This Week in Sport: 16th – 22nd November 2020

This week’s scintillating sporting selection starts with an offering from the ATP World Tour, as the Nitto ATP Finals continue at the O2. The Nations League has thrown up another heavyweight clash to be played on Tuesday as Spain entertain Germany.

Wednesday will see the conclusion of this year’s thrilling State of Origin Series between Queensland and New South Wales. Two teams flying high in the NFL will lock horns on Thursday as the Seattle Seahawks play host to the Arizona Cardinals. Less than a month after the 2019/20 campaign ended, Premiership Rugby will mark its return with an unmissable offering as Harlequins tussle with reigning champions, the Exeter Chiefs.

Lockdown or no lockdown, you won’t want to stray far from home this weekend with so much sporting action to look forward to, starting with an Autumn Nations Cup clash between England and Ireland. The week ends with a Premier League showdown between two title-chasers as Liverpool welcome Leicester City to Anfield.   

Monday 16th November 2:00PM GMT – Tennis: Nitto ATP Finals

The ATP World Tour season concludes this week in traditional fashion as the Nitto ATP Finals play out at the O2 – the action begins at 2:00PM GMT.

After Sunday’s curtain-raiser saw some of the biggest names in tennis begin their title charges, Monday will see four more players begin their campaigns on the indoor courts of London’s O2 Arena. With Roger Federer continuing his recovery efforts after knee surgery earlier in the year, Argentine Diego Schwartzman has been handed the honour of competing at the prestigious Finals event. The 28-year-old will be faced with a baptism of fire though, as he prepares for a matchup against world number one Novak Djokovic. Whilst Schwarzman will look to make waves in his first Finals appearance, Djokovic will be looking to make history in his thirteenth. A tournament win for the Serb will see him match Roger Federer’s record of six ATP Finals titles, but could he fall at the first hurdle?

The later tie pits two of the game’s rising stars against each other, as Russia’s Daniil Medvedev faces Alexander Zverev of Germany. Medvedev will return to the O2 for the second straight season, however he will have very few fond memories of this arena, after losing all three of his Finals clashes last time out. Meanwhile, Zverev will look back on previous appearances with slightly more affection, having won this event back in 2018. The German will be out for revenge in south east London, however, after losing to Medvedev in the Paris Masters Final eight days prior.

Tuesday 17th November 7:45PM GMT – Football: Spain v Germany

Two former world champions lock horns in Seville on Tuesday in a decisive Nations League clash. Kick off comes at 7:45PM GMT.

Spain and Germany were two of the most dominant forces in world football throughout the last decade, winning three major titles between them. However, both countries have undergone a complete makeover in recent years, with both managers typically opting for youth in place of experience.

As expected, these two nations are currently leading the way atop Group A4, and Tuesday’s final group meeting will be decisive in determining which side comes out on top.

There has been nothing to split Spain and Germany in recent editions of this matchup, with the previous two ties ending in a 1-1 draw. However, there is currently a slender margin between the two sides in Group A4, with Germany one point better off atop the standings. Last time out, despite going a goal down, Germany’s firepower proved too much for a resilient Ukraine side, as they ran out 3-1 winners to reclaim top spot. Meanwhile, Spain spluttered to a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in Basel, meaning only a win will do in Seville if they are to come out on top in this competitive group.

Wednesday 18th November 9:10AM GMT – Rugby League: Queensland Maroons v New South Wales Blues

QLD and NSW will thrash it out one last time in Game 3 of this year’s State of Origin series, with play starting at 9:10AM GMT.

After Queensland took a shock lead in Game 1, normal service was resumed in the follow-up clash as New South Wales ran riot to restore parity in the series. That result tees up a thrilling final meeting on Wednesday morning, when we will discover the latest State of Origin champion.

The Blues bounced back from their opening day loss in some style, recording a resounding 34-10 win over the Maroons last week, meaning NSW will travel to Brisbane in high spirits as they eye another historic three-peat. On the other hand, Wednesday could easily come too soon for a Queensland side who may still be suffering a hangover from last Wednesday’s trouncing.

Many Blues fans will already have the champagne on ice, but there is a positive omen for Queensland in that Suncorp Stadium has been a happy hunting ground in recent outings, with Maroons winning six of the last seven State of Origin clashes there. Should they improve upon that impressive winning record, the hosts will pull off one of the most spectacular series wins in recent memory. Will NSW finish the job, or are QLD ready to spring one final surprise?

