This Week in Sport: 10th – 17th August 2020

The sporting calendar has served up another stunning seven days of sport. We’re into the business stage of the Champions League, with Manchester City playing Lyon in the Quarter-Finals as the pair edge closer to club football’s most illustrious prize. 

There’s also a trophy to be won in the MLS, as the Portland Timbers play Orlando City SC in the final of the MLS is Back Tournament, while the World Snooker Championship also reaches its hotly anticipated conclusion.

The AFL is sure to throw up more twists and turns as St Kilda meet fellow high flyers Geelong, while in the NBA, the Clippers face the Nuggets as the playoff race hots up.

The second Test in what is proving to be a pulsating series between England and Pakistan commences, and the Premiership Rugby season makes its eagerly awaited return on Friday.

Monday 10th August 8:10AM GMT - Australian Rules Football: St Kilda v Geelong

St Kilda play Geelong in the AFL at the Gabba on Monday 10th August at 8:10AM GMT.

St Kilda go into Monday’s hotly anticipated clash as one of the AFL’s form teams, having won six of their last seven. They currently sit third on the AFL ladder, and can put pressure on table-topping Port Adelaide with victory.

However, they will have their work cut out on when they face top four rivals, Geelong. The Cats are sixth and find themselves in a similarly impressive run of form, having won five of their last seven. Geelong rested Brandan Parfitt, Esava Ratugolea, Jake Kolodjashnij and Gary Rohan for their victory over North Melbourne last time out, and could welcome the quartet back for Monday’s clash.

With the two sides in such a rich vein of form and the battle for the top four so finely poised, a compelling contest awaits.

Tuesday 11th August 12:30AM GMT (Wednesday 12th August) - Football: Portland Timbers v Orlando City SC

The MLS is Back Tournament ends with a Final between the Portland Timbers and Orlando City at the ESPN Wide World of Sport Complex in Orlando on Wednesday 12th August at 12:30AM GMT.

The MLS is Back Tournament reaches its climax on Tuesday, with the Portland Timbers and Orlando City bidding to be crowned champions and book their place in the Concacaf Champions League. 

The pair have enjoyed similar runs to this stage of the competition, having initially been considered underdogs at the tournament’s outset before topping their respective groups en route to the final. Portland booked their place in the final thanks to a 2-1 win over Philadelphia, with their reliable strike force of Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastián Blanco both on the scoresheet - the pair have seven goals and five assists between them thus far.

Orlando progressed to the final with a 3-1 victory over Minnesota thanks to a brace from former Manchester United winger and Orlando captain and talisman, Nani. Expect an intriguing encounter as the pair battle it out to be crowned MLS’s finest.

Wednesday 12th August 1:00AM GMT (Thursday 13th August) - Basketball: Los Angeles Clippers v Denver Nuggets

The NBA season continues with the Los Angeles Clippers facing the Denver Nuggets at the ESPN Wide World of Sport Arena in Orlando on Thursday 13th August at 1:00AM GMT.

It’s a mouthwatering clash of the titans in the NBA on Wednesday. The Clippers sit second in the Western Conference and look a good bet for a place in the Conference Finals, while the Nuggets are in the midst of a highly competitive jostle for third spot. 

The two sides have an identical record since the NBA returned at the start of August, with three wins and two defeats apiece. 

The game is the pair’s penultimate of the regular season, and with playoff positioning place hanging in the balance, Wednesday’s result could prove crucial.

Thursday 13th August 10:00AM GMT - Cricket: England v Pakistan (Day 1, 2nd Test)

The opening day of the 2nd Test between England and Pakistan gets underway at the Rose Bowl on Thursday 13th August at 10:00AM GMT. 

England will look to carry on from where they left off after producing a stunning comeback to steal an unlikely victory in last week’s 1st Test. 

Last summer, England conjured up a selection of famous victories against the odds, and the 1st Test was no different. Chasing 277, the hosts looked out of it at 117-5, but Chris Woakes and Jos Butler put on a partnership of 139 to grab a thrilling three-wicket win. 

Victory in the 2nd Test will give England their first series win over Pakistan in a decade. If the 1st Test is anything to go by, another exhilarating few days of action are in store.

Friday 14th August 6:45PM GMT - Rugby Union: Harlequins v Sale Sharks

Harlequins host Sale Sharks at Twickenham Stoop on Friday 14th August at 6:45PM GMT as Premiership Rugby makes its long-awaited return.

The Premiership resumes after a five-month enforced hiatus, and Harlequins versus Sale kicks off proceedings on Friday. Standings are finely poised heading into the final nine games of the season, with the hosts chasing a playoff place and the visitors very much in contention to seal their first league title since 2006.

