This Week in Sport: 24th – 30th August 2020

As sporting fans across the world gear up for another unmissable week of action, there really is something for everyone across the next seven days!

England and Pakistan will meet for Day 4 of the 3rd Test on Monday as the hosts look to close out the series in style. This week’s Premiership Rugby offering comes in the shape of Wasps’ clash with Sale Sharks at the Ricoh Arena.

There is plenty of tennis to be played in the States this week, as the Western & Southern Open is contested by some of the world’s best. A colossal event on the PGA Tour will get underway on Thursday as the BMW Championship commences. Game 4 of the NHL playoff series between Colorado Avalanche and Dallas Stars headlines Friday’s action.

The highly anticipated Tour de France will begin on Saturday, before Sunday brings us another instalment of F1 action - this time in the shape of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Monday 24th August 10:00AM GMT – Cricket: England v Pakistan (Day 4, 3rd Test)

England will look to inch closer to victory on Day 4 of the 3rd Test, with play beginning at 10:00AM GMT at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.

After England posted a score of 583 in their first innings, Pakistan were left with a mountain to climb as they looked to salvage a draw from the series. However, a response of just 273 from the tourists left their hopes of parity in tatters, as they were forced to follow on and return to the crease.

The hosts will go into Day 4 in the comfort of knowing they are all but guaranteed to win the series, but Joe Root’s men will be looking to double their series lead, and finish the match in style. Finishing the series with a flourish is certainly on the agenda of batsman Zak Crawley, who submitted a gallant 267 in England’s first innings, meaning the entire Pakistan batting order scored just six more runs than Kent’s heavy-hitter. Will England close out the series with another Test win, or can the visitors cling on to draw in this third and final Test?

Tuesday 25th August 4:30PM GMT – Rugby Union: Wasps v Sale Sharks

Two of Premiership Rugby’s most explosive teams lock horns in this potential classic, kicking off at 4:30PM GMT at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

There is little question that the Wasps are one of Premiership Rugby’s form teams just now, with the Coventry-based outfit currently enjoying a five-game winning streak, stretching back to pre-lockdown times. This impressive run has propelled Wasps to third place in the standings, as the six-time champions seek to notch a seventh title this time around.

Meanwhile, Tuesday’s opponents have endured a terrible start since the return of top flight action, with Sale losing both of their opening two games. Despite their imperfect restart, Sale remain fourth in the table, just one spot behind Wasps, and will look to close the gap on their Coventry-based counterparts this week.

Wednesday 26th August 3:00PM GMT – Tennis: Western & Southern Open

Some of the biggest names in tennis battle it out at the Western & Southern Open at the UTSA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on Wednesday 26th August at 3:00PM GMT.

In the traditional pre-amble to the U.S. Masters, the Western & Southern Open provides players with a stern assessment of their title credentials ahead of next week’s showcase event. This summer of tennis has been shrouded in controversy, as players continue to withdraw from competitions on account of health concerns surrounding the pandemic.

However, there will still be a star-studded field thrashing it out in the States this week, including 2017 winner Grigor Dimitrov. He overcame France’s Ugo Humbert in a tricky first round tie. Meanwhile, 2016 champion Karolina Pilšková heads up the Women’s draw as the highest ranked player. The Czech technician will be hoping to repeat her 2016 heroics and play herself into form heading into next week’s showpiece event.

Thursday 27th August 1:00PM GMT – Golf: BMW Championship

The penultimate FedEx Cup playoff event will play out at Olympia Fields, Illinois, as the PGA Tour continues on Thursday 27th August.

Last weekend’s Northern Trust event marked the start of this year’s FedEx Cup playoffs, as the remaining field was cut to 70. After a thrilling weekend of action, Dustin Johnson ultimately went on to lift the title, with a glorious score of 30 under par – the joint second-lowest score ever recorded on the PGA Tour. That win was enough to propel DJ back to the top of the world rankings, and he will travel to Illinois in high spirits as he eyes a first FedEx Cup title.

70 will travel to the Prairie State, but only 30 will remain afterwards for the decisive Tour Championship. Within the field will be current BMW Championship holder Justin Thomas, who lifted the FedEx Cup himself back in 2018. The mercurial American endured an unexceptional weekend at the Northern Trust, finishing T49. Will Johnson or Thomas return to the top of the pile this weekend, or will another star emerge from the 70-man field? Tune in to find out!

Friday 28th August 2:00AM GMT (Saturday 29th) – Ice Hockey: Colorado Avalanche v Dallas Stars

** UPDATE - the NHL playoff games tonight have been postponed.**

Game 4 of this thrilling NHL playoff series will get underway at Rogers Place at 2:00AM GMT on Friday.

Two Central Division rivals are currently thrashing it out in Canada as Colorado and Dallas share the rink for a place in the next round. Dallas raced into a one-game lead after the initial meeting last week, thanks, in no small part, to an impressive brace from right winger Alexander Radulov. Dallas got the better of Colorado four times during the regular season, and will hope to have their number once more at the business end of this campaign.

In the First Round, the Avalanche eased past the Coyotes, but history suggests they tend to falter at this particular stage of the postseason. Since 2001, the ‘Avs’ haven’t participated in more than two playoff series’ in the same campaign, and they already find themselves with work to do if they are to snap that unfavourable record. Don’t miss a minute of the action to find out which side prevails!

Saturday 29th August 12:00PM GMT – Cycling: Tour de France

The Tour de France finally gets underway in Nice on Saturday 29th August at 12:00PM GMT.

Though this year’s edition of the Tour de France will be unlike any other, organisers are adamant the show must go on, even if the show is starting two months later than anticipated. Before the race has even begun, commentators have branded the event a ‘gamble’, on account of France’s recent rise in Covid-19 cases.

