Another weekend awaits sports fans, with some pretty colossal clashes coming our way. Super Rugby kicks things off on Saturday morning, the Six Nations heads to a conclusion, and some FA Cup action rounds it all off. Here’s our picks for the matches of the weekend you need to watch:
Highlanders vs Lions (Super Rugby)
The Lions have defied all odds and already won two games on the road – one against Super Rugby débutantes the Sunwolves and against the Chiefs in Hamilton – something not many teams are able to do. They were utterly brilliant against the two-time Super Rugby champions, playing some exhilarating rugby that ultimately was too good even for a Kiwi side. Whatever element of surprise they had for that game will have evaporated when they arrive in Dunedin, however. The Highlanders will not take them for granted, especially as they are coming off the back of a really narrow win themselves.
Stormers vs Sharks (Super Rugby)
For two sides that have traditionally had little between them in terms of quality, the last three instalments of this fixture have been remarkably one sided: Sharks by 22, Stormers by 16, Sharks by 24. Given both have started the new season at an electric pace – not a loss between them – you can expect this one to be a lot tighter. Both are looking to expand their game and have played some lovely stuff thus far, but as always the game will be won up front. The Stormers just about look to have the edge there, and allied with their home advantage, they must be slight favourites.
England vs Wales (Six Nations)
The Six Nations trophy hangs in the balance for this fixture. England absolutely cannot be as frivolous with their chances as they were against Ireland if they want to win. Wales are primed to punish mistakes and limit their opponents, with a settled and pre-planned gameplan, but factor in England’s extra thirst for revenge after the Rugby World Cup disaster and that might just give them the edge.
Everton vs Chelsea (FA Cup football)
Everton and Chelsea meet in the quarter-final of the FA Cup as both sides hope they can end their season with at least one piece of silverware. The Blues will enter the match in good FA Cup form, beating their last two opponents 5-1. Obviously they were also dumped out of the Champions League midweek at the hands of PSG. Everton enter the match severely inconsistent. Certain performances this season have been sublime from the Toffees, including their 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park earlier in the season. However, other matches have been disheartening to say the least.
Arsenal vs Watford (FA Cup football)
This should be a very tight game. Quique Sanchez Flores has drilled his Watford team to be very organised defensively, so it won’t be easy for the Gunners to break them down and they’ve also got an offensive threat in Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo. However, Arsenal’s win over Hull will have given them a big boost and they’ll be desperate to keep their hopes alive of becoming the first team to win three successive FA Cup’s since 1886.