Sale are currently five points adrift of Exeter at the league summit, but have added England international Manu Tuilagi and Lood de Jager - member of South Africa’s 2019 World Cup winning side - to their already impressive squad. 

Harlequins have made some exciting signings of their own, including South African international Andre Esterhuizen. Friday’s fixture will be the first opportunity for fans to see these new additions in action, with the Premiership poised to return in style.

Saturday 15th August 7:00PM GMT - Football: Manchester City v Lyon

Manchester City play Lyon at Estádio José Alvalade in the Quarterfinals of the Champions League on Saturday 15th August at 7:00PM GMT.

Manchester City and Lyon are just two victories away from a place in the final of club football’s most prestigious cup competition. Both sides are vying to reach the last four for just the second time in their history, with City making the Semifinals in 2016, and Lyon back in 2010. 

The pair upset the usual Champions League narrative to book their place in Saturday’s Quarter-Final. Man City knocked out 13-time winners Real Madrid with a 4-2 aggregate victory, while underdogs Lyon progressed thanks to an away goals win over Serie A champions Juventus. 

The tie will be played over just one leg in Lisbon, leaving Saturday’s match a frantic, winner-takes-all affair.

Sunday 16th August 12:30PM GMT - Snooker: World Snooker Championship (Day 17)

The 17th and final day of the World Snooker Championship begins on Sunday 16th August at 12.30PM GMT at the Crucible.

The illustrious World Snooker Championship final commences on Saturday and concludes on Sunday, with the winner pocketing £500,000 and lifting the most prestigious prize in snooker.

An unpredictable week of action has already unfolded in Sheffield, with Mark Allen and Shaun Murphy both crashing out in the first round, before fifth seed John Higgins was eliminated at the hands of the unseeded Kurt Maflin.

However, top seed and defending champion Judd Trump, three-time World Snooker champion Mark Selby, world number two Neil Robertson and the great Ronnie O’Sullivan all remain in the draw. Who will claim snooker’s top prize on Sunday evening?

Other sporting highlights from around the globe

Honourable mentions around the globe begin with the Champions League, with Quarterfinals taking place across the week in Portugal as teams aim to take one step closer to getting their hands on the greatest prize in club football. RB Leipzig play Atletico Madrid, Atalanta face PSG and Bayern Munich take on Barcelona.

It’s also the Quarterfinals stage of the Europa League, with Manchester United versus FC Copenhagen, Inter Milan against Bayer Leverkusen, Wolves versus Sevilla and Shakhtar Donetsk against Basel. European glory and a spot in next season’s Champions League awaits the winner.

Further sporting action in Germany comes from Berlin, where the Berlin E-Prix takes place on Wednesday in Formula-E.

We are beginning to reach the business end of the NBA season, and a selection of crucial clashes take place in Florida throughout the week. The Toronto Raptors face the Milwaukee Bucks and the  Denver Nuggets meet the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday, before the Raptors are in action again on Wednesday against the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers then take on the Houston Rockets, and the Nuggets and the Raptors face off on Friday.

First Class County Cricket can be found across the UK throughout the week as the battle for the Bob Willis Trophy continues.

Elsewhere in the UK, the latter stages of the World Snooker Championship take place over the next seven days at the Crucible. 

The WTA Tour stops off in the United States for the first time since March, as the The Top Seed Open gets underway on Monday and continues throughout the week in Nicholasville - with the great Serena Williams set to return to action for the first time since the coronavirus suspended the sport.

Additional sporting action in the USA can be found in Greensboro, where the PGA Tour stops off. The Wyndham Championship commences on Thursday and concludes on Sunday.

The MLB season continues, with two particularly mouthwatering series to look forward to. The Los Angeles Angels and the Los Angeles Dodgers will be playing for local pride, and there is a heavyweight matchup between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. 

The Roosters play the Storm in the NRL on Thursday, while in the UK, Leeds Rhinos and Wigan Warriors meet on Saturday in the Super League. 

Meanwhile in Rugby Union, Exeter Chiefs and Leicester Tigers get their Premiership campaigns back underway on Saturday, before Northampton Saints and Wasps meet on Sunday, while in the Southern Hemisphere the Highlanders face the Hurricanes in Super Rugby, followed by the Blues versus the Crusaders.

Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier face off in the octagon for a third time on Saturday as the headliner at UFC 252.

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begin on Tuesday.

In Forumla 1, the Spanish Grand Prix takes place in Barcelona on Sunday, while the MotoGP stops off in Spielberg for the Austria GP.

A week of world-class sport awaits. Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!

Fixture

Photos by Geelong Cats, Portland Timbers, LA Clippers, Pakistan Cricket, Sale Sharks, Manchester City, Ronnie O’Sullivan

Written and information correct on 9th August at 10pm GMT

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