This Week in Sport: 27th July – 2nd August 2020

Another spectacular seven days of sport lie ahead. After four and a half months without action, the NBA makes its long-awaited comeback on Thursday. It returns in style, with a table-topping rivalry clash between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Clippers.

A selection of the finest tennis players in the UK take to the court for seven days of mouthwatering action in the Battle of the Brits, while the world’s finest golfers descend on Memphis for the FedEX St. Jude Invitational.

The Test series between England and the West Indies reaches its hotly anticipated climax with proceedings delicately poised, while London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea will look to finish their seasons on a high in the FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium.

The AFL season continues to throw up twists and turns, with the Western Bulldogs taking on Richmond in what promises to be another enthralling encounter. And the world famous Silverstone hosts the British Grand Prix as the F1 season starts to gather pace.

Monday 27th July 11.00AM GMT – Tennis: St. James’s Place Battle of the Brits Team Tennis (Day 1)

The opening day of the St James’ Place Battle of the Brits Team Tennis begins at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton on Monday 27th August at 11.00AM GMT.

Tennis fans are in for a thrilling week’s entertainment as the finest British players in the world thrash it out in this unique ‘Ryder Cup’ style tournament. Two teams, the ‘Union Jacks’ and the ‘British Bulldogs’, will compete all week long as they race to reach 60 points. Points are awarded through winning individual matches, with the number of points on offer per match increasing throughout the week. 

In this showcase of British tennis talent, star names like Dan Evans, Andy Murray and Johanna Konta will be going head-to-head for your entertainment, so don’t miss a minute!

Tuesday 28th July 10:00AM GMT – Cricket: England v West Indies (Day 5, 3rd Test)

The final day of the Third and final Test between England and the West Indies gets underway at Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday 28th August at 10.00AM GMT.

England enjoyed an extraordinary weekend’s play, as they blasted through West Indies’ batting order to take control of their own destiny in this gripping Test match. Stuart Broad has unquestionably been the hosts’ stand-out performer with ball in hand, having taken eight wickets in this match already. Supported by the excellence of James Anderson, Chris Woakes and Jofra Archer, England find themselves firmly in the driving seat ahead of this week’s play. Captain Joe Root and his star-studded squad will have their sights set on defending an unbeaten streak in home Test matches that spans six years. 

Should England keep the Windies at bay for the remainder of the match and secure the victory, they will hoist the last ever Wisden Trophy, before it adopts its new guise of the Richards-Botham Trophy.  

Wednesday 29th July 9:10AM GMT – Australian Rules Football: Western Bulldogs v Richmond

In the AFL, the Western Bulldogs play Richmond at the Metricon Stadium on Wednesday 29th July at 9:10AM GMT.

Western Bulldogs are certainly one of the form teams going into Wednesday’s showdown, with the hosts having won five of their last six outings in the AFL. 26-year-old Jack Macrae is enjoying a particularly outstanding season in the Bulldogs’ midfield, and is currently averaging over 24 disposals and 13 handballs per game. 

After reigning supreme in the AFL last term, Richmond will hope to build a successful title defence, but have a lot of work left to do, having already lost three games this term. They go into Wednesday’s showdown two places behind the Bulldogs, but a win for Richmond would go some way to making up the ground on the teams above them. 

Thursday 30th July 1:00AM GMT (Friday 31st) – Basketball: Los Angeles Lakers v Los Angeles Clippers

Two LA-based NBA heavyweights lock horns at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, tipping-off at 1:00AM GMT Friday morning. 

What better way to announce the return of elite basketball than with a blockbuster Los Angeles derby between the Lakers and Clippers. Though the latter have reigned supreme on the west coast over recent years, finishing ahead of the Lakers in each of the last seven seasons, the addition of LeBron James to the Lakers’ roster appears to be threatening the Clippers’ supremacy. 

The Lakers currently lead the way in the Western Conference and sit top of the pile going into this week’s restart, with just eight games left to play in the regular season. These two colossal franchises appear to be on a collision course for the Conference Finals, but who will gain local bragging rights in this potential dress rehearsal?

Friday 31st July 1.00PM GMT – Golf: WGC – FedEx St. Jude Invitational (Day 2)

The FedEX St. Jude Invitational continues at TPC Southwind in Memphis on Friday 31st July at 1.00PM GMT.

Though the event is taking place slightly later than normal in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Jude Invitational remains one of the jewels in the crowns of the PGA and European Tours. This prestigious event continues to transcend the game of golf, with this stop on the Tour helping to raise more than $48 million since 1970 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located just 20 miles from TPC Southwind. 

Newly crowned world number one Jon Rahm certainly knows his way around this testing course, and submitted the joint best score from an individual round at last year’s edition with 62. However, with the top eight in the world all featuring in the 78-man field, expect some high-octane golf in the ‘Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll’!

Saturday 1st August 4:30PM GMT – Football: Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final

It is a London affair in the FA Cup Final this year, with the festivities kicking off at 4:30PM GMT on Saturday at Wembley Stadium. 

Two of the competition’s most successful teams will go head-to-head for the final domestic prize on offer this term. Though both teams will be desperate to take the coveted title home to their already crowded trophy cabinets, for Arsenal, there is another prize at stake as their participation in European competition next season is dependent on Saturday’s result, too. Should the Gunners overcome their local adversaries, they will secure qualification to the Europa League for the third straight season. 

