This Week in Sport: 22nd – 28th June 2020

Get ready for another thrilling week of sport. There’s a vital clash at the top of La Liga as Villarreal host Sevilla. The result could have major implications come the end of the season. Liverpool continue to chase their first Premier League title in thirty years as they welcome Crystal Palace to Anfield. The FA Cup also continues this week, with Leicester City hosting Chelsea. Andy Murray makes his return to tennis at the Battle of the Brits exhibition tournament. Collingwood look to stay undefeated in the AFL as they face the GWS Giants. Also looking to stay top of their league is the NRL’s Parramatta Eels as they face the Canberra Raiders. The PGA Tour continues with the always-exciting Travelers Championship.

Monday 22nd June 5:30PM GMT – Football: Villarreal v Sevilla

In La Liga, seventh-place Villarreal host fourth-place Sevilla at the Estadio de la Cerámica in Villarreal.

Villarreal will welcome Sevilla to Estadio de la Cerámica on Monday night where both sides will look to extend their respective unbeaten runs. Despite losing three straight games before the lockdown, Villarreal have made a spectacular return to top flight action, winning all three of their post-lockdown outings. Meanwhile, Sevilla remain one of La Liga’s toughest assignments this season, having last lost a game way back in February. Though they have just one win to their name since the league’s resumption, they will take great encouragement from their result last time out which saw Julen Lopetegui’s side take a point off of league leaders Barcelona. The reverse fixture earlier in the campaign saw Villarreal take all three points home from Seville, but will history repeat itself on Monday night?

Tuesday 23rd June 12:00PM GMT – Tennis: Battle of the Brits

The Battle of the Brits begins at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton.

The week long Battle of the Brits competition will feature Britain’s top-ranked male players as eight singles competitors and six doubles pairs look to take home the titles. Under normal circumstances, tennis fans would have been preparing for the start of The Championships at Wimbledon next week, however, in its place this year is a new format designed to pit the best British players against each other. Masterminded, in part, by seven-time Grand Slam doubles winner Jamie Murray, the competition will serve to raise at least £100,000 for NHS Charities Together whilst providing electrifying entertainment for tennis fans across the world. Day 1 will be headlined by the return of Andy Murray, who will be up against 26-year-old Liam Broady, whilst British number one Dan Evans takes on Jay Clarke in another blockbuster clash. 

Wednesday 24th June 7:15PM GMT – Football: Liverpool v Crystal Palace

Liverpool look to move closer to clinching the Premier League title as they host Crystal Palace at Anfield in Liverpool.

Having accumulated 83 points from a total of 90 available this season, Liverpool could find themselves in the enviable position of being able to wrap up the league title with seven games to spare. However, after their goalless draw with Everton at the weekend, Liverpool now rely on Manchester City dropping points in their Monday night clash with Burnley if they are to once again be presented with the opportunity of wrapping up the title on Wednesday night. A City win, however, would delay Liverpool's jubilation slightly longer and they would then earmark next week's fixture with City as the potential title-winning occasion. With the Eagles sitting well clear of the relegation zone in ninth, Roy Hodgson could be forgiven for turning his attentions to the European spots which are now in touching distance after their comfortable 2-0 win over Bournemouth at the weekend. However, despite losing their unbeaten streak before the mid-season hiatus, Liverpool remain the only team in Europe’s top five leagues to still boast a 100% winning home record this term. Maintaining that impressive feat could bring about an even greater achievement on Wednesday night, as Liverpool's red ribbons are slowly being secured onto the Premier League trophy. 

Thursday 25th June 2:00PM GMT – Golf: The Travelers Championship

The PGA Tour continues with the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. 

Chaz Reavie will have a mountain to climb if he wants to defend his 2019 title. All of the top ten of the PGA standings will be on the field at River Highlands. For world number one Rory McIlroy, this means continuing to put pressure on tour leader Sungjae Im. Elsewhere, Bubba Watson is in the hunt to become only the second four-time champion of the Travelers. Watson, who is currently 47th in the PGA standings, previously won the event in 2010, 2015, and 2018. Living legend Phil Mickelson will mark his first tournament since turning 50 last week. With such a talented field, you won’t want to miss a single swing.

