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This Week in Sport: 17th – 23rd February 2020

Get ready for a thrilling seven days of sport. With major implications in the Premier League, the week begins with Chelsea hosting Manchester United. The Champions League returns this week. Can Liverpool continue their dominant season as they face a slightly off-form Atlético Madrid? The NHL sees a clash of playoff contenders as the Edmonton Oilers welcome the Boston Bruins to Canada. The PGA and European Tours travel to Mexico for the WGC - Mexico Championships - the tournament is anyone’s for the taking. Hosts Australia open the Women’s T20 World Cup against India. Can they defend their title? Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury settle things once and for all in their much-anticipated rematch for the WBC heavyweight belt. And in the Six Nations, England will attempt to best undefeated Ireland.

Monday 17th February 8:00PM GMT – Football: Chelsea v Manchester United

In the Premier League, Chelsea host Manchester United for a vital game at Stamford Bridge in London.

The race for the top four will heat up on Monday night as Manchester United travel to the capital in pursuit of a crucial three points. Chelsea soared into the Champions League spots after a blistering start to Frank Lampard’s tenure, and have remained in the top four since mid-October. However, a recent run of poor results has seen their 10 point buffer on United slashed to just six ahead of Monday’s contest. The Blues have won just one of their last five Premier League outings and could end the weekend just one point clear of fifth spot. Meanwhile, since hitting four past Norwich last month, United have played 270 minutes of Premier League football without finding the net as Ole Gunnar Solskjær struggles to fill the void left by the injured Marcus Rashford. With fourth spot very much up for grabs this term, Monday’s meeting could go some way to determining which side will join Europe’s top table next season.

Tuesday 18th February 8:00PM GMT – Football: Atlético Madrid v Liverpool

Atlético Madrid welcome Liverpool to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid for a clash in the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp will lead his Liverpool side back to the site of their sixth Champions League triumph this week as they go in search of a positive result in this Round of 16 clash. Since overcoming Tottenham in last year’s final, Liverpool have lost just one competitive game of football and remain the team to beat across Europe. Meanwhile, Atletico have been disappointing so far this term, and have won just one of their last seven outings in all competitions. They will be desperate to secure a positive result in front of their home crowd before heading to Anfield for the return leg in three weeks’ time. With the Premier League title already firmly in Liverpool’s grasp, Klopp will have his sights set on becoming the first Liverpool manager since Bill Paisley to bring back-to-back Champions League titles home to the Kop.

Wednesday 19th February 1:30AM GMT (Thursday 20th) – Ice Hockey: Edmonton Oilers v Boston Bruins

Two high-flying teams meet in the NHL as the Edmonton Oilers host the Boston Bruins at Edmonton’s Rogers Place.

After years of relative mediocrity, the Oilers are starting to look like the team that once dominated the NHL. Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid both have over 30 goals and over 50 assists as they lead the team. With only a handful of points separating the top of the Pacific Division, the Oilers need to play excellent hockey. The Bruins are locked into a tight race in the Atlantic Division as they defend their Eastern Conference title. 23-year-old David Pastrnak leads Boston’s goal-scoring efforts while Brad Marchand is the team’s go-to for assists. While their division isn’t as tight as Edmonton’s, the Bruins can’t afford to slip up. This should be a thrilling encounter.

Thursday 20th February 3:00PM GMT – Golf: WGC- Mexico Championship Day 1

The WGC- Mexico Championship gets underway at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Naucalpan, Mexico.

The PGA Tour takes us to Naucalpan this week for another unmissable competition. The WGC-Mexico Championship always attracts the best of the best, with over 40 of the world’s top 50 players travelling to Mexico this week. Among the star-studded field will be reigning champion Dustin Johnson, who has enjoyed magnificent success at this particular event in recent years. Since the competition moved south of the US border in 2017, Johnson has come out on top twice, with Phil Mickelson winning the 2018 edition. Also headlining the field is world number one Rory McIlroy, who will be heading to Mexico in spectacular form. The Northern Irishman had enjoyed four-straight top four finishes on Tour before his tied-fifth place finish at the Genesis Open yesterday, and pushed Johnson all the way at last year’s Championship, finishing five strokes off the American. You won’t want to miss a single swing of a club in Naucalpan!

