This Week in Sport: 9th – 15th November 2020

Whilst the world has been engrossed with an important race across the Atlantic, there are some thrilling races playing out in the International Swimming League this week as Matches 9 and 10 are contested. This most unique IPL season will reach its thrilling conclusion on Tuesday as the Mumbai Indians compete with the Delhi Capitals for the coveted title. The captivating State of Origin Series rumbles on this week with the second meeting between New South Wales and Queensland taking place on Wednesday. One of the most eagerly anticipated sporting events of the year gets underway on Thursday as Augusta National Golf Club opens its doors for the 2020 Masters. All eyes will turn to the Autumn Nations Cup on Friday as Ireland entertain Wales in a show-stopping curtain-raiser. There is no need to dread this week’s international break as there is an absolute blockbuster in the Nations League on Saturday which will see Portugal lock horns with France. The week concludes with MotoGP action which comes in the shape of the Comunitat Valenciana Grand Prix.

Swimming ISLMonday 9th November 9:00AM GMT – Swimming: ISL Matches 9 and 10

Matches 9 and 10 in the 2020 ISL season will be contested in Budapest, Hungary, with action getting underway at 9:00AM GMT. 

Though the International Swimming League is a relatively new initiative, it is already creating waves in the saturated sporting industry. Now in its second season, the league is attracting more and more fans who are engrossed by the fast-paced format and electrifying action. The ISL consists of ten teams from seven countries across the globe, who compete for points from participating in matches during the regular championship, before the season finale determines which team reigns supreme.

Though you may be unfamiliar with the format of the competition, there are plenty of familiar names within the ten rosters who will make you feel more at home watching the ISL. One such athlete is World, European, Olympic and Commonwealth champion Adam Peaty, who plies his trade for London Roar, understandably the side with the greatest British representation. In Match 8, his London side finished in second place as they were narrowly edged out by Cali Condors who are making a march for the title. Led by superstar MVP candidate Caeleb Dressel, the Condors remain the team to beat, but can they take all four points on offer from Match 10? Energy Standard Paris are the team to look out for in Match 9.  

Tuesday 10th November 2:00PM GMT – Cricket: Mumbai Indians v Delhi Capitals

The top two teams from the IPL regular season will lock horns in the Final on Tuesday from 2:00PM GMT.

Mumbai Indians and Delhi Capitals will take to the Dubai International Stadium wicket for one final time this term to determine the 13th IPL champion. There are never any foregone conclusions in T20 cricket, but all signs point towards a Mumbai win on Tuesday, as they eye a fifth IPL title. The Indians prevailed in each of their three meetings with Delhi this term, with the most recent victory coming last week in Qualifier 1. Furthermore, Mumbai are vastly more experienced when it comes to competing in this late stage of the season, having appeared in five Finals, winning a record four titles, whilst Tuesday’s game will be Delhi’s first Final appearance.

The three most effective wicket-takers this season will be on display at Tuesday’s showcase. Mumbai’s one-two punch of Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult have combined for a total of 49 wickets from 14 matches. Meanwhile, Delhi’s Kagiso Rabada has been a shining light for the Capitals in this unique season, and currently leads the league in wickets taken with a haul of 29. Will Mumbai win their third title in four seasons, or can Delhi cause a Final upset and create their own small piece of IPL history? 

Wednesday 11th November 9:10AM GMT – Rugby League: New South Wales v Queensland Game 2 

Game 2 in this year’s State of Origin Series will play out from 9:10AM GMT at ANZ Stadium in Sydney.

After a gruelling opening affair in this year’s State of Origins Series, it is Queensland Maroons who will carry an unlikely 1-0 lead heading into Wednesday’s second meeting. With many people writing off Queensland in Game 1, Wayne Bennett’s side defied the odds to turn around a 10-0 half-time deficit and gain the early advantage.

However, the NSW camp won’t be reaching for the panic button just yet, having recovered from an identical deficit to go on and win last year’s edition. Though the second half capitulation will be fresh in the minds of the Blues players, they will be relieved to be on home turf this week for what is a pivotal game in this year’s series. Meanwhile, Maroons silenced a lot of their critics last week after a tremendous second-half display in Game 1, and they will be full of confidence travelling to Sydney where they can wrap up the series with a victory. Will the Blues keep their series hopes alive, or can Wayne Bennett defy the odds once more and mastermind a series win?

