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The sporting week ahead (16/01/11)


By the time you're reading this (or lining the dog's basket) you could be tuning in for the second innings of the first one-day international between Australia and England in Melbourne – we might even let them win another one, just to make things interesting. This afternoon, it's Derby Day-tastic in the top flight, with Birmingham v Aston Villa, Liverpoolv Everton and Sunderland v Newcastle. Good job that David Beckham hasn't overshadowed it all by returning for Spurs against Manchester United. The Football Writers Association hold a tribute dinner for Thierry Henry; he should go easy on the pudding and get himself in trim for a comeback with the misfiring Gunners.


There's a lot less pressure than at the other tennis Grand Slams, he likes the surface and he got to the final last year. Yep, I would expect Roger Federer to do quite well again as the Australian Open kicks off in Melbourne. Andy Murray's also got an outside chance, I suppose.


Sven Goran Eriksson has been told to stop saying "well" so often. Well, he'll be given the freedom of Leicester (Is this a good thing? Ed) if the Foxes win their FA Cup replay at Manchester City.


Another tasty Cup replay as Leeds host Arsenal while, in South Africa, qualifying gets under way for the Open golf championship in Sandwich, Kent, despite it being six months away.


Egg-chasing for Gloucester at home to Agen in the Challenge Cup, while rugby league aficionados will be thrilled that Leeds hold their pre-season media day.


The Ashes... for women, starts in Sydney. Expect Australians to take this form of the game very seriously, all of a sudden, if they triumph.


Bumper day of Premier League action with Arsenal at home to Wigan, Moneybags City at Aston Villa, United entertaining Birmingham and King Kenny's mob travelling to Wolves.