Another spectacular week of sport starts with a pivotal NHL showdown as the Tampa Bay Lightning lock horns with the Washington Capitals. The richest game in football plays out on Tuesday as Fulham meet Brentford in the EFL Championship play-off Final.
England’s Test match against Pakistan gets underway on Wednesday at Old Trafford, before one of the biggest weekends in the PGA Tour calendar as the PGA Championship is contested.
The prolonged wait for Champions League football comes to an end this week, with Manchester City’s clash with Real Madrid one of the standout ties. There is a titanic battle in the NBA on Saturday which will see the Utah Jazz face the Denver Nuggets, before the week ends on a celebratory note as the F1 Anniversary Grand Prix plays out at Silverstone.
Two former Stanley Cup winners meet at Scotiabank Arena for an NHL showdown starting at 8:00PM GMT.
Both Tampa Bay and Washington are flying high in the Eastern Conference, and have already clinched their playoff berths. However, before lockdown, Lightning struggled for form, and lost their last two games heading into the mid-season hiatus.
Similarly, Washington won just one of their last four pre-lockdown outings, and they will be desperate to regain the early-season form that propelled them to the top of the Metropolitan Division. These two titans of the NHL last met way back in December, on which occasion the Capitals ran out 3-1 winners. Will history repeat itself on Monday night, or will Tampa Bay set the record straight on their home rink?
The EFL Championship Final will be contested at Wembley, with kick off coming at 6:45PM GMT.
After both sides narrowly missed out on automatic promotion in the regular season, Brentford and Fulham will be handed their second chance to make the Premier League on Tuesday. Brentford will take confidence from the fact that on their two meetings with Fulham this term, the Bees have prevailed. Another win on Tuesday will see them promoted to the Premier League for the first time in the club’s history.
Fulham have enjoyed a similarly extraordinary season, and finished behind Brentford only on goal difference. Their fans are no strangers to watching Premier League football, having spent 14 seasons in the top tier. A subplot to the Final sees the league’s two top scorers go head to head, as Ollie Watkins and Aleksandar Mitrović thrash it out for the Golden Boot.
Old Trafford will welcome two international juggernauts for the 1st Test, starting at 10:00AM GMT.
After their convincing Test win over the West Indies last month, England will return to action on home turf for another bruising battle. The hosts remain one of the top Test teams in the world, and some flashes of brilliance with both bat and ball from their star players last month consolidated that. After taking his 500th Test wicket in that last match against the Windies, Stuart Broad will return to the side hoping for another destructive performance.
However, he will be faced with the inimitable Babar Azam, who is ranked the sixth best Test batsman in the world. Pakistan’s last Test win on English soil came all the way back in 1996, but can they break that unfavourable record this week?
One of the PGA Tour’s grandest events plays out this weekend at TPC Harding Park in California, teeing off at 5.00PM GMT.
The biggest talents in golf will descend on TPC Harding Park this weekend as they contest the PGA Championship. With a purse of $11 million dollars up for grabs, every player will be hoping to secure the lion’s share. Amongst the favourites to do just that is Brooks Koepka, who has the opportunity to achieve something remarkable this weekend. Should the American lift the title on Sunday afternoon, he will be the first player to win three consecutive PGA Championships in almost 100 years.
Snapping at Koepka’s heels will be some of the biggest names in golf, including world number three Rory McIlroy, who has already won this competition twice in his illustrious career.
Two European heavyweights lock horns at the Etihad in the Champions League Round of 16, kick off is at 7:00PM GMT.
163 days after the first leg, Man City and Real Madrid will thrash it out once more to determine which side progresses to the Champions League Quarterfinals. After an outstanding performance at the Bernabeu way back in February, City take a slender 2-1 lead heading into Friday’s second leg, as Pep Guardiola eyes his first piece of European silverware in Manchester.
13-time winners Real Madrid will provide a stubborn test for Guardiola’s men, however, and have aspirations of a treble-winning season, having already secured La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup. Two of the best teams on the continent go head-to-head in this one, so don’t miss out on the action!
Another huge clash in the NBA bubble will play out on Saturday, starting at 7:30PM GMT.
Two of the Western Conference’s most exciting franchises take to the court on Saturday. Though both Denver and Utah have already booked their places in this year’s playoffs, there is still plenty to play for as they tussle for third seed in the highly-competitive conference. Utah lost ground on the three teams above them last time out, as they faltered against the Oklahoma City Thunder. With just six games left to play this term, they will be desperate to find their winning form once more as they prepare for postseason basketball for the fourth straight season.
