Our event of the day is the AFL Premiership’s curtain-raiser as Carlton face Richmond at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. On paper, this is as one sided an affair as they come in Aussie Rules Football, as whilst Richmond topped the standings last season, Carlton resided rock bottom at the conclusion of the campaign, winning just two of their 22 outings. Even though the Blues will go into this one as the overwhelming underdogs, they will be, at the very least, looking for a competitive performance to set the tone for the long season ahead. On the other hand, Richmond will be desperate to notch their first win of the year in tonight’s clash as they look to emulate their successes of last term. Carlton had a year to forget in 2018 and they will be hoping for a better start to this campaign after losing each of their first seven fixtures of the 2018 season. Only the Greater Western Sydney Giants have lost more games than Carlton in a single campaign, when the Sydney-based outfit lost 21 matches in the 2013 season. What will offer Blues fans an iota of comfort is the fact that their side enjoyed a decent pre-season in the JLT Series, and even beat Essendon, a side who narrowly missed out on a Finals series spot last year.
After losing out at the Semi-final stage of last years Finals series, Richmond will be looking to go one better this time round to notch their second championship in three years. They will once again be led by captain Trent Cotchin who won the captain of the year award for 2018 after a string of dominant performances. The midfielder holds the records for most tackles in a single season and will be desperate to secure a second straight McClelland Trophy for finishing top of the league this time round. The stats certainly go in favour of the Tigers, who have beaten Carlton in each of their last seven meetings. However, before this current streak, the Blues had won 11 of the previous 12 clashes and will be hoping to emulate that form in today’s season opener. It should be an exciting start to the AFL season.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NCAA Basketball where the March Madness competition begins in earnest. Number two ranked Michigan State are in action as they face the Bradley Braves at the Wells Fargo Center, whilst Villanova will go in search of their fourth-straight win as they do battle with St. Mary’s (Cal.) at the XL Center in Connecticut. Other honourable mentions go to the MLB as Oakland Athletics face Seattle Mariners at the Tokyo dome in the second game of the 2019/20 campaign. Elsewhere, the Unibet Premier League takes to Berlin as the world’s best in darts do battle at the Mercedes-Benz Arena, with the Gerwyn Price and Rob Cross meeting headlining the action. There is also plenty of NBA action to look out for tonight across America as the Golden State Warriors face the Indiana Pacers whilst the Washington Wizards welcome the Denver Nuggets to the Capital One Arena. With the Calgary Flames and the San Jose Sharks taking the first two playoff spots in the NHL Western Conference, the Vegas Golden Knights will look to follow suit as they host the Winnipeg Jets at the T-Mobile Arena. Finally, the qualification process for Euro 2020 will get underway today as Belgium face Russia whilst World Cup finalists Croatia host Azerbaijan.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by AFL
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