This Week in Sport: 2nd – 8th March 2020

An excellent seven days of sport lie ahead. Two of the top teams in the NBA meet as the Miami Heat face the Milwaukee Bucks. Can the Heat stay in the race for a top playoff seeding? Liverpool look to move closer to a domestic double as they face Chelsea in the FA Cup. There’s a must-watch game in the NHL as the Washington Capitals take on the Philadelphia Flyers. This game could be vital in the race to the playoffs. The world’s top golfers travel to Orlando for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Back in the NBA, arguably the league’s two best teams meet as the Los Angeles Lakers host the Milwaukee Bucks. England look to stay in the race for the Six Nations title as they face Wales. The week ends with an exciting Manchester Derby in the Premier League.

Monday 2nd March 12:30AM GMT (Tuesday 3rd) – Basketball: Miami Heat v Milwaukee Bucks

The Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks face off in a tense NBA clash at the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami.

The Milwaukee Bucks have dominated the Eastern Conference and have already secured a playoff spot. Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is having another excellent season, putting up nearly 30 points a game. The Bucks are looking to make a push to the NBA Finals, something that eluded them last season. For the Heat, today is a chance to make continued progress in a competitive Eastern Conference. Offseason acquisition Jimmy Butler has brought new life to the young team as its veteran leader. Another key part of the team has been Kendrick Nunn, who is having a phenomenal rookie season. This makes the Heat a very dangerous side. Be sure to watch this clash of ambitious sides.

Tuesday 3rd March 7:45PM GMT – Football: Chelsea v Liverpool

Chelsea and Liverpool face off in the FA Cup fifth round at Stamford Bridge in London.

For Chelsea, the FA Cup likely remains as the last remaining chance for a trophy this season. The London-based side have won the competition eight times, most recently in 2017. However, they lost at this stage in last year’s competition. They will be eager not to repeat that exit. This will be challenging as they face Liverpool. With the Premier League title all but assured, Liverpool can turn their attention to completing the domestic double. Liverpool last lifted the FA Cup in 2006 and doing it this year would be another great achievement for their phenomenal team. Liverpool will also be looking to bounce back from a bruising 3-0 league loss to Watford. The FA Cup always plays host to exciting matches and today is set to be no different.

Wednesday 4th March 12:00AM GMT (Thursday 5th) – Ice Hockey: Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers

In the NHL, the Washington Capitals host the Philadelphia Flyers at the Capital One Arena in Washington DC.

The Capitals and Flyers are locked in a battle at the top of the NHL’s Metropolitan Division. A poor February for the Capitals, and a strong one for the Flyers, has significantly closed the gap between the sides. Philadelphia, who missed the playoffs entirely last season, are experiencing a resurgence under new head coach Alain Vigneault. The key to the team’s success has been a wide pool of scoring options, emphasising a depth-based approach. For the Capitals, captain Alex Ovechkin leads by example. The Russian veteran is scoring goals and pushing his team onwards. His partnership with defenceman John Carlson, the team’s assist leader, has been vital to the team’s success. It should be a game of the highest quality - don’t miss it.

Thursday 5th March 2:00PM GMT – Golf: The Arnold Palmer Invitational

The PGA Tour continues with the Arnold Palmer Invitational at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge in Orlando.

The PGA Tour remains in Florida, moving 160 miles north from Palm Beach Gardens to Orlando. World number one Rory McIlroy, and world number three Brooks Koepka, headline the event named for one of golf’s greatest. Koepka in particular will look to bounce back following a disappointing performance at last week’s Honda Classic. The former world number one failed to make the cut in front of a home crowd. Defending the title at Bay Hill is world number 26 Francisco Molinari. Molinari will be looking for a return to the form that won him the 2018 European Tour. With a crowded and undeniably talented field, don’t miss the event as it tees off today.

