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The sporting week ahead (26/02/12)


It is a full 16 years since Liverpool last troubled Wembley Way, an occasion marked by those awful white suits. They promise to be better dressed today and victory looks likely. Put your money on Craig Bellamy to score the winner against his old side Cardiff. But the Carling Cup final is only the second most important game in north London as Arsenal entertain Spurs a couple of hours earlier, a game that has taken on huge importance for Gunners fans. Overtaking Tottenham represents the height of their ambitions for the rest of the season. In the Six Nations Andy Robinson will be under pressure if Scotland lose a third successive game; they are at home to France.


England's tour of the UAE ends with a third T20 game against Pakistan, which is probably two too many. Just over the dunes, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships crank up into full gear with a quality field in the men's event.


If it's Tuesday it must be hockey: the British women play Spain in Barcelona.


So what will Fabio Capello do today? Go to the opera, perhaps, or watch old DVDs of his playing days. At least he doesn't have to go about the dreary business of being England manager. What a strange job it must be. You do nothing but wheelbarrow loads of cash down to the bank for months; and every now and then you pitch up at one of the dreariest parts of north London and watch a collection of sullen individuals serve up pretty poor fare on the road to not doing well at another tournament. As Stuart Pearce's England take on Holland, Pit Bull plus Three Lions probably equals Dead Donkeys.


If it's Thursday it must be hockey; it's Britain versus Spain – that's round two.


The RaboDirect Pro12 sounds like something that gets you quickly round an east European city. Tonight the highlight is Scarlets against Connacht.


The Premier League programme has a solid feel about it with Liverpool versus Arsenal the top offering, although West Bromwich against Chelsea might provide the shocks. In London football's International Board consider goal-line technology and the thorny issue of whether women should be allowed to play international games in hijabs.