Thursday 12th November 1:00PM GMT – Golf: The Masters Day 1 

Postponed from April, the golf world will finally see The Masters at the iconic Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia on Thursday 12th November at 1:00PM GMT.

It remains the jewel in the crown of the golfing calendar, and the one they all want to win, but with all of the heavy-hitters set to feature at Augusta this weekend, who is being backed to go all the way? Many experts are siding with the inimitable Bryson DeChambeau, who heads to Georgia as one of the PGA Tour’s form players. The heavy-hitting American attracted plenty of attention following his maiden major win at the U.S. Open in September, as his unique approach to the game continues to divide opinions between fellow pros and commentators alike. DeChambeau has failed to break into the top 20 in any of his previous three Masters appearances, but could this be the year he etches his name into Augusta history? 

Likely candidates to challenge DeChambeau for the green jacket include world number one Dustin Johnson, who has managed to glean plenty of positives from a most turbulent 2020. Johnson has added three PGA Tour wins to his resume this year, including the prestigious Tour Championship. Despite recording four straight top ten finishes in his most recent Masters appearances, DJ has never won this competition, and in fact has just one major win to his name, in the shape of the 2016 U.S. Open. Considering it this Masters make sure to keep an eye out for Tiger Woods who has had many iconic moments at this famous course. Will we see a familiar face don the green jacket on Sunday, or will a new icon etch their name in the history books?

Friday 13th November 7:00PM GMT – Rugby Union: Ireland v Wales 

The maiden Autumn Nations Cup gets underway with a showstopping clash which kicks off at 7:00PM GMT at Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

In lieu of the suspended November Internationals this year, a new competition will fill the void which pits eight of the top international sides against each other in a month long tournament. The eight sides will be split into two groups of four as they compete in a round robin format ahead of Finals weekend in a month’s time. 

The honour of raising the curtain at the inaugural Autumn Nations Cup has been handed to international heavyweights Ireland and Wales, who share a spot in the highly competitive Group A. Ireland will head into Friday’s competition opener on the back of their devastating loss to France last month, which saw them hand the Six Nations title to England on a remarkable final day. Meanwhile, the Welsh suffered a torrid Six Nations campaign, winning just one of their five outings, which saw them slip to eighth in the world rankings. Ireland will be firm favourites to take the points on opening day, but can Wales spring an upset and take the initiative in Group A? You can tune into Amazon Video from 7:00PM to find out! 

Saturday 14th November 7:45PM GMT – Football: Portugal v France

Two of the top five ranked international sides in world football lock horns from 7:45PM GMT in a Nations League blockbuster.

Saturday’s unmissable Nations League fixture between Portugal and France could go some way to determining which side comes out on top in Group A3. The two nations currently share identical records of three wins and one draw, meaning three points for either team would allow for some breathing space atop the table. 

Despite both sides managing to carve out plenty of chances, the last meeting between Portugal and France ended in a stalemate, placing added importance on the outcome of Saturday’s follow-up affair. Though Portugal have just one competitive win to boast over France, that solitary victory was a crucial one in the nation’s sporting history, as it came in the Euro 2016 Final. France are currently enjoying an impressive 11-game unbeaten streak in competitive outings and remain one of the toughest assignments for any opponent in world football. Some of the greatest talents in the game will be on display in this showcase occasion, but which of the stars will shine brightest on Saturday?

Sunday 15th November 1:00PM GMT – Motorsport: Comunitat Valenciana Grand Prix

We’ve reached the business end of this MotoGP season, but who will reign supreme in Valencia? Tune in from 1:00PM GMT to find out!

As we look forward to the penultimate race of this tumultuous MotoGP season, we’re moving ever closer to finding out which rider will be crowned 2020 World Champion. 

Spanish representation has dominated this race in recent seasons, with a Spaniard claiming victory in seven of the last eight editions. This particular record bodes well for Suzuki’s Joan Mir who claimed his first win of the season last weekend, which saw the Spaniard extend his lead atop the World Championship standings. His win at the GP of Europe presents Mir with an opportunity to win it all on Sunday, when a podium finish would be enough to ensure the championship returns to Spanish shores for the ninth-straight year.

