This Week in Sport: 14th – 20th September 2020

Another thrilling week of sporting action lies in wait, starting with an NHL playoff clash as Vegas Golden Knights meet Dallas Stars in Game 5 of the series. The captivating Tour de France headlines Tuesday’s action, whilst England meet Australia in the 3rd ODI the following day. The second major of 2020 will get underway on the PGA Tour on Thursday as the U.S. Open commences. Friday will see game 1 of the Western Conference Finals contested, as the LA Lakers meet the LA Clippers or the Denver Nuggets. Cricket fans will be treated to a thrilling season opener from the IPL on Saturday as the Mumbai Indians take on the Chennai Super Kings. The week concludes with an unmissable Premier League matchup as Chelsea welcome Liverpool to Stamford Bridge.

Monday 14th September (12:00AM GMT Tuesday 15th) – Ice Hockey: Vegas Golden Knights v Dallas Stars 

Game 5 of this thrilling NHL playoff series will get underway at 12:00AM GMT on Tuesday in Edmonton. 

After a breathless Game 4 saw Dallas move just one win away from progressing to the Stanley Cup Finals, Vegas Golden Knights have left themselves with it all to do. Vegas - the league’s newest team - must now win three straight matches if they are to reach the Stanley Cup Finals for the second time in three seasons.

For Dallas, just one more win over the Golden Knights would represent their best postseason run since they contested the Stanley Cup Finals in 2000. However, with no team having conceded more goals in this season’s playoff campaign, the Stars will be wary that the job is far from finished in Canada. They will turn to the goal-scoring talents of Joe Pavelski, who has already scored nine playoff goals this term. Only Bo Horvat of the Canucks has notched more times, but can the Stars’ talisman produce one more unstoppable display, as the Centreman eyes a first Stanley Cup win of his career?

Tuesday 15th September 9:20AM GMT – Cycling: Tour de France Stage 16 

After a rest day, the Tour de France continues with a 102-mile mountain stage between La-Tour-du-Pin and Villard-de-Lans on Tuesday at 9:20AM GMT.                     

The showpiece event in the cycling calendar continues this week, with Stage 16 headlining Tuesday’s sporting action. Heading into the third week of action, Team Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič remains in possession of the yellow jersey, but has made much harder work of the early stages than many would have anticipated. The Slovenian holds just a narrow margin over the chasing pack, teeing up another exciting week of racing. 

In the absence of several of the sport’s most celebrated names, this year’s race could be an opportunity for other riders to steal the limelight. One man looking to do just that is Roglič’s compatriot Tadej Pogačar, who currently possesses the White Jersey, and finished on top in Sunday’s Stage 15. He goes into Tuesday’s race just 40 seconds behind Roglič – make sure you tune in to find out who reigns supreme in France. 

Wednesday 16th September 12:00PM GMT – Cricket: England v Australia

Two of the world’s best ODI teams lock horns in the deciding 3rd ODI, starting at 12:00PM GMT. 

This unique year of cricket continues to captivate millions of fans from around the world watching from home. This thrilling matchup pits England, the number one ranked ODI team on the planet, against Australia, the most successful team at the ODI World Cup with five wins.

In the 1st ODI, Australia set an unassailable target of 294, which was enough to see the tourists take a 1-0 lead. In the second meeting, despite a resilient display from opener Aaron Finch, who notched 73, England stifled their visitors to restore parity in the series. 

Three wickets each from Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran did the damage to Australia’s batting order, setting up an unmissable 3rd ODI, as England look to defend their impeccable home record.

Thursday 17th September 2:00PM GMT – Golf: U.S. Open

The prestigious US Open begins at the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York on Thursday 17th September at 2:00PM GMT. 

This year’s U.S. Open takes us back to Winged Foot Golf Club in New York for the first time since 2006. The 120th edition of this famous competition will be unlike any other, not least since it will be contested outside the month of June for the first time since 1932. Moreover, due to scheduling issues and postponements, the 2020/21 season will actually see six majors contested, including two U.S. Opens. 

So which players will fancy their chances in New York this week? After several thrilling displays in recent outings, it is difficult to look far past world number one Dustin Johnson. The reigning FedExCup champion has just one U.S. Open win on his roll of honour, which remains his only major win, despite recording 17 top ten finishes at majors. Other likely candidates to reign supreme this weekend include defending champion Gary Woodland who, having recently slipped down the rankings, will be desperate to return to the lofty heights of last year’s win.

Friday 18th September (01:00AM GMT Saturday 19th) – Basketball: Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers/Denver Nuggets

The NBA Western Conference Finals begin on Friday. 

With Denver forcing a game 7 in their topsy-turvy series with the Clippers, the Los Angeles Lakers must wait a few days longer to see who they will face in the Western Conference Finals. The matchup many would have anticipated at this stage of the playoffs is Lakers v Clippers, but the Nuggets refuse to be ruled out.

After making light work of Portland in the first round, LeBron and the Lakers were faced with a dangerous Houston side, who would have had title aspirations of their own. However, after losing game 1, the ‘Purple and Gold’ won four straight games to progress to the franchise’s first Conference Finals series since 2010. 

