The sporting week ahead (14/04/13)

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The Independent Online


Perhaps Sunderland should insist on a minute's silence for Mrs Thatcher at St James' Park so that Paolo Di Canio can sneak into his seat while the crowd concentrate on booing someone else. Such is the pace at which modern bile spews that an Italian, accused of being a fascist, seems a hate figure from a previous age (i.e. last week). But Newcastle fans will no doubt revisit the issue when they catch sight of Sunderland's new boss at what has turned into a relegation derby. With Stoke playing Manchester United and Wigan on Cup duty this weekend, the bottom of the table could look very different by teatime. Meanwhile, you will have to have got up early to have caught the Chinese Grand Prix and you'll have to stay up late to see the Masters dénouement.


Surrey fans will catch first sight of new signing Graeme Smith today when he poses for the cameras at the county's media day ahead of their season's Championship opener against Somerset on Wednesday.


If Arsenal are to snatch that fourth Champions' League spot then they could do with seeing off Everton.


The Premier League title could be all but decided tonight with both City and United playing, respectively at home to Wigan and away to West Ham. Also in London, Fulham host Chelsea.


If you are suffering Masters withdrawal symptoms then you can always check out the Spanish Open, an event first played in 1912.


Soldiers on the streets, tear gas exploding. It can only mean one thing: practice begins at the Bahrain Grand Prix. In the Championship, Hull and Bristol City will be looking to beat each other for very different reasons.


Let's end where we began: that's relegation, not Mrs Thatcher. Norwich versus Reading and QPR against Stoke won't be for the faint-hearted. Must-win and all that. In boxing, Nathan Cleverly faces Robin Krasniqi in a WBO light-heavyweight title fight, while Tyson Fury fights Steve Cunningham in New York in an IBF heavyweight voluntary eliminator.