The sporting week ahead (18/09/11)

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The Independent Online


It's over already. Too late. Check the Teletext for the results. Wales kicked off at 4.30am and England 7am so by the time you turn the TV on we're probably well into France v Canada (kick-off 9.30am). Probably best to settle for an afternoon of football with Rangers v Celtic (12.30pm), Tottenham v Liverpool (1.30) and Manchester United v Chelsea (4.0) providing a fitting meal for couch potatoes. But none of those will have as big a crowd as Croke Park, where 81,000 will see Dublin seek to win their first All Ireland Football trophy since 1995. Kerry are the opposition.


Another blank day in the Rugby World Cup, which looks likely to stretch into 2012. We are on Day 11 and not much has been sorted. In fact, none of the big boys have even met each other yet. In football Ipswich entertain Coventry.


It may only be the Carling Cup but meetings between Leeds and Manchester United seldom go off without a few combustibles, and last year Leeds even knocked them out the FA Cup. Stoke against Tottenham also looks tasty, assuming both managers don't opt to play their Under-15s.


PlayStation games aside, it is 20 years since Liverpool played Brighton at anything and Kenny Dalglish will not relish grappling with Gus Poyet's high-fliers, although Albion may regard Friday's match with Leeds as a priority. Chelsea take on local rivals Fulham. And the World Cup gets going again with Tonga v Mercenaries XV (sorry, Japan).


Namibia provide easy meat for their neighbours South Africa in Pool D.


Cricket is still with us with England entertain West Indies at The Oval in a rather superfluous Twenty20 match. Another mismatch looms in the World Cup, with Australia likely to brush aside Eddie O'Sullivan's USA in Pool C.


After England (presumably) see off Romania, the tournament cranks up a gear with New Zealand v France, the team who knocked them out in 2007. Another defeat today would be less damaging, but still set the Kiwis ajitter. The late game between Stoke and Manchester United should provide the best of the Premier League action while Formula One roars on in Singapore.