The week sporting ahead (01/05/11)

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The Independent Online

Today

A Midlands derby (Birmingham v Wolves); Kenny Dalglish and Andy Carroll up against their old club (Liverpool v Newcastle); a big game at both ends of the table (Man City v West Ham); and the little matter of Arsenal v Man U. Elsewhere, there is a Heineken Cup semi-final at the unusual setting of Milton Keynes, as Northampton entertain Perpignan.



Tomorrow

Cardiff can go second in the Championship with a win over Boro but Norwich will reclaim the automatic promotion slot a few hours later if they win at Portsmouth. Crucial game in League One, Plymouth v Southampton. And the World Snooker Championship finally ends – I promise.



Tuesday

Expect Jose Mourinho to hide in a laundry basket again... and then to emerge and start randomly shooting Barça players (and maybe the odd official) as Real Madrid go down all guns blazing in their Champions' League semi-final at the Nou Camp.



Wednesday

In the other Champions' League semi-final, expect Manuel Neuer to don a pair of giant hands (Kenny Everett-style) as Schalke try to keep the score down at Old Trafford. The cricket team from Old Trafford (seamless link, eh?) and early-season pacesetters (and my tip for their first title since 1950), Lancashire, travel to Edgbaston, where the hosts are able to call on Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott, who is at the ground as we speak, marking his guard. Way down in Division Two, poor (in every sense of the word) Kent host surprise package Northants.



Thursday

The second legs of the Europa League semis. The games are of so little interest that even ESPN and Five are thinking of not screening them.



Friday

Another step on the road to Wembley in rugby league's Challenge Cup as Gateshead and Leigh look to pull off giantkillings (against Harlequins and the Catalans respectively).



Saturday

Squeaky-bum time for Wigan (at Villa), Blackpool (at Spurs) and West Ham (home to fellow cellar-dwellers Blackburn). It's the final day of the season in rugby's Aviva Premiership, pole position day at the Turkish Grand Prix and Usain Bolt may run the 100m in Jamaica... if he can be bothered.

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