Meanwhile, Denver also lost on their return to action last week, which dented their aspirations to close the gap on the two LA-based franchises above them. Though they have made just one appearance in the playoffs during the last six seasons, the Nuggets will be highly backed to enjoy a deep run this time round, and remain one of the toughest assignments in the league.
Silverstone will host this special one-off F1 race which is set to get underway at 1:10PM GMT.
Seven days after the British GP, the world’s best drivers will return to the prestigious Silverstone Circuit for this unique celebratory race. The event marks the 70-year anniversary of the very first round of the official FIA Formula 1 World Championship, which took place in 1950 at the home of British Motor Racing.
After some late dramatics last time out, Lewis Hamilton showed us why he is the greatest driver in the world, as he recorded his third win of the new F1 season, despite suffering tyre trouble late on. The victory marked a record seventh British GP win of Hamilton’s career, and he will be full of confidence heading back to Silverstone once more this week. In this unprecedented race, fans will be hoping for another dose of racing drama at one of the best tracks in the world!
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NBA, with six unmissable ties taking place this week. Monday sees the Toronto Raptors entertain the Miami Heat, and the Los Angeles Lakers take to the court with the Utah Jazz. The Heat will be in action twice more on Tuesday and Thursday, as they take on the Boston Celtics and the Milwaukee Bucks, respectively. A showcase match on Thursday will see the Lakers face the Houston Rockets, before the Celtics and the Toronto Raptors thrash it out on Friday.
The electrifying AFL season continues all week long and starts with a mouth-watering affair, as Port Adelaide meet the Western Bulldogs at the Adelaide Oval. Richmond have two key fixtures to contend with this week, as they face the Brisbane Lions and Port Adelaide.
Surrey’s match with Middlesex in the Bob Willis Trophy continues through the week, whilst Essex’s clash with Surrey begins on Saturday. On the international stage, England meet Ireland for the 3rd ODI on Tuesday, whilst their Test match with Pakistan will get underway on Wednesday and play out all week long.
Football fans will be treated to a festival of football this week, with action from some of the top club competitions on offer. The UEFA Europa League makes a long-awaited return on Wednesday, as Manchester United look to finish the job against Linz ASK, whilst Inter Milan tussle with Getafe. There are three more standout Europa League clashes on Thursday, with Sevilla facing Roma, Bayer Leverkusen playing Rangers and Wolves locking horns with Olympiakos. Juventus and Lyon will meet in the Champions League on Friday, whilst Barcelona’s clash with Napoli will play out on Saturday. We have reached the Semi-final stage of the MLS season, with Philadelphia taking on Portland, whilst Orlando City face Minnesota.
The captivating Snooker World Championships continue all week long at The Crucible in Sheffield.
Cycling fans will have plenty to sink their teeth into this week as the UCI World Tour continues with the Tour de Pologne and the Milan-San Remo.
This week’s tennis offering comes in the shape of the Palermo Ladies Open, playing out on the WTA World Tour.
As the NHL continues its return to normality, there are plenty of exciting games to watch out for. The Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning take to the ice on Wednesday, whilst the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals go toe-to-toe on Thursday. Two more titanic affairs will play out at the weekend, with the Colorado Avalanche taking on the Vegas Golden Knights, whilst the Capitals meet the Bruins.
There are two more pivotal games in the NRL at the weekend which will see Sharks meet Eels and Panthers host Raiders. More Rugby League action comes in the shape of a Super League clash between Castleford Tigers and Catalans Dragons.
The Super Rugby season continues at the weekend, with three fixtures headlining the action. On Saturday, the Hurricanes meet the Chiefs and the Waratahs face the Reds, whilst Sunday sees the Crusaders lock horns with the Highlanders.
Terri Harper will look to defend her WBC and IBO super-featherweight titles as she enters the ring with Natasha Jonas on Friday at Week 2 of Fight Camp.
The MLB continues to provide plenty of entertainment for fans across the world, and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ clash with the San Francisco Giants this week will surely provide plenty more.
A week of world-class sport awaits. Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Tampa Bay Lightning, Brentford Football Club, England Cricket, PGA Championship, Real Madrid, Monté Morris, Lewis Hamilton
Written and information correct on 2nd August at 9pm GMT
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