Friday 21st February 8:00AM GMT – Cricket: Australia Women v India Women

The Women’s T20 World Cup begins with hosts Australia facing India at Spotless Stadium in Sydney

The long awaited Women’s T20 World Cup has finally arrived, with 10 nations set to battle it out for the coveted title. Nine of the world’s top ten T20 nations will be competing down under, including number four ranked India, who will have the honour of opening proceedings in a clash against the hosts. These two heavyweights of the sport shared a thrilling encounter just last week in the final of the Australian Tri-Nation Women’s T20 Series, on which occasion Australia won by 11 runs. Currently residing at number one in the world rankings, Australia will be strong favourites to go all the way and defend their title on 8th March in Melbourne. They are going in search of a fifth T20 World Cup title, and a win on Friday against India would be the ideal start to their title defence.

Saturday 22nd February 5:00AM GMT (Sunday 23rd) – Boxing: Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury

Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury clash in a highly-anticipated rematch at the MGM Grand in Paradise, Nevada.

Unfinished Business is a fitting title for this fight. These two heavyweight giants first met in December 2018 for a fight that ended in a controversial split decision. Since then, both parties have been itching to settle things once and for all. Both men are 2-0 since their last meeting, with Wilder successfully defending his WBC title in preparation for Fury’s challenge. Those interim fights have seen Wilder’s signature explosive right hook on full display, but can he unleash it against Fury? In their last fight, Fury was able to very effectively disable Wilder’s most potent attack. However, Fury comes off a gruelling twelve-round fight, leaving the door open for the powerful Wilder. All of this should make for what will be an unforgettable fight.

Sunday 23rd February 3:00PM GMT – Rugby Union: England v Ireland

The Six Nations continues, with England welcoming undefeated Ireland to Twickenham Stadium in London.

Two age-old rivals of the sport will face-off on Sunday afternoon as England and Ireland compete for a crucial win. The visitors have made a near-perfect start to their Six Nations campaign, winning nine points from their opening two clashes. On the contrary, England have been underwhelming so far, but, after losing their first game, Eddie Jones’ men bounced back well to secure the win in trying conditions against Scotland. All of this sets up a fascinating confrontation between two of the competition’s most dominant teams, on one of the grandest stages Rugby Union has to offer.

Other sporting highlights from around the globe

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the UEFA Champions League where three more Round of 16 games will play out. On Tuesday, Borussia Dortmund host Paris Saint-Germain, before Atalanta meet Valencia and Tottenham Hotspur face RB Leipzig on Wednesday. Manchester City will be in Premier League action this week to play out their rearranged fixture against West Ham United on Wednesday, before taking on Leicester City on Saturday. There is also a capital clash in England’s top-flight this weekend as local rivals Chelsea and Tottenham thrash it out at Stamford Bridge. There is action on both the WTA and ATP World Tours as the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and the Rio Open play out all week long. The WGC-Mexico Championships begin on Thursday and conclude on Sunday, when Dustin Johnson will hope to sit atop the scoreboard for the second year running. After an enthralling All-Star weekend, normal service is resumed in the NBA this week with the OKC Thunder hosting the Denver Nuggets in a colossal Western Conference showdown. The action continues with the Utah Jazz facing the Houston Rockets whilst the Milwaukee Bucks entertain the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday. The NBA’s two most successful franchises meet at the Staples Center on Sunday with the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics sharing 33 championships between them. There is plenty of cricket to watch out for this week as South Africa play Australia in the 1st and 2nd T20 Internationals, whilst New Zealand and India lock horns in the 1st Test. Two further games will headline the action at the Women’s T20 World Cup this weekend as New Zealand face Sri Lanka on Saturday before England take on South Africa on Sunday, with both ties taking place at the WACA. A pivotal Premiership Rugby clash will play out on Sunday afternoon as the Exeter Chiefs meet Northampton Saints at Sandy Park. Meanwhile, Wales take on France in the Six Nations whilst Rugby League champions St. Helens and Sydney Roosters meet in the World Club Challenge at Totally Wicked Stadium.

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

Fixture

Photos by Chelsea FC; Liverpool Football Club; Edmonton Oilers; WGC-Mexico Championship; Cricket Australia; Deontay Wilder; Irish Rugby

Written and information correct on 16th February at 10pm GMT

 

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