The sporting week ahead (23/09/12)

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The Independent Online


Sky Sports will probably brand it Stratospheric Sunday because Liverpool v Manchester United and Manchester City v Arsenal will captivate those even beyond the TV studios in Osterley. Should Liverpool lose today... well, it is unthinkable. They are already enduring their worst start to a league season since 1911 and another defeat will leave everyone scratching round for appropriate adjectives. Another titanic clash is scheduled for along the M62 where Arsenal play former Arsenal, sorry Manchester City. Meanwhile, in the World Twenty20 England get their first taste of serious opposition against India, one of the favourites to win the tournament.


There has been a geographical shift from north to south in the top two football divisions. It means that the Championship is brimful of classic northern clashes, the latest being Blackpool against a Huddersfield side fresh from their victory over Sheffield Wednesday.


Football's Capital One Cup sounds like a competition designed for London's reserve teams. In fact, it is the latest manifestation of the League Cup, which has had more incarnations than Lord Vishnu. Potentially there are some good games tonight, however, including Leeds v Everton, Manchester City v Aston Villa and Chelsea v Wolves.


Liverpool have already had one unfortunate experience at West Brom this season. Another defeat tonight in the competition they won last season would not go down well.


Cycling is so sexy right now, even the Senior National Track Championships in Manchester deserve a mention.


Nothing tends to stir the juices quite like the Ryder Cup and tonight one of sport's most partisan contests starts at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois. If you believe the rankings then Europe will win. However, it will take a monumental effort from them in one of the most biased corners of the United States.


Another day of classic football encounters with Arsenal v Chelsea and Manchester United v Tottenham vying for top billing.