This weekend sees some colossal clashes with some of the world’s best teams in their respective fields. From Super Rugby to Premier League, here’s the matches you need to watch this weekend:
Highlanders v Crusaders (Super Rugby)
The New Zealand derbies have undoubtedly been the highlights of the Super Rugby season so far, and this should be no different. After two losses, the Highlanders bounced back with wins over the Brumbies and in-form Chiefs but face the ladder-leading Crusaders who are on an eight-game winning streak and undefeated since round one. They’ve made just one change to last week’s side, while the Crusaders have made three rotational changes. The Highlanders are hitting their stride once again and should be a tough opponent for the Crusaders away from home.
Prediction: Highlanders by 5
South Africa v England (Paris Sevens – World Sevens Series)
The pools for round nine of the World Rugby Sevens Series in Paris isn’t the kindest to the Blitzboks, who face an uphill battle to qualify for the knock-out stages of the Cup competition. Australia will be a difficult encounter, but the massive concern is that of England. South Africa welcome back Francois Hougaard after he finished his season with Worcester, with Kyle Brown captaining the side once more. The Bltitzbokke have not won a tournament in 2016 and the likes of Cecil Afrika, Seabelo Senatla and Rosko Specman will be looking to put that right this weekend.
Prediction: South Africa by 5
Sunwolves v Stormers (Super Rugby)
The Stormers travel to Japan in hope to bounce back from their disappointing loss at home to the Waratahs. The Sunwolves themselves are reeling from a surprising loss to the Force last week too. Unfortunately, the Sunwolves haven’t been very convincing at home, and nothing is likely to change on Saturday. The Stormers will be looking to take a firm grasp on the top spot of the South African conference with a big win over the Japanese side.
Prediction: Stormers by 20
Lions v Blues (Super Rugby)
The Blues will be hoping their good fortunes in South Africa continue after breaking a four-year drought with victory over the Kings in Port Elizabeth last week. They’re New Zealand’s lowest-ranked side but are equal on points with Australian leaders the Brumbies and Waratahs in a tussle for remaining finals spots. The Lions have won their most-recent two against the Blues but lost their past two home games. The Lions are the likely victors here and should bounce back strongly from a poor performance against the Hurricanes a fortnight ago.
Prediction: Lions by 7
Manchester United v Bournemouth
Louis van Gaal’s men can still qualify for the UEFA Champions League with victory over the Cherries at Old Trafford, although Manchester City must also lose to Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium in order to enable the Reds to leapfrog the Blues in the table. A comfortable win for Manchester United is what everyone is expecting here. Martial scored twice against West Ham United in the previous match, so it won’t be a surprise if he gets on the scoreboard again.
Prediction: Manchester United 2 – 0 Bournemouth
What match are you most excited for this weekend? Let us know in the comments below and tweet us at @MenStuffZA.