The sporting week ahead (13/05/12)

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The Independent Online


Manchester City can atone for 44 years of pain and frustration by beating Manchester United to the Premier League title – all they need to do is beat Mark Hughes's Queens Park Rangers. If they fail, 44 years of pain and frustration will be compressed into one afternoon.


It has been a difficult few weeks for Sheffield United – they lost out to their rivals Sheffield Wednesday in the race to return to the Championship. They must beat Stevenage at Bramall Lane to get to the play-off final at Wembley.


With Kevin Pietersen back in England, Delhi Daredevils face Kings XI Punjab, hoping to sustain their push for a place in the Indian Premier League play-offs. Given how English fans deserted Lazio when Paul Gascoigne left, can Delhi expect much more loyalty from these shores?


The most controversial day of the English sporting calendar: Roy Hodgson announces his squad for Euro 2012. The ammunition for a nation's conversations will be provided by his choice between John Ruddy and Rob Green and between Andy Carroll and Bobby Zamora. Quibbling over who gets to sit on the bench to watch the team lose to France seems fussy, but it is as much a part of the tournament experience as attaching a plastic flag to your car.


Given all the attention on football this summer, many will miss England's Test series against West Indies. It is likely they will not miss much. A distracted opposition, without their best players, must face English seamers under May clouds – that should make for a processional non-contest. Serious interventions from rain, bad light and Shivnarine Chanderpaul may be needed to send the first Test at Lord's to a fourth or fifth day.


Toulon, led from No 10 by Jonny Wilkinson, face Biarritz at the Twickenham Stoop in rugby union's all-French Amlin Challenge Cup final.


Expect a roaring trade in Bayern Munich shirts in north London or Newcastle – Chelsea must win the Champions League final if they are to qualify for the competition next season. At Twickenham, Leinster face Ulster in the Heineken Cup final.