The sporting week ahead (13/01/13)

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The Independent Online


Now here's a surprise: the last time Liverpool played Manchester United, Robin van Persie settled matters with a goal late on. Today Brendan Rodgers takes his resurgent side to Old Trafford and will no doubt bang heads together around that memory. In fact, the Dutchman has scored eight times in the last 10 minutes this season, while United have done so 12 times in all... so watch out, you have been warned. Elsewhere, those Manchester City fans who can afford it will be heading to the Emirates to spend £62 on a ticket to watch their side face Arsenal.


Not since 2012 has a British tennis player won a Grand Slam event... hmm, this is the year everyone will have to rethink their Andy Murray intros, starting with the Australian Open, which begins today. The Scot has a good record in Melbourne, having been runner-up twice, in 2010 and 2011. As ever, the men who overcame him in those finals, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic respectively, will be the men to beat.


Little old Brentford have plenty of incentive to see off Southend in their FA Cup replay: a fourth-round tie with Chelsea. The two west London teams last met in 1950, so a rematch would be welcome. But Southend, who have already knocked the Bees out of one cup competition this season, will also be keen to bank a £500,000 cheque for entertaining Chelsea in a televised game. In cricket, England play India in the second one-day international.


What do the London Underground and the Football Association have in common, besides dark tunnels and rats in unexpected places? They are both celebrating their 150th anniversary, with the FA putting on their best suits at the Grand Connaught Rooms today. On the pitch, Arsenal play Swansea and Manchester United take on West Ham in FA Cup third-round replays.


Today is all about Lance Armstrong. Will he or won't he? Confess, that is, and if he does, will Oprah be able to see through the tears? She shares your pain, Lance. She really does. Meanwhile, half a world away Rory McIlroy begins his sporting year at the Abu Dhabi Championship.


It's Heineken Cup night, with Biarritz versus Harlequins the top draw.


Aston Villa have long since lost the right to consider themselves as the Second City's No 1 team and, given their current form, will hardly relish a trip to West Bromwich. In cricket, England face India again.