The sporting week ahead (26/09/10)

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The Independent Online


Everyone agrees that Usain Bolt is a phenomenon but a personal viewpoint is that Haile Gebrselassie's achievements are often overlooked. Today it's the Berlin Marathon, where the Little Emperor set his world record two years ago. His time of 2hr 3min 59sec equates to 4min 44sec for every mile. Let's put that another way: it's 20kph non-stop on a treadmill for over two hours (you gym bunnies out there, try to do it for two minutes!) If you still can't get your head round it, it's 72 seconds per lap of an athletics track, 104 times! Truly phenomenal. On planet football today, Gérard Houllier's Villa could get thrown to the Wolves, Man U won't get any favours at Bolton now that Fergie's bessie "Big" Sam is not there and there will be no love lost between Aberdeen and Rangers in the SPL.


Rugby league's Man of Steel dinner in Manchester. Presumably the winner doesn't need a knife and fork. It's also the Heineken Cup launch in Dublin and Cardiff – in these ultra-professional days of sobriety, there might not even be any alcohol consumed. How sad.


Marseilles are next to be crushed by the Chelsea juggernaut in the Champions' League while Partizan Belgrade striker Cleo will have the Gunners in his sights. It's a shame for all concerned that Partizan are not playing Tottenham Hotspur because we could have had some Cleo Lane headlines.


Talking of Spurs, they host Steve McClaren's old team FC Twente tonight while Man U have a tricky tie in Valencia and, hopefully, Rangers will remove the bus from their own penalty area before taking on Bursaspor.


The Europa League is much maligned (by me) but Man City versus Juventus might actually be worth watching. Utrecht v Liverpool clashes with Home and Away and Eggheads so skip it.


The gloves are finally off (well, one will stay on) as the 38th Ryder Cup begins at Celtic Manor. There's also a chance for English cricket fans to check out their next opposition as Australia play their first Test against India in Mohali.


The Super League grand final at Old Trafford, and Sunderland versus Man U is the pick of the Premier League footy.