The sporting week ahead (18/08/13)
Sunday 18 August 2013
Such has been the hype over Jose Mourinho's return that all Chelsea are expected to do is turn up and win against Hull. But football has a way of pricking inflated expectations and the Portuguese has warned his new charges that Hull deserve respect before being taken apart.
At least Crystal Palace supporters won't be expecting a cricket score against Tottenham; in fact anything north of embarrassment will probably do nicely at Selhurst Park.
The athletics World Championships conclude with what could be an epic battle in the triple jump and men's 800 and 1500m. As usual in the men's 4 x 100m relay anything can happen.
Manchester City are many people's title favourites and it is hard to see them being troubled by Newcastle, where the relationship between Joe Kinnear and Alan Pardew will provide the backcloth to every United defeat... starting today.
Celtic resume their attempt to qualify for the Champions League group stages with a trip to Shakhtyor Karaganda in Kazhakstan.
This was the day when a glorious summer of cricket was supposed to peak with the start of the final Test at the Oval. But, with Australia already demolished, there is only pride at stake, although England will be keen to lay down a new marker for the return series in the winter.
In football we won't get through the first week of the season without someone being in crisis and, assuming it is not Newcastle on Monday, then it will be Arsenal today if they lose to Fenerbahce in Turkey. Failure to qualify for the Champions League, after failing to sign Luis Suarez, would send the Emirates malcontents into turbo drive.
Yorkshire will take a big step towards winning the County Championship if they beat Nottinghamshire in the game which begins today.
In football, Tottenham, or more likely Tottenham Reserves, travel to Dinamo Tbilisi while Swansea entertain Petrolul Ploiesti, which they may find a mouthful.
Formula One resumes in Belgium after the mini summer break with Spa-Francorchamps hosting the first day of qualifying.
Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool will look to consolidate on their opening-day victory over Stoke with a trip to Aston Villa while Fulham v Arsenal (watch out, Arsene!) could provide the match of the day at Craven Cottage.
In rugby league, Hull and Wigan will ensure the House Full signs are up in the Tetley's Challenge Cup final.
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