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Rugby and Football by FreshAirSport’s Andy Blair, Chief Sports Correspondent
Tennis and Boxing by Stevie Kearney, Head of News.
Rugby The six nations continue this week with games on Friday and Saturday.Â Wales take on France in the Stade de France where they will be hoping to repeat the comfortable victory they achieved last year in the millennium stadium.Â On Saturday England travel to Ireland for a friendly welcome from the fans at CrokeÂ Park where they will be in for a tougher test than one that met them at Twickenham where they ran out 33-10 victors.
In what many will be seeing as the battle to avoid the wooden spoon Italy are guests at Murrayfield and will hope that there is a repeat of the errors that led Scotland to defeat at the hands of the Italians in last year’s tournament
Football Having had a torrid season so far, losing a manager and re-buying old players, Tottenham fans will be hoping that their team can retain their League CupÂ crown against Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday afternoon.Â With United in supreme form at the moment, it looks unlikley that struggling Spurs will cause an upset.
[caption id=”attachment_1895” align=”alignright” width=”150” caption=”Harry Redknapp joked that he will be wearing Ramos’ suit from last year”][/caption]
There is a quiet week in the Premier league with most teams playing but no real stand out games among them.Â Arsenal will be hoping for their first win in four games against city rivals Fulham at the Emirates on Saturday.Â Chelsea will be happy with another 1-0 win against Wigan and continue the run of interim manager Guus Hiddink.Â And Liverpool will hope to get their title challenge back on track against a Middlesbrough team in freefall, having not won in 15 games. Liverpool having drawn too many games and find themselves seven points behind Manchester United in the league.
Tennis With Andy Murray out of the Dubai Championships with a virus, Novak Djokovic is now the clear tournament favourite.Â He faces France’s Gilles Simon in one semi-final whilst Spain’s David Ferrer faces another Frenchman in Richard Gasquet.
[caption id=”attachment_1896” align=”alignleft” width=”150” caption=”Murray is a doubt for the Davis Cup”][/caption]
Murray had been in fantastic form in his previous match, overcoming Arnaud Clement 6-2 6-3 with some crushing groundstrokes and the usual mixture of shots.Â However, he now says he needs a week to ten days to recover and is a doubt for Britain’s Davis Cup match with Ukraine in Glasgow next week.
Boxing Three of Britain’s top prospects make their professional debuts on Saturday night.Â Olympic gold medalist James DeGale makes his bow in a 4 round match up, whilst Frankie Gavin and Billie Joe Saunders also make their debuts.
Although DeGale has made the headlines, FreshAirSports feel that Gavin could be the best prospect for the future of British boxing.Â Although the pre-tournament favourite for the olympics, Gavin inexplicably failed to make the weight and was sent home.Â However, the world amateur Lightweight champion looks well placed for a very bright future in the game.
[caption id=”attachment_1897” align=”alignright” width=”150” caption=”Frankie Gavin - would you call him a lightweight?”][/caption]
The derisory state of the Heavyweight division will again be displayed as Matt Skelton takes on Belfast cabbie and ‘Audrey’ Harrison conqueror Martin Rogan.Â The once prestigious British Heavyweight Title has been reduced to farce in recent years after a series of dull bouts between overweight men in the twilight of their careers.
The only class act from Britain currently operating in the Heavyweight division is the supremely talented David Haye.Â He is still chasing a shot at one of the Klitchko brothers, and his explosive style and fast hands combine with his suspect chin to make for compelling viewing.