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The sporting week ahead (14/07/13)


There may yet be a breathless hush in the close this morning if Australia edge their way towards their target in the First Ashes Test at Trent Bridge. England are making a habit of losing the first game of a series, so no need to worry just yet. We got tonked at Lord's back in 2005 and look what happened then. Still, perhaps now we'll all feel a little less inclined to crow about how rubbish the Aussies are. Meanwhile Fulham take on Cartagines in Costa Rica. To think that the players might not even know yet that their new owner looks like some dodgy Central American dictator.


England's female footballers will be desperately hoping that goalie Karen Bardsley doesn't head the ball into her own net against the Russians as she did in the last minute of added time against Spain. Otherwise people might start thinking they are as bad as the men's team. At the Taekwondo World Championships in Mexico Aaron Cook, who was controversially left out by Team GB at the London Olympics last year, will be competing for the Isle of Man instead of England. His former team-mates should be careful what they say to him.


Those chaps from the other side of the pond are over here trying to sell us the two NFL games to be played at Wembley this year. They must think it's a pretty big deal, because they don't take place until the autumn.


Let's hope you enjoyed your summer of sport because yes, football's back. At least the qualifying rounds of the Champions' League have thrown up one fascinating encounter as Celtic travel to Northern Ireland to take on Cliftonville. Down Under it's the decider in the State of Origin series.


Does it get any lower than Europa League qualifying? Or even England's women playing a pointless final group game before heading home? Don't despair, summer's not over yet. Just look at today's treats: the Second Test begins at Lord's, and The Open tees off at Muirfield. The Tour de France is almost over, but first the riders have to undertake their stiffest task yet – and they will feel pretty stiff by now. L'Alpe d'Huez provides the greatest challenge but this year they will have to go up it twice, just because it's the 100th race. They will be chuffed.


Swimming's World Championships begin in Barcelona with the Brits hoping to improve on their shallow efforts at the Olympics. And, reviving happier memories of last summer's golden days, the International Paralympic Committee's Athletics World Championships start in Lyon.