This week’s game 7 will be Denver’s second of the postseason, after going the distance with Utah Jazz in the First Round. Meanwhile, Clippers edged past the Mavericks in their initial playoff matchup, but have struggled to put Denver away in this thrilling series, in spite of some outstanding Kawhi Leonard displays. Will we be faced with a Los Angeles derby in the WCF, or will the team from the Mile-High City reach just their second WCF series since the turn of the millennium? 

Saturday 19th September 2:00PM GMT – Cricket: Mumbai Indians v Chennai Super Kings

The curtain-raiser of the new IPL season pits two heavyweights together, with the action starting at 2:00PM GMT at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

In this electrifying season-opener, the defending IPL champions, Mumbai Indians, take to the field with last year’s runners-up, Chennai Super Kings, in a repeat of the final. Only Mumbai have more IPL titles than Chennai, but which side will get off to the perfect start on Saturday?

Mumbai can boast one of the most potent bowling attacks in the league, with a one-two punch of Jasprit Bumrah, their leading wicket taker last term, alongside New Zealand’s Trent Boult.

However, the two pace-men will face stiff opposition from Chennai’s elite batting order, which includes veteran keeper MS Dhoni. He led by example as captain last term, finishing the season as leading run-scorer for the Super Kings. Two of the league’s most decorated teams lock horns in this one, so don’t miss a single ball!

Sunday 20th September 3:30PM GMT – Football: Chelsea v Liverpool 

Two Premier League title candidates go toe-to-toe in south west London – kick-off comes at 3:30PM GMT. 

The Premier League returned last weekend following the shortest preseason ever. However, the teams in England’s top tier showed no signs of fatigue, and the opening weekend was rife with plenty of thrills and spills. Involved in the game of the weekend were one of this week’s featured teams, Liverpool, as the reigning champions found themselves embroiled in a seven-goal thriller with newly-promoted Leeds United. Though the Reds eventually found themselves on the right side of the 4-3 score line, Jürgen Klopp will have been left with plenty to chew on this week as he prepares his side for the tricky trip to Stamford Bridge.

Having invested over £200 million in their star-studded squad during the transfer window, expectations amongst the Chelsea faithful have instantly been raised. Though a title challenge may seem one step too far for some, Sunday’s clash with last year’s runaway champions will provide some indication as to how far this Chelsea side could go this term. 

Other sporting highlights around the globe 

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NFL, where the season’s first instalment of Monday Night Football will play out, featuring the Denver Broncos and the Tennessee Titans. Thursday night’s offering sees the Cleveland Browns thrash it out with the Cincinnati Bengals. Later in the week, the Indianapolis Colts meet the Minnesota Vikings, whilst the Houston Texans entertain the Baltimore Ravens. 

Staying in the States, there is plenty on offer from the MLB, with Chicago White Sox’s series with Minnesota Twins headlining the action.  

The NBA playoffs will continue all week long, with the commencement of the Conference Finals.

Cricket fans will be treated to a week full of world-class entertainment, starting with Yorkshire and Lancashire’s clash in the T20 Blast on Monday, before the two sides lock horns once again three days later. Meanwhile, Surrey meet Sussex and Somerset host the Steelbacks in the same competition. In the Indian Premier League, the Delhi Capitals entertain Kings XI Punjab in a blockbuster affair.

On the PDC Tour, the Autumn Series will continue all week long. Friday will see the beginning of the World Series of Darts Finals.

There is plenty more Premier League football to keep an eye on this week, starting with Sheffield United’s clash with Wolves, which is followed by Brighton’s meeting with Chelsea on Monday. The weekend’s action is headlined by Arsenal’s derby date with West Ham United. The Carabao Cup second round begins in earnest this week, as Bournemouth host Crystal Palace and Southampton face Brentford in the pick of the ties.

The Premiership Rugby season continues this week, with Gloucester Rugby facing-off with Harlequins. Rugby Union fans will be treated to plenty more action this week, including a Super Rugby Australia final which will see the Brumbies entertain the Reds. Meanwhile, in the European Rugby Champions Cup, there are four unmissable fixtures to watch out for. Leinster Rugby and Saracens will lock horns, whilst ASM Clermont Auvergne do battle with Racing 92. There are two more ties the following day which will see Stade Toulousain face Ulster Rugby and Exeter Chiefs take to the field with Northampton Saints. 

In the world of Athletics, the Diamond League Italy takes place on Thursday.

The scintillating NRL season resumes this week, with the Roosters’ match against the Sharks being the stand-out tie. In the Rugby League Challenge Cup, the Warrington Wolves meet St. Helens in a show-stopping matchup.

Sunday’s offering from the world of motorsport comes in the shape of the MotoGP San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini Grand Prix. Meanwhile, the Catalunya Round of the Superbike World Championship will also run its course. 

In the AFL, St Kilda will host GWS Giants as both sides look to keep their playoff dreams alive.

There is more golf to sink your teeth into over the weekend, as the Open de Portugal plays out on the European Tour.

Fans of Sumo Wrestling will be eagerly anticipating The September Tournament, which takes place all week long. 

The tennis stars of this world will be contesting the Men’s and Women’s Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome this week, on the ATP and WTA Tours.

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

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Photos by Vegas Golden Knights, Tour de France, Cricket Australia, PGA TOUR, Los Angeles Lakers, Mumbai Indians, Chelsea FC

Written and information correct on 13th September at 9pm GMT

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