The sporting week ahead (22/09/13)
Sunday 22 September 2013
Almost all eyes are on Manchester as City host United with two new managers experiencing the great rivalry for the first time since 1971 – when it was Malcolm Allison and Frank O'Farrell (though Big Mal had been No 2 at Maine Road for several years). For Fergie's first game, Jimmy Frizzell was overseeing his second derby – from that point their careers took divergent paths. Not to be outdone, however, London hosts the final stage of the Tour of Britain with a 10-lap, 8.8km whizz around Westminster. Let's hope the traffic isn't too bad. If Sir Bradley wins, he would no doubt be welcome to drop in for tea with the Queen. If he doesn't win, it's the Tower for him. In fact he and Chris Froome will then head for Florence, where the world road-racing championships begin.
England announce their squad for the Ashes series Down Under. Let's not suggest that they could pick any old dog and still win it. But if Boyd Rankin gets the nod, the Aussies might feel it's getting to that stage. In Perth (Scotland, not Australia), there's an audience with the Ryder Cup captains and a "fireside Q&A" to mark one year to go till the main event. One imagines it won't be quite as exciting without the actual golf.
Snooker's Stephen Lee comes up for sentencing after being found guilty of match-fixing. He could claim he's been framed, but he may have to start thinking about a prison break.
There will no doubt be a warm reception – but no hot supper – for Luis Suarez if he returns to action for Liverpool at Old Trafford in the Capital One Cup after completing his 10-match ban for biting. It will give him a taste of what to expect at away games for some time to come.
As if golf doesn't already flirt with its status as a proper sport, the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship starts at St Andrews with a bunch of celebrities taking part for huge piles of cash. England's women footballers play their second World Cup qualifier against Turkey at Fratton Park.
Domestic cricket puts on its bravest face for a chilly last day in the final round of Championship matches with a promotion and relegation place still to be decided. Don't expect fireworks, but they might keep the hands warm.
Chelsea's lunchtime appointment at Tottenham is the pick of the Prem. If you were hoping to see David Haye and Tyson Fury beating each other senseless, the fight's off so why not tune into your feminine side and watch Strictly Come Dancing instead.
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