Thursday 19th November 1:20AM GMT (Friday 20th) – American Football: Seattle Seahawks v Arizona Cardinals

The NFL provides another unmissable midweek clash, with kick-off coming at 1:20AM GMT on Friday.

CenturyLink Field has played host to some of the most memorable matches of the campaign so far, and Thursday’s clash has all the ingredients to exceed them all. The Seahawks have been in imperious form on their home patch this year, winning all four of their outings in Seattle thus far. Along with the unbeaten Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle are the only other side able to boast such a record. The one-two offensive punch of Russell Wilson and DK Metcalf has been just about unstoppable this season, with the pair having combined for eight touchdowns already. However, after faltering against the Rams last time out, there will be added pressure on Wilson this weekend to help get their season back on track in Washington.

Though there are few places more daunting than Seattle to visit as an away team right now, Arizona will travel to CenturyLink Field full of belief they can pull off a big upset. The Cardinals were embroiled in one of the games of the season last time out when, thanks to a Kyler Murray Hail Mary in the dying seconds, they eventually found themselves on the right side of the 32-30 scoreline against the Buffalo Bills in Glendale to notch up their sixth win of the campaign. Another of those six wins came against Thursday's opponents, as they pulled off a memorable OT win last month. That day, the dynamic Kyler Murray enjoyed a game for the ages, throwing for 360 yards and three touchdowns to boot. The second-year quarterback will likely need to post similar numbers on Thursday if his team are to come away from CenturyLink with the W. Two of the most explosive QBs go head-to-head in Seattle, but who will come out on top in this NFC West showdown?

Friday 20th November 7:45PM GMT – Rugby Union: Harlequins v Exeter Chiefs

The new Premiership Rugby season begins with a barnstorming affair at Twickenham Stoop – battle will commence at 7:45PM GMT.  

Missed your weekly fix of Premiership Rugby action? Not to worry, the short wait comes to an end this week, as the electrifying competition returns to our screens on Friday. In a repeat of their 2019/20 season opener, Harlequins will begin their campaign with a bruising test against the high-flying Exeter Chiefs, who will make their return to league action less than a month after completing the double last term. There is little doubt that Exeter are one of the most exciting properties in English rugby just now, after becoming just the fourth English club to claim the league and European Cup double. The Chiefs will be eyeing a perfect start on Friday as they look to mount yet another charge to the Final, for what would be their sixth-straight appearance in the sport’s showpiece game. However, they will surely be wary of the threat the Quins can pose, having lost out on their last trip to Twickenham Stoop back in February.

After a mixed campaign saw Harlequins finish 23 points behind pace-setters Exeter last season, they will be hoping for a fast start this time round to steer their season in the right direction. The London-based outfit were slow out the blocks a year ago, winning just one of their opening four outings. Can Harlequins upset the odds in this opening night thriller, or will Exeter pick up where they left off from last month? You won’t want to miss this one!

Saturday 21st November 3:00PM GMT – Rugby Union: England v Ireland

Two international heavyweights lock horns in the Autumn Nations Cup at one of the sport’s most iconic venues – Twickenham. Kick-off comes at 3:00PM GMT.

England will be looking to make it two wins from two in the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup when they welcome Ireland to Twickenham on Saturday afternoon. There were few surprises last weekend as England ran riot over an inferior Georgia side, taking home maximum points with a 40-0 victory. Though there may have been few lessons for Eddie Jones to learn from Saturday’s routine win, the England boss would have been delighted by his side’s performance, particularly that of hooker Jamie George, who became the first England hooker to score a hat-trick for his country.

However, Jones and his merry men will be eagerly anticipating a far greater test this weekend as Andy Farrell’s Ireland descend upon south west London. Ireland were desperate to restore some level of optimism within the camp on Friday following their capitulation in the Six Nations, and they got it in spades. A comprehensive 32-9 victory over the Welsh saw Ireland get off to the perfect start ahead of this weekend’s pivotal showdown. However, recent history suggests that the Irish will have a tough time of it in south west London, having won on just one of their last seven visits to the capital. Is that all set to change on Saturday? Tune in to find out!

Sunday 22nd November 7:15PM GMT – Football: Liverpool v Leicester City

First meets third in the Premier League on Sunday, with the action from Anfield starting at 7:15PM GMT.

After the slight slog of the two-week November international break, top-flight football returns to our screens this weekend in some style.

It is very finely poised at the summit of the Premier League, with some unlikely leaders currently setting the pace. Before the start of play, Liverpool find themselves in third place, a point behind Sunday’s opponents in first. However, despite a shaky start to the campaign, the Reds could find themselves top of the pile come Sunday night, which would be testament to the job Jürgen Klopp is carrying out in these most testing circumstances. With the injury list piling up on Merseyside, Klopp will be stretching his squad to its limits this weekend, as he looks to restore order in England's top tier.  

