Saturday, 15 May 2010

An Action-Packed Weekend To Look Forward To

There has been no shortage of sporting stories and events to cover recently and this weekend is certainly no exception. It ought to be an exciting couple of days so I thought I would write about a few of the promising events coming up.

The first of these is the Twenty20 World Cup final between England and Australia. I have already spoken up events in the Caribbean so I do not intend to focus on this too much. It would, however, be criminal to not give it some attention as an England side playing as well as the current one is and then reaching an ICC World Cup final is very rare. Their opponents, Australia, just beat Pakistan in the other semi-final courtesy of a superb innings from 'Mr. Cricket' Mike Hussey. The Aussies chased down Pakistan's total of 191 with just one ball remaining with Hussey hitting a staggering 60 (not-out) off just 24 balls. Any time England meet Australia is an exciting prospect but with a Twenty20 trophy up for grabs this match has all the ingredients to be a thriller. Both sides are on great form and it is very tough to pick a winner but let's just hope England can finally break their ICC tournament duck!

Later this afternoon Chelsea meet Portsmouth in the FA Cup final. It is unfortunate that this match looks almost certain to be an extremely one-sided affair. Portsmouth, all things considered, have done very well to get to Wembley this season but it is hard to see Chelsea, with the goalscoring form they are on, not strolling past Pompey. A Portsmouth win in full-time is at odds of 12/1, you get shorter odds on Chelsea winning 4-0 at 17/2. It would be great to see the FA Cup deliver another magical moment and for Portsmouth to somehow beat the Londoners but this has demolition job written all over it.

In New York's Madison Square Garden tonight Amir Kahn defends his WBA light-welterweight title against Paulie Malignaggi. Tempers flared in the weigh-in for the fight and this could prove to be a very entertaining bout. Kahn is looking to establish himself State-side and a win tonight would certainly help in that goal. Since having Freddie Roach, trainer of Manny Pacquiao, in his corner following his embarrassing defeat in the first round at the hands of Breidis Prescott the Bolton boxer has made great improvements. This fight should be close and have plenty of action so if you are awake at 2.40am it is on ITV and is worth a watch.

Tomorrow is a big day for any F1 fans as it is the one day of the year that the sport becomes remotely interesting. That's right, it is the glitz and glamour of the Monaco Grand Prix. Most people watch the sport for the crashes and therefore this is the race to watch. Putting extremely expensive cars on narrow winding streets with metal barriers and making them race each other at around 200 mph is an truly inspired idea. They should put some oil, banana skins and ice on the track just in case things get a bit dull. Nevertheless, it always makes for a great spectacle and is usually a good way to spend a couple of hours.

Back to the US. Tomorrow sees the first game of the NBA Eastern Conference finals which is basically the Playoff semi-finals. In the East the Orlando Magic will take on the Boston Celtics. I mention this mainly because the Celtics are coming off the back of a sensational 4-2 series win over the number one seeded Cleveland Cavaliers. The Celtics had struggled all season while the Cavs, with MVP LeBron James, were beating teams with ease. The Boston side showed their playoff pedigree, however, and have come alive over the past few weeks. This has largely been due to the superb form that their point-guard Rondo has been on. Credit should not be taken away from the Celtics but it must be acknowledged that they did not beat a Cleveland team, or rather LeBron James, at anything like their best. LeBron was lacklustre for large parts of the series. He is out of contract in the summer and his performances in the post-season would suggest he will not be playing his basketball with the Cavaliers next season. In the Western Conference the L.A Lakers face the Phoenix Suns in what may any are expecting to be a one-sided series with Kobe Bryant's Lakers, the reigning NBA Champs, expected to make the finals once again.

Thoughts, comments and opinions please...


  1. Huge weekend of sport, these are my picks:

    - Chelsea in a no-contest (3-0 or thereabouts)
    - Amir Khan in the 6th (TKO)
    - Australia in a tight one (I agree with their big-game mentality, which you mentioned previously)
    - Monaco Grand Prix is tricky, I would have said Alonso yesterday, but after his crash I think you need to look at the Red Bulls with Kubica the dark horse.
    - The Magic and Lakers to cruise their first encounters this weekend.

    Final point, you missed the small matter of the Guinness Premiership semi finals tomorrow afternoon, Leicester vs Bath in particular, but also Northampton vs Saracens. 2 huge contests with major implications for the style and direction of the future of English rugby.

  2. A word on the future of LeBron - where do were see him ending up next season. Certainly not sticking around... my money is on New York. What about Wade, Bosh, Stoudemire, Boozer, Johnson - the best free agent class in years.

  3. Dan, I am not really a big follower of the Guinness Premiership to be honest. Sorry I can't really comment on it but will be very interesting to hear about the 'major implications' the results will have on the sport.

    Very hard to say where LeBron will end up. I would say New York is a good bet but no one really knows. LeBron says he has not thought about the prospect of being a free agent if you can believe that. New York is supposed to have a lot of space in their salary cap and rumours have it that they will be going in for James, Wade and Bosh but at the next few months are going to be very interesting. He, and the others, will be linked with most NBA teams but you are right, the players up for grabs are the best that there has been for a long long time and where they will go have a big impact on the league!

  4. I don't think Wade would want to play 2nd fiddle to James, even if it meant almost guaranteed rings.

    But James and Bosh at New York would be incredible.


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