The sporting week ahead (19/06/11)

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The Independent Online


Sorry about this but football hasn't gone away, you know. England's Under-21s, having spluttered their way though two uneventful group games, must beat the Czechs to make it into the European Championship final four. That may prove too tall an order for Stuart Pearce's men, who look about as underwhelming as, well, England's senior team.


There is something strangely reassuring about the first day of Wimbledon. After all the navel-gazing of the past week about why-oh-why has a Brit not won here since before the Domesday Book was written, we set out on the annual two-week journey. Of course the tournament never starts properly until tomorrow, when all the locals bar Andy Murray will have been knocked out, but expect a flurry of nearly Brits on the first day. Elsewhere Martin Johnson names his World Cup training squad, which will probably contain almost everyone you have ever heard of plus a few Samoans trying to sort out their new passport in time.


Martin Jol will be introduced as the new Fulham manager. No doubt he will be savvy enough to compliment his new boss on that engaging statue of Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage and tell the world that he just could not resist the challenge of returning to English football. The fact that he turned down the same job last year was just an oversight.


Looking a bit thin midweek but Sri Lanka warm up for their first Twenty20 against England on Saturday with a one-day tour match at Worcestershire.


Expect Murray mania to be reaching a ridiculous pitch by now. The BBC will have filmed him tucking into his breakfast (probably pasta), going for an early-morning jog and relaxing in the evening with his trusty PS3. Andy will start to get a bit tetchy with all the attention and probably cause a major row by insisting he doesn't rate the English much. The world of low-level golf trundles along as usual with the BMW International Open in Munich.


It's sailing's Round the Island practice ... You would think they'd know how to do it by now.


England and Sri Lanka line up for some hit and giggle (T20 to you) in Bristol.