A terrific week of sport lies ahead with a selection of silverware up for grabs across the next seven days. Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars go head to head in the Finals of the Stanley Cup, Somerset and Essex go toe to toe in the Bob Willis Trophy Final, and Bayern Munich face Sevilla in the Uefa Super Cup.
The Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets are both vying for a spot in the NBA Finals, while Racing 92 and Saracens are competing for a place in the European Champions Cup Final. There’s also Diamond League action to look forward to in Doha and a bumper NFL clash between the Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints to wrap up a breathless seven days of sport.
The NHL Stanley Cup Finals continue with Game 2 between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars at Rogers Place in Edmonton on Tuesday 22nd September at 0:00AM GMT.
The top prize in ice hockey and North America’s oldest sporting trophy is on the line as the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Dallas Stars play their second of potentially seven matches in their bid to be crowned Stanley Cup champions.
The Stars currently lead 1-0 after recording a comfortable 4-1 victory in Sunday’s opening game. They have benefited from a four-day break between their Western Conference finals victory and the Stanley Cup finals opener - while the Lightning had just one day’s rest after clinching the Eastern Conference.
Can the Lightning pull themselves back into contention, or will the Stars edge closer to getting their hands on the prestigious trophy for the first time in 21 years?
In the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers and Denver Nuggets face off in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals at the AdventHealth Arena in Orlando on Wednesday 23rd September at 1:00AM GMT.
The Lakers take a 1-0 lead into the second NBA Western Conference Finals game following a comprehensive 126-114 victory over the Nuggets on Friday.
In the Lakers’ first finals appearance for a decade, Anthony Davis top-scored with 37 points and 10 rebounds, while LeBron James added 15 points, 12 assists and six rebounds to help see off the Nuggets.
The Lakers are now just three victories away from booking their place in the NBA finals for the first time since 2010. Can they take a step closer to basketball’s top prize, or can the Nuggets turn the tie on its head?
The Final of the Bob Willis Trophy between Somerset and Essex commences on Wednesday 23 September at 09:30AM GMT at Lord’s in London.
2020’s one-off first-class cricket tournament reaches its hotly-anticipated climax on Wednesday as the Final of the Bob Willis Trophy begins. The five-day event sees Somerset take on Essex, after the former topped the Central group and the latter the South group.
Both sides are yet to lose in the competition, each recording four wins and a draw from their five group games. Essex go into the final as the reigning county champions - the tournament the Bob Willis Trophy replaced this summer as a result of coronavirus - while Somerset boast break-through star Tom Lammonby. The 20-year-old only made his first-class debut at the beginning of August but has already registered two centuries in the competition.
A compelling five days are in store as Somerset and Essex vie to be crowned the best first-class cricket team in the UK.
Bayern Munich and Sevilla meet in the UEFA Super Cup at Budapest’s Puskás Aréna on Thursday 24th September at 7:00PM GMT.
The Uefa Super Cup pits the winners of the Champions League and Europa League against one another, and this year’s final has thrown up a clash between Europa League specialists Sevilla and the planet’s form team, Bayern Munich.
Bayern beat PSG 1-0 in August’s Champions League Final to round off a near impeccable season. The German outfit completed the treble after winning the Bundesliga at a canter and clinching the DFB-Pokal and are currently unbeaten in their last 31 matches in all competitions. And they’ve added Leroy Sane to their already world class squad.
Sevilla claimed a record sixth Europa League crown with a 3-2 victory over Inter last month - but have lost Sergio Reguilón from their cup winning squad, after he returned to parent club Real Madrid before joining Tottenham.
Expect a thrilling 90 plus minutes of action as two of the most exciting teams in European football lock horns.
The 10th leg of the 2020 Diamond League takes place in Doha, Qatar on Friday 25 September at 10:00AM GMT.
Originally scheduled for April, the Qatar Sports Club Stadium will finally see some Diamond League action on Friday.
Highlights from the days schedule include the men’s 200m, 400m and 1,500m, and the women’s 100m, 3000m and long jump. In the men’s 400m, it looks like another battle between Edoardo Scotti (the winner in Rome recently) and Yousef Karam (who lost in Rome by 0.04 seconds). Elaine Thompson-Herah set a World Leading time of 10.85 for the women’s 100m in Rome. The reigning Olympic champion in this discipline will look to push herself again ahead of next year's Olympics.
The Diamond League has thrown up plenty of stunning individual performances this summer; Armand Duplantis recorded the highest ever outdoors jump in the pole vault after clearing 6.15m in Rome, while Karsten Warholm came agonisingly close to breaking the men’s oldest track record, coming within nine hundredths of a second of American Kevin Young's 1992 400m hurdles record of 46.78 seconds.