Friday 26th June 9:50AM GMT – Australian Rules Football: GWS Giants v Collingwood

In the AFL, the GWS Giants host Collingwood at Spotless Stadium in Sydney.

Collingwood find themselves atop the AFL standings with two wins and a draw from their opening three matches. In their latest match, they recorded a 44-point win over St Kilda. When the Collingwood offence gets going, they often look unstoppable. However, today is a rematch with the team that knocked them out of the 2019 Finals. The Giants made a surprise run to the Grand Final, eventually losing to Richmond. They have not been able to replicate that form so far this season and currently sit in 12th. They will look to bounce back from a bruising 24-point loss to the 16th place Western Bulldogs. Their slow start to the season has people questioning whether they can replicate their 2019 form but it is still early in the new season.It should be a rematch to remember.

Saturday 27th June 9:35AM GMT – Rugby League: Parramatta Eels v Canberra Raiders

In the NRL, the league-leading Parramatta Eels host the Canberra Raiders at Bankwest Stadium in Sydney.

The Eels hold a slim one-point lead at the top of the NRL ladder, having started the season 5-1. However, they come off their first loss of the season, falling 24-10 to the defending champion Sydney Roosters. Whether or not they can truly contend for a title will be tested as they face the 2019 runner-up Raiders. The Raiders sit at 4-2 but also come off a loss, falling 14-6 to the Sea Eagles last weekend. Currently fifth, this match may be the indicator as to what sort of season the Raiders are in for. Historically, the Raiders have a good record against the Eels, having won 20 of their 33 matchups. With the implications it carries, this is sure to be a fantastic match. 

Sunday 28th June 3:00PM GMT – Football: Leicester City v Chelsea

The FA Cup continues with a clash between Leicester City and Chelsea at the King Power Stadium in Leicester. 

The race for Champions League spots has been the main focus for these two sides this term, but that will be put on hold this weekend as Leicester and Chelsea battle it out for a place in the FA Cup Semifinals. Despite immense domestic success in recent years, the FA Cup has never been good to the Foxes who, despite participating in four finals, have never won the competition. A win over Chelsea would represent their best run in this tournament since 1982 when they last reached the Semifinals. Chelsea, meanwhile, have enjoyed immense success in this tournament, lifting the trophy a total of eight times. Frank Lampard will be hoping to emulate Chelsea’s 2018 FA Cup success as the Englishman seeks to lift silverware for the first time as Blues boss. 

Other sporting highlights from around the globe

Honourable mentions around the globe to the NWSL Challenge Cup. The tournament, which marks the return of sport in the United States, begins with a highly-anticipated clash. The North Carolina Courage and Portland Thorns face off in a match between the tournament favourites. It’s a busy week elsewhere in football. In the Premier League, Manchester City are set to host Burnley before travelling to Chelsea. Tottenham Hotspur will host London rivals West Ham United while Manchester United have a vital clash with Sheffield United. In the FA Cup, Norwich host Manchester United while Sheffield United face Arsenal. Serie A continues with Atalanta hosting Lazio and AC Milan taking on Roma. It’s also rivalry week in La Liga as Villarreal host Valencia. Duncan Roy and Gus Barton continue their Round Britain Row, heading north up Britain’s western coastline. In the NRL, the Panthers will take on the Rabbitohs. Meanwhile, Super Rugby Aotearoa continues with the Blues facing the Highlanders and the Crusaders hosting the Chiefs. In the AFL, St Kilda host the defending champions, Richmond. Finally, the Battle of the Brits tennis tournament continues throughout the week in London.

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

Fixture

Photos by Gerard Moreno, Andy Murray, Liverpool Football Club, Travelers Championship, Taylor Adams, Parramatta Eels, Leicester City

Written and information correct on 21st June at 10pm GMT 

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