Focussing on the cycling, many deem this year’s field to be one of the strongest seen in recent years, despite the omissions of Team Ineos’ Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas. In what has been an unusual year, organisers have devised a fittingly unusual mountainous route which includes a visit to all five of France’s mountainous regions. In the absence of Froome and Thomas, who have between them won five of the last seven editions, other riders have been thrust into the spotlight of race favourites. One such likely winner is Egan Bernal, who reigned supreme last year and will return to France in fine fettle. Can the Colombian defend his title, or will we see a new champion crowned? 

Sunday 30th August 1:10PM GMT – Motorsport: Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix

The races continue to come thick and fast in this breathless F1 season – lights out at the Spa-Francorchamps in Stavelot on Sunday 30th August at 1:10PM GMT.

After a one-weekend break, the greatest drivers in the world will congregate at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to contest this year’s Belgian Grand Prix. This particular track has been kind to Team Ferrari throughout the years, having won the race in back to back years, and lifting more Belgium GP titles than any other team. Last year’s winner, Charles Leclerc, suffered a terrible time in Catalonia last time out, however, failing to finish the race on account of several technical issues. But, with Ferrari’s impeccable record at this track, the Monaco-born speedster should be full of confidence travelling to Stavelot.

Looking to buck the trend will be one Lewis Hamilton, who has won this very race three times himself. A win on Sunday will see the Englishman move onto four Belgian GP wins, two behind Michael Schumacher’s record of 6. This race always provides plenty of drama, so don’t miss a second!

Other sporting highlights from around the globe

Honourable mentions around the globe start with the NBA action that continues to captivate fans across the world. With the Milwaukee Bucks 2-1 up in their series against Orlando Magic, Monday’s Game 4 could prove pivotal in determining which side progresses. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers will have a Game 4 of their own to contend with as they take on the Portland Trail Blazers. There are two more unmissable matchups taking place in Orlando this week, with the Utah Jazz facing off with the Denver Nuggets, and the Dallas Mavericks locking horns with the Los Angeles Clippers. The second round begins this week too, with the series between the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors been set already.

County cricket fans have plenty to look forward to this week, as the Bob Willis Trophy continues with a grudge match between Yorkshire and Lancashire. In the electrifying Caribbean Premier League, the Trinbago Knight Riders entertain the Guyana Amazon Wanderers in a top-of-the-table clash, before the former return to action at the weekend to take on the Barbados Tridents. There is more T20 cricket not to be missed this week, with Essex and Middlesex thrashing it out in the T20 Blast. Meanwhile, after a thrilling Test series, England and Pakistan will go toe-to-toe once more in the T20 Series. Before that, the purists could be treated to Day 5 of their gripping Test match at the Rose Bowl on Tuesday.

Throughout the week the Men’s and Women’s Western & Southern Open competitions will see some of the greatest players grace the courts of Flushing Meadows.  

Tuesday marks the return of Premier League Darts, 166 days after our last instalment, with the standout ties on Night Seven including Michael Smith versus Gary Anderson, and table-topper Glen Durrant versus Peter Wright. In this contracted version of the competition, the players will be in action every night from Tuesday to Sunday, competing behind closed doors at the Marshall Arena in Milton Keynes. Thursday’s offering will prove crucial in the race to the O2, with Judgement Night fixtures including Peter Wright versus Daryl Gurney, and Michael van Gerwen versus Gary Anderson.

The first Semi-final in the Women’s Champions League will play out on Tuesday night, with Wolfsburg and Barcelona the two teams looking to book a spot in Sunday’s Final and on Wednesday, PSG meet Lyon for the other spot. In the Men’s game, the annual curtain-raiser in English football will be contested on Saturday, as Liverpool take on Arsenal in the FA Community Shield.

There is an exciting offering from the LGPA this week, as the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship begins on Friday. Meanwhile, on the PGA Tour, the BMW Championship will be contested all weekend long, with a winner crowned on Sunday.

Fans of the AFL will be readying themselves for another festival of Aussie Rules action this week, starting at the Metricon Stadium in Carrara, where Richmond will take to the field with the West Coast Eagles. Fans will then turn their attentions to TIO Traeger Park, where Melbourne will entertain St Kilda on Saturday. In what could prove to be a crucial meeting in the race to the Finals, Carlton and Collingwood lock horns on Sunday to conclude the week’s festivities.  

There is one standout tie from the NRL this week, which will see the Eels take on the Rabbitohs in an eagerly anticipated contest. Meanwhile, two of the form teams in the Super League finally lock horns this weekend, as the Wigan Warriors meet Catalans Dragons in what will surely be a bruising encounter.

As the Pro14 Rugby season rolls on, Edinburgh Rugby meet the Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield, whilst Ulster Rugby host Leinster Rugby at Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Meanwhile, another headline Premiership Rugby clash sees Sale Sharks do battle with Bristol Bears.

Don’t miss this week’s New York derby in the MLB, as the Yankees meet the Mets at Yankee Stadium, with the tie playing out all weekend long.

There is more motorsport action to watch out for this weekend, as the Aragon Round gets underway in the Superbike World Championship.

One of Britain’s most exciting heavyweight prospects returns to the ring this week, as the undefeated Daniel Dubois goes toe-to-toe with Ricardo Snijders of Holland.

After the curtain raiser on Saturday, Sunday will see the second day of action from the Tour de France play out.

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

Fixture

Photos by England Cricket, Wasps Rugby, Western & Southern Open, BMW Championship, Colorado Avalanche, Tour de France™, Charles Leclerc

Written and information accurate on 24th August at 12pm GMT

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