The sporting week ahead (21/11/10)

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The Independent Online


The sparks may fly today when the Fulham manager, Mark Hughes, entertains his old club Manchester City, while Aston Villa travel to Blackburn. Elite tennis comes to town as the best eight players contest the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London, with 250,000 expected to attend during the week.


Sunderland at home to Everton. And that's about it. Sorry.


After losing in Donetsk, Arsenal could do with a win against Braga in Portugal to ensure qualification in the Champions' League, while Chelsea won't be too fussed about the visit of the pointless Slovaks Zilina.


Table-topping Tottenham's Champions' League adventure continues with a home game against underperforming Germans Werder Bremen, and Rangers and Manchester United battle it out in Glasgow while their respective teams contest an unambitious match at Ibrox.


And the eagerly awaited moment has finally arrived as England take on the Aussies at the Gabba in the First Ashes Test. Since it starts at midnight, you may find when you wake up that England's hopes were as wide of the mark as a Steve Harmison delivery. In Dubai it's golf's season-ending World Championship with Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell vying with Martin Kaymer for a prize of £10m. That might actually bail out Ireland's economy.


The mighty Crawley take on minnows Swindon in the FA Cup second round. Eh? Well, not quite, but Crawley have cleared their debts, having faced financial oblivion in February, and are aiming for Football League status.


A huge day of sport. Martin Johnson's blend of youth and experience attempt to add to their impressive autumn colours (or greys) against South Africa, and Wales try their luck against the All Blacks. Another tough game for wannabes Manchester City as they travel down the M6 to Stoke, while in the Championship, the high-fliers collide as the hordes of Cardiff descend on Queens Park Rangers. There's more FA Cup second round, with FC United spending a pleasant day at the seaside in Brighton. And Carl Froch attempts to regain the world super-middleweight title against Armenia's Arthur Abraham.