But in this season of surprise results, it pays to expect the unexpected. In rugby league, England hope to avoid a tongue-lashing from the New Zealand Maori while in the Heineken Cup Bath go to Aironi, which is either a half-decent aftershave or a dodgy rugby side from Italy.