The Sporting Week Ahead (25/03/12)


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The Independent Online


It really is all going to kick off at Ibrox this lunchtime as Celtic pay a visit, but sadly not much else, to their stricken arch rivals Rangers. The fans should enjoy themselves – it could be the last Old Firm match for quite some time – but they probably won't. Meanwhile in the Premier League West Bromwich host Newcastle, while Paolo Di Canio will go suitably bonkers if his Swindon side can beat Chesterfield in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final at Wembley.


An early start to the week for cricket lovers as England seek to rebuild their rather battered Test reputation in the heat of Galle, Sri Lanka. The pitch may be undercooked, so the tourists could be all out by the time you eat breakfast. Manchester United will try to pull away from City at the top of the Premier League with the visit of Fulham.


It will be a deeply emotional night at White Hart Lane as Tottenham and Bolton reprise their FA Cup quarter-final, which was abandoned following Fabrice Muamba's cardiac arrest. Sunderland and Everton also replay their tie. But the main attraction will be Chelsea's Champions' League quarter-final first leg against Benfica in Portugal. MCC play county champions Lancashire in the first game of the new cricket season – in Abu Dhabi. But they still have to wear two woolly jumpers.


The pick of the Champions' League last eight has to be tonight's match between Milan and Barcelona at San Siro. Meanwhile Taekwondo's Team GB are unveiled in Manchester. The Milanese might do well to try a few of their high kicks on Mr Messi.


Hurray! There are no British teams left in the Europa League. But the aftermath of the Manchester clubs' failed campaigns rumbles on as Porto face a Uefa disciplinary hearing over their supporters' alleged racist chanting directed at City's Mario Balotelli and Yaya Touré at the Dragao last month.


Our archers try to qualify for London 2012, and the IOC's Co-ordination Commission complete their final visit to London. Not a traffic jam in sight.


There's a humdinger at the foot of the Premier League as Bolton travel to Wolves, while Saracens and Harlequins fight for supremacy in the Premiership.