Friday 6th March 3:30AM GMT (Saturday 7th) – Basketball: Los Angeles Lakers v Milwaukee Bucks

The NBA conference leaders clash as the Los Angeles Lakers face the Milwaukee Bucks at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

The primary goal of the LA Lakers currently is to hold onto their lead at the top of the Western Conference and secure the number one seed for the playoffs. With two months left in the season, every win is crucial. LeBron James and Anthony Davies are one of the league’s most dominant tandems, averaging over 50 combined points per game. However, they will face an undeniable challenge in Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks. Milwaukee came out victorious when the teams met in mid-December and have already secured a playoff spot. Furthermore, 10 of the Lakers’ 13 losses this season have come against teams above .500. It could be a tough night for the Lakers, which should make for a great game.

Saturday 7th March 4:45PM GMT – Rugby Union: England v Wales

As the Six Nations continues, in-form England host Wales at Twickenham Stadium in London.

England will continue their bounce-back from an opening week loss. Following that bruising defeat to France, they have recorded back-to-back wins against Scotland and Ireland. This puts them in second place in the standings, behind undefeated France. If they can continue to win, they still stand a chance of taking home the title. Wales have been the exact inverse of England. After beating Italy in week one, they have lost to Ireland and France in subsequent matches. It has been an average tournament for the defending champions but a win against England at Twickenham would change the National mood a great deal. Can England maintain their momentum or will Wales secure the upset? Tune in to find out.

Sunday 8th March 4:30PM GMT – Football: Manchester United v Manchester City

The Premier League sees Manchester United host Manchester City at Old Trafford in Manchester.

These historic rivals meet for the 182nd time, and the fourth time this season. United, who have struggled all season, won their first meeting back in December. That 2-1 loss for City was one of the reasons they lost ground on league-leading Liverpool. However, City bounced back in 2020, taking a 3-2 aggregate victory in the Semifinals of the Carabao Cup. The stakes of this match are highest for United. Currently sitting in fifth, with only two points separating themselves and eighth-place Sheffield United. If the Red Devils want to guarantee European football next season, wins from matches like this are crucial. For City, the goal is to keep at least some pressure on Liverpool and hold down second place in the table. Don’t miss this thrilling derby clash.

Other sporting highlights from around the globe

Honourable mentions around the globe go to the UFC where UFC 248 takes place on Saturday. The event is headlined by Yoel Romero challenging Israel Adesanya for the middleweight championship. The co-main event is Zhang Weili and Joanna Jędrzejczyk vying for the women’s strawweight championship. In golf, the Arnold Palmer Invitational continues until Sunday. Elsewhere, there is plenty of cricket for fans to enjoy. The Women’s T20 World Cup concludes this week. The Final on Sunday will take place in front of a potentially record-breaking crowd in Melbourne. Meanwhile, South Africa and Australia play their second and third ODIs. In football, the FA Cup fifth round takes place this week. Amongst the eight fixtures, Portsmouth, the lowest side left in the cup, host Arsenal. Tottenham Hotspur will take on Norwich while Sheffield Wednesday face a challenge in defending champions Manchester City. In the last cup fixture of the week, Derby County meet Manchester United. In the Premier League, ambitious Arsenal take on struggling West Ham. The SheBelieves Cup begins in the United States this week with Spain, England, Japan taking part along with the hosts, the United States. For basketball fans, it’s a busy week in the NBA. The Los Angeles Clippers have crucial games against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets and rival Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers will also face the ambitious Philadelphia 76ers. Looking to stay strong, the Boston Celtics will face the Utah Jazz this week. In Super League, Leeds Rhinos host the Toronto Wolfpack while Warrington host Castleford. It’s also a packed week in rugby union. Exeter face Bath and Bristol take on Harlequins in Premiership Rugby. The World Rugby Sevens Series continues with the series moving to Vancouver. Also on the international stage, the Six Nations continues as Scotland face France. Also beginning this week is The March Tournament, a major and prestigious sumo tournament.

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

Fixture

Photos by Miami HEAT; Chelsea Football Club; Washington Capitals; Arnold Palmer Invitational; Los Angeles Lakers; England Rugby; Manchester City

Written and information correct on 1st March at 10pm GMT

 

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