Strap in for another day’s worth of world-class athletics action!
In the European Rugby Champions Cup, defending champions Saracens meet Racing 92 in the Semifinals at the Paris La Défense Arena on Saturday 26th September at 12:00PM GMT.
Racing 92 and Saracens can both take a step closer to glory in European club rugby’s most prestigious cup competition when they meet in the Semifinals of the European Rugby Champions Cup.
Saracens have enjoyed substantial success in this competition over the last five years, winning the tournament on three occasions. They beat Leinster to set up Saturday’s encounter with Racing 92 - who are a two-time runner up, but are yet to get their hands on the illustrious prize.
The pair met in the 2016 Final, with Saracens running out 21-9 victors to win their maiden title. Will history repeat itself, or can Racing 92 take a step closer to ending their long wait for European glory?
The New Orleans Saints play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday 27 September in the NFL at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
This is the first meeting between the pair since 2017, when the Saints recorded a 26-17 victory. The two sides played out a particularly memorable encounter in 2012 as the Packers edged a 28-27 thriller.
The Saints got their NFL season off to the perfect start with a 34-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while the Packers have been red hot since the season kicked off, registering a 43-34 win over the Minnesota Vikings followed by a comprehensive 42-21 victory against the Detroit Lions.
The Saints should offer a much sterner test, meaning a fascinating encounter awaits.
Honourable mentions around the globe begin with a Premier League fixture between last season’s runners up, Manchester City, and Champions League-chasing Wolves on Monday evening. Attention then turns to the Carabao Cup, where Luton host Manchester United on Tuesday, before Arsenal travel to Leicester on Wednesday. On Thursday it’s Manchester City versus Bournemouth and League One Lincoln against Premier League champions Liverpool. City are in league action once more on Sunday, as they host last season’s surprise package Leicester.
Additional football action comes from the MLS, where Sporting Kansas City play Orlando City and Columbus Crew face Minnesota United on Wednesday, before Columbus Crew are in action again on Sunday as they take on Toronto FC.
Elsewhere in the States, the Crosstown Classic takes place over the weekend in MLB, as the Chicago White Sox play the Chicago Cubs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
In NCAA College Football, Auburn take on Kentucky on Saturday, while in the NFL the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Houston Texans, the Seattle Seahawks welcome the Dallas Cowboys and the Las Vegas Raiders face the New Orleans Saints.
The NBA Conference Finals continue throughout the week, with the Boston Celtics playing the Miami Heat with a place in the NBA Finals at stake.
There’s an assortment of cricket for fans to look forward to this week; England Women play the West Indies in three T20s, Australia Women face New Zealand in a T20 series and the Sunrisers Hyderabad face the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders take on the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
Sale play Harlequins in the final of the Premiership Rugby Cup on Monday evening, while Bath face Gloucester in the Premiership the following day. Further rugby union action comes from Sandy Park, where Exeter host Toulouse in the European Rugby Champions Cup Semifinals on Saturday. In the European Rugby Challenge Cup Semifinals, Toulon host Leicester and Bristol Bears welcome Bordeaux Bègles.
Meanwhile in rugby league, Warrington Wolves face Catalans Dragons in the Super League, while the Rabbitohs play the Roosters, the Warriors take on the Sea Eagles, the Dragons play the Storm and the Sharks face the Raiders in the NRL as the season nears its conclusion.
Further sporting action in Australia comes from the AFL, where Collingwood face Port Adelaide on Monday in the last game of the regular season.
The final of the men’s and women’s Internazionali BNL d'Italia take place on Monday in Rome, with world number one Novak Djokovic against Diego Schwartzman and Simona Halep versus Karolína Plíšková.
Elsewhere in Italy, the UCI Road World Championships begin in Imola on Thursday.
In Sumo Wrestling, the September Tournament continues in Japan throughout the week.
In Abu Dhabi, Israel Adesanya goes toe to toe with Paulo Costa in UFC 253.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Open begins on Thursday in Ballymena and concludes on Sunday on the European Tour.
PDC Darts action comes from Hildesheim, where the German Darts Championship takes place.
And finally, the last Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year begins in Roland Garros on Sunday as the French Open commences.
A world-class week of sport awaits. Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Lakers, Essex Cricket, FC Bayern München, Wanda Diamond League, Saracens, New Orleans Saints
Written and information correct on 20 September at 10:00PM GMT
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