The sporting week ahead (22/04/12)

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The Independent Online


The battle for the Premier League title continues as Manchester United host Everton while City travel to Wolves, who may as well pack it in if they lose. Roy Hodgson was kicked out of Anfield by the Boot Room boys after just 31 games in charge so Liverpool will hope he doesn't win on his return to the club since that would leave his Albion only a point behind. There's a tussle for Heineken Cup places as Exeter Chiefs, surprise package in their first season in the Premiership, host Northampton Saints. But the eyes of the world will be on Bahrain, where Formula One's obscene travelling circus meets a filthy rich government hell-bent on human rights abuses. What's to like? For a nice, quiet day, why not run around London for four hours dressed as a squirrel?


West Ham go to Leicester knowing deep down that they have plenty of potential heartaches still to come in the play-offs. It just wouldn't be the same if it was too easy and the Hammers were automatically promoted.


Chelsea have to get a goal at the Nou Camp and stop Barcelona scoring eight or nine if they want to reach the Champions' League final. Rather less glamorous but hugely important is the visit of Bolton to a crumbling Villa. The Olympic footie draw is held, no doubt with lots of balls in bags and prattling. David Beckham will be wheeled in once his cryogenic preservative thaws.


Real Madrid seek to overturn a 2-1 deficit at home to Bayern Munich. If they lose, Jose could be on his way back to London. We can't wait.


The Shooting World Cup is in London this week. But if it's safety shots you want, it's best to stay in and watch the World Snooker Championships instead.


Plucky Featherstone, who beat Super League's Castleford in the Challenge Cup last weekend, now face a rather trickier proposition in Wigan but Rovers are at home – at, er, BigFellas Stadium, formerly known as the Chris Moyles Stadium... Enough! I hope they lose.


Another decisive day in domestic football, though again City and United are not playing until tomorrow. Edinburgh, the first ever Scottish club to reach the Heineken Cup semi-finals, travel to Ulster for the big showdown.