The sporting week ahead (12/05/13)

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The Independent Online


Get your tissues, everyone, because it's farewell David and farewell Fergie. All right, that's enough, now let's concentrate on some proper football, such as Stoke v Spurs (still battling for fourth place) and Sunderland v Southampton (both would be delighted with 17th). But hang on a minute, the wave of mawkishness is refusing to be rolled back. It is spreading like a tsunami from the North-west, enveloping everything, even this column. Ahhh. In such circumstances the only sensible thing to do is turn on the Formula One and watch the first European grand prix of the season for some no-nonsense, high-octane revs.


Oh God, there it is again. The wave, this time sweeping down Manchester Piccadilly as United go on an open-top bus parade through the city. But you can all put away your handkerchiefs for Brighton v Crystal Palace in the Championship play-offs.


FA Cup winners Wigan must beat Arsenal to stand any realistic chance of staying up. That is a huge ask, but stranger things have happened... like Manchester United offering a six-year contract to a manager who has never won anything. Sorry, I promise that is the last mention of United this week.


And so to the Europa League final, where Chelsea seek to become one of only four teams in history to win every European competition. Even you-know-who haven't done that.


At last it's cricket, and the First Test against New Zealand at Lord's.


Wasps will be among those supporting Stade Français against Leinster in the Amlin Challenge Cup final. Should the French side win, it means Wasps will qualify for next season's Heineken Cup.


And at the end of the week, here's Jonny hoping to win the Heineken Cup with a last-minute drop-kick for Toulon. But the serious money will probably be betting against Wilkinson, because Clermont Auvergne remain the most potent force in European rugby. Meanwhile in football, Bradford and Northampton contest the League Two play-off final at Wembley, which is somewhere that United have not played this season. Oh stop it.