Meanwhile, Leicester fans won’t be getting carried away just yet, but the echoes of their historic 2015/16 season would just start to ring a little louder should they topple the champions on Sunday.  However, Sunday’s trip to Merseyside will pose the toughest questions of Brendan Rodgers’ side thus far, as the northern Irishman returns to the home of his former employers. A win for the Foxes would see them open up a four-point gap over the defending champions, an impressive lead even in the early knockings of this campaign. It would take a brave pundit to rule it out, too, with Leicester going into the weekend’s proceedings in impressive form, winning each of their last three. However, the Foxes have a miserable record at Anfield, having last won there way back in 2000. Will Leicester be the side to end Liverpool’s imperious home record, or will the champions quell the Foxes’ attack to return top of the pile?

Other sporting highlights from around the globe

Honourable mentions from around the globe go to the PDC Tour and the Grand Slam of Darts, which gets underway on Monday and plays out all week long.

There is more action from the NFL to watch out for on Monday night as the Chicago Bears thrash it out with the Minnesota Vikings in Illinois. There is another showcase of NFL action on Sunday, with three key clashes taking place: Baltimore Ravens versus Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts versus Green Bay Packers and Las Vegas Raiders versus Kansas City Chiefs. American Football fans will be treated to another instalment of NCAA action on Saturday, with Ohio State taking on Indiana.

Snooker’s finest will be in action from Monday contesting the Northern Ireland Open, but who will reign victorious on Sunday?

The November Tournament will reach its thrilling conclusion on Sunday, as the curtain falls on the 2020 Sumo Wrestling season.

Monday will see the second Semi-final play out in the ISL, before the subsequent big final in swimming is contested across the weekend.

The week’s Rugby Union offering starts with Pro14 Rugby action on Monday, as Leinster lock horns with Edinburgh. Two more Pro14 Rugby fixtures headline the weekend’s action, with Leinster in action once more to face Cardiff Blues, whilst Ulster thrash it out with the Scarlets. The Semifinals of the Mitre 10 Cup will be contested throughout the weekend. There is another thrilling opening night clash to watch out for in the Premiership as Sale Sharks play host to Northampton Saints. Elsewhere, Sharks versus Stormers is your Super Rugby Unlocked offering on Saturday, whilst Argentina and Australia do battle on the international stage as the Rugby Championship continues. The Autumn Nations Cup has thrown up another unmissable clash this weekend which will see Scotland entertain France, whilst Wasps and Bristol Bears play out a domestic thriller in the Premiership.

This electrifying Pakistan Super League season will reach its conclusion on Tuesday, when Karachi Kings will thrash it out with Lahore Qalandars for the title. There is another corker from the Women’s Big Bash League on Tuesday which will see Perth Scorchers take on Melbourne Stars at Hurstville Oval.

The long-awaited NBA Draft will be conducted on Wednesday – which team’s dealings will you be paying most attention to?

As the dust settles on another explosive weekend at Augusta, the PGA Tour rolls on this weekend as The RSM Classic plays out from Sea Island Resort.

The Super League season continues this week as Wigan Warriors tussle with Hull FC, before St Helens entertain Catalans the following evening in the semifinals.

Conor Benn will make an eagerly anticipated return to the ring on Saturday night, when the unbeaten Brit will go toe-to-toe with Sebastian Formella at Wembley Arena.

There is MLS playoff action on Saturday which will see Orlando City SC go head-to-head with New York City FC at Exploria Stadium. The following day, two more playoff contenders will do battle as Minnesota United and Colorado Rapids meet at Allianz Field. Two of the Premier League’s big boys will lock horns on Saturday night, as Tottenham Hotspur welcome Manchester City to north London. Leeds will be eyeing their fourth Premier League win of the season on Sunday as they welcome Arsenal to Elland Road. In La Liga, Barcelona visit the Wanda Metropolitano, to play Atletico Madrid. 

The MotoGP season concludes in Portugal at the Algarve International Circuit in Portimão.

A flyweight title bout tops the bill at UFC 255, as Deiveson Figueiredo enters the octagon with Alex Perez.

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


Photos by Novak Djokovic, Die Mannschaft, NSW Blues, Seattle Seahawks, Exeter Chiefs, England Rugby, Liverpool Football Club

Written and information correct on 15th November at 9pm GMT

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