The sporting week ahead (28/07/13)

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The Independent Online


The big question for Formula One is whether the sport can string out an entire season arguing about tyre composition. Surely no other sport would disappear up its own orifice quite so readily. Imagine football dispensing with transfer tittle-tattle for endless discussion about ball pressure or goal-post thickness. Impossible? Well obviously you would put nothing past Jim White in excitable mood, but even Sky Sports might regard this as a step too far.

Back in La La Land, however, you can expect much chatter at today's Hungarian Grand Prix about whether Pirelli have inflated their rubber rings correctly. Nearer home, the Parlaympians will return to the Olympic Stadium, scene of their greatest triumph, for the final day of the Anniversary Games. Another star of 2012, Sir Bradley Wiggins, gets back on his bike for the Tour of Poland.


If it's Monday it must be Hong Kong, where Manchester United, fresh from their five-continent, 92-nation (or so it seems) pre-season tour, play Kitchee FC.


Fans of Flat racing celebrate the start of Glorious Goodwood, a five-day festival that attracts 100,000 folk through its gates.


Celtic, who saw off Cliftonville last week, must feel like Champions' League veterans already as they face a third-round qualifier against Swedish side Elfsborg. The pre-season friendlies are also starting to ramp up ahead of the start of the Premier League season on 17 August, with Everton versus Carlos Tevez's new club, Juventus, the pick of today's offerings.


Australia's cricketers, narrow losers at Trent Bridge and beaten out of sight at Lord's, aim to at least avoid embarrassment against England in the Third Test at Old Trafford.


And so we are off. Meaningful football returns with Sheffield United v Notts County in League One. It seems an awfully long way to go until next May. If you still believe in summer, Yorkshire play Warwickshire in a game that could decide this year's County Championship.


Loftus Road probably won't be a hive of expectation when Queens Park Rangers play Sheffield Wednesday – two teams that can only dream of better times. Harry Redknapp will no doubt be in jovial mood as he looks to get Rangers off to the right sort of start. But many see Reading, who kick off at home to Ipswich, as better placed for an instant return to the Premier League.