Meanwhile, with their seat at Europe’s top table for next season already confirmed, Chelsea’s motivation lies purely in their quest to notch a ninth FA Cup title, which would also represent their sixth piece of major silverware in as many campaigns. Remember to wear your colours this weekend – it’s Cup Final Day!

Sunday 2nd August 1:10PM GMT – Motorsport: Formula 1 British Grand Prix

The British Grand Prix commences on Sunday 2nd August at 1:10PM GMT at Silverstone.

The fourth F1 Grand Prix of the season gets underway at the famous Silverstone circuit on Sunday, with Lewis Hamilton currently topping the standings after three races.

Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas is second, having secured a podium position on each of the first three races.

Reigning world champion Hamilton finished down in fourth during the Austrian Grand Prix after colliding with Alex Albon, but recovered to top the podium in both the Steiermark and Hungarian Grand Prix. 

Hamilton has form at his home Grand Prix, and victory for the Mercedes driver on Sunday will give him a record breaking seventh British GP win. 

Steeped in history, what thrills and spills will this famous race serve up this year?

Other sporting highlights from around the globe

Honourable mentions around the globe firstly go to Duncan Roy and Gus Barton’s Round Britain Row. Please continue to show your support for these two incredible athletes who are now entering their seventh week on the testing waters around the British Isles.

The return of elite baseball is marked by two unmissable matchups in the MLB. The Houston Astros will meet the Los Angeles Dodgers this week, whilst the New York Yankees thrash it out with the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium across the weekend.

Remaining in the States, the NBA continues its steady return to normality this week, with plenty of thrilling fixtures to watch out for, starting with the Boston Celtics’ clash with the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday. There is a Western Conference showdown on Saturday which will see the New Orleans Pelicans take on the Clippers, before the latter’s local rivals entertain the reigning champions as the Lakers face the Toronto Raptors. Two championship hopefuls will also thrash it out as the Houston Rockets take to the court with the Milwaukee Bucks. 

The Premier League season may have run its course this term, but there is plenty more elite football to sink your teeth into this week. In the EFL Championship, the first leg of Cardiff City’s Play-Off Semi-final against Fulham will play out in south Wales on Monday, before the sides meet again for the second edition on Thursday. Swansea will look to protect their 1-0 lead over Brentford as the Swans travel to west London on Wednesday for the second leg of their tie, with a ticket to football’s richest game on the line. 

The Seattle Sounders will face-off with LAFC as the MLS knockout phase continues on Monday night. Later in the week, we will see the four Quarterfinals played out, as the remaining eight teams vie for the big prize.

Champions League-bound Inter Milan return to action on Tuesday night as they welcome Napoli to the San Siro. The final weekend of the Serie A season is littered with heavyweight clashes, including: Juventus v Roma, Atalanta v Inter Milan and Napoli v Lazio. 

Aberdeen and Rangers will raise the curtain on the new Scottish Premier League season as the two sides meet at Pittodrie on Saturday. 

In the world of sumo wrestling, The July Tournament continues all week long and will reach its thrilling denouement on Sunday. 

England’s cricketers will return to action for an ODI matchup with Ireland on Thursday, with the two sides meeting again for the 2nd ODI on Saturday. The start of the Bob Willis Trophy will be headlined by Surrey’s meeting with Middlesex.

Thursday sees the commencement of the WGC–FedEx St. Jude Invitational, as the action on the PGA and European Tours continues to play out behind closed doors. 

Judd Trump will set about defending his title as the Betfred World Snooker Championship gets underway at The Crucible on Friday. 

This thrilling AFL season resumes at the weekend as the West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats thrash it out in a tense mid-table matchup. Following this, the Gold Coast Suns take on GWS Giants in a showcase of some of the league’s most explosive players. 

Rugby League fans will be thrilled to hear of the jam-packed NRL schedule set to play out this week, headlined by the Sea Eagles’ meeting with the Panthers and the Storm’s clash with the Knights. Elsewhere, Sunday will see the resumption of the Super League season, with Huddersfield Giants going head-to-head with eight-time Grand Final winners Leeds Rhinos. 

The NHL season will return in a new condensed format this weekend, with two heavyweight clashes marking the restart. Last year’s losing Stanley Cup finalists will be involved on opening weekend as the Boston Bruins take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Two titans of the Eastern Conference will face-off on Saturday as the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Montreal Canadiens take to the ice. Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche will be tasked with overcoming the reigning champions as the St. Louis Blues come to town. 

Meanwhile in rugby union, it’s the Chiefs versus the Crusaders and the Brumbies against the Reds on Saturday in Super Rugby, before the Highlanders face the Blues on Sunday.

In Montville, Stephen Fulton and Angelo Leo go toe to toe for the vacant WBO Junior Featherweight World Championship belt on Saturday, while in the UK, IBF International Super-Welterweights Sam Eggington and Ted Cheeseman face off.

The first of the 25 events in the UCI World Cycling Tour commences on Saturday in Strade Bianche, with the peloton tackling a gruelling 184km.

The Pirelli Spanish Round of the Superbike World Championship takes us to Circuito de Jerez in Cadiz for another thrilling weekend of action. 

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

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Photos by LTA, England Cricket, Western Bulldogs, LeBron James, WGC-FedEx, Chelsea FC, FORMULA 1

Written and information correct on 26th July at 10pm GMT

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