Breathing down his neck is Frenchman Fabio Quartararo who has recorded more wins than any other rider this season with three. However, a recent run of disappointing performances has seen Yamaha’s star performer lose ground on Joan Mir, and he’ll be desperate to rediscover his early season form this weekend to keep his championship hopes alive. He will call upon his courageous display at last year’s edition of this race, when he narrowly finished in second spot behind the rampant Marc Marquez. Will the championship race go down to the final weekend, or will Mir reign supreme in Valencia?

Other sporting highlights from around the globe 

Honourable mentions from around the globe go to the NFL where three more matches will headline the week’s action. On Thursday, the Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts will lock horns at Nissan Stadium in a colossal AFC South showdown. Two former Super Bowl champions thrash it out on Sunday as the Rams entertain the Seahawks, whilst the exciting Arizona Cardinals are also in action as they take on AFC East leaders, the Buffalo Bills. Elsewhere, there is action coming from the NCAA earlier in the week, as Michigan face off with Wisconsin in Ann Arbor. 

Whilst the IPL season grinds to a halt this week, there is plenty more cricketing action to sink your teeth into, starting with the Women’s T20 Challenge Final which will play out on Monday between the Trailblazers and Supernovas. More T20 action will come in the shape of the 3rd T20I between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. The Pakistan Super League season continues this week, as Multan Sultans face Karachi Kings in the Qualifier, before Lahore Qalandars meet Peshawar Zalmi in Eliminator 1, Eliminator 2 takes place on Saturday too. The 36th match of this thrilling Women’s Big Bash League campaign will feature the Sydney Thunder and the Melbourne Stars’ Women as they do battle at the Spotless Stadium. 

As international football is thrust into the limelight this week, it is the Play-off Finals for the European Football Championships next summer with Georgia taking on North Macedonia, Serbia hosting Scotland, Northern Ireland playing Slovakia and Hungary meeting Iceland, all matches on Thursday. Elsewhwhere England take on the Republic of Ireland also on Thursday at Wembley Stadium in a friendly international. After the round of friendlies play out, there will be much more of a competitive edge to the weekend’s proceedings, as Europe’s elite meet in the Nations League. Saturday’s action is headlined by Switzerland’s meeting with Group A4-topping Spain, before another crucial fixture plays out on Sunday in the shape of Belgium versus England.

In the world of boxing, two unmissable bouts will be contested on Saturday night. Terence Crawford will look to defend his WBO World Welterweight title against Kell Brook as the pair enter the MGM Grand ring in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, across the pond, the undefeated Katie Taylor will set about retaining her undisputed world lightweight titles as she goes toe-to-toe with Spaniard Miriam Gutierrez, who also boasts a perfect record ahead of her 14th professional fight.

Sumo wrestling’s November Tournament will continue on Monday and play out all week long as we build up to the final day in a fortnight’s time.

On the ATP Tour, there is Round of 32 action from the Sofia Open on Monday ahead of Saturday’s Final, with the Nitto ATP Finals starting on Sunday. Meanwhile, on the WTA Tour, Monday will see the Upper Austria Ladies Linz 2020 competition get underway at TipsArena Linz.

The PDC Tour Winter Series will begin on Tuesday, with action coming live from the Ricoh Arena. The event will play out all through the week, before reaching its conclusion on Saturday.

Though the attentions of the golfing world will be firmly fixed on Augusta this weekend, remember to lend an eye to the Saudi Ladies International, which will be playing out on the Ladies European Tour from Thursday.

There are further Rugby League offerings this week in the shape of the start of the Super League playoffs, with Warrington Wolves taking on Hull FC initially, before Catalans Dragons meet Leeds Rhinos on Friday. 

Meanwhile, there is plenty of Rugby Union set to play out this weekend, with the Autumn Nations Cup headlining the action. On Saturday, Italy meet Scotland in a fiery Group B affair, whilst England begin their title charge with a favourable home tie against Georgia. France will have to wait until Sunday to begin their campaign, when they will look to get off to the perfect start against Fiji. In the other Rugby Union action, New Zealand will take on Argentina in the Rugby Championship.

Lewis Hamilton will be eyeing an historic seventh F1 Drivers Championship in Istanbul this weekend, where the Turkish Grand Prix will be contested. 

In swimming, the ISL Semi-finals take place over the weekend before the Final takes place next week.

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

Fixture

Photos by International Swimming League, Mumbai Indians, NRL, The Masters, Irish Rugby, Equipe de France de Football, MotoGP

Written and information correct on 8th November at 9pm GMT

 

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