Whether you’re a fan of the round, oval, or cork ball, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this weekend, but we’ve highlighted the games you can’t afford to miss this weekend:
Lions vs Crusaders (Super Rugby)
The Lions and Crusaders have somehow managed to miss each other in recent seasons due to Super Rugby’s ever-changing logistical structure. That said, the Lions’ history in this fixture hasn’t been great, but Johan Ackermann’s side is a changed outfit that is playing some enterprising rugby that matches the Kiwis on their own level, as was the case with the Lions’ away win over the Chiefs in Hamilton. The Crusaders are looking ominously proficient at the moment too, with their new players fitting into their roles excellently in the absence of some big-name departures. This should be a cracker.
Prediction: Lions by 7
Blues vs Jaguares (Super Rugby)
Arguably the most underwhelming teams of the tournament so far, the Blues and Jaguares have only amassed one win between the two sides this season. It doesn’t take anything away from this fixture though, as despite the disappointing results for either team, the rugby on display has been entertaining to say the least. This should be a free-flowing game if the conditions hold up in Auckland, and that will suit both the Jaguares’ and Blues’ devastating backlines and talented forwards.
Prediction: Blues by 3
Toulon vs Clermont (French Top 14)
Two of France’s best come head to head, in a battle between the number one and number two sides in the Top 14 table. Both sides have used their immense financial power to recruit well, which means that the field will be littered with some of rugby’s biggest names. Toulon pride themselves on the play of their dominant pack. Out wide we can expect to see the likes of James O’Connor, Ma’a Nonu, Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Delon Armitage, and Quade Cooper on the field for Toulon, while Clermont can respond in kind with names like Noa Nakaitaci, Wesley Fofana, Jonathan Davies, and Hosea Gear. With the players these two sides have on offer, we should be treated to a fantastic match.
Prediction: Toulon by 5
Liverpool vs Tottenham (Premier League)
Spurs have the advantage over Leicester this weekend for a change as they can get their arrow in first with the opportunity to close the gap to just two points at the top of the table. While north London rivals Arsenal have been exposed, Maurico Pochettino’s side have been pretty nerveless over the past six weeks as they racked up the league wins with a good deal of elan which suggests this is a side that can take the pressure and are ready to swoop if the Foxes do slip up.
Prediction: 1-0 to Liverpool
England vs West Indies (World T20 Final)
The final will now be a meeting of two contrasting sides—a young England team that will hope they are only at the beginning of their journey, and a veteran West Indies side, many of whom will realize they are playing for a final chance to earn the international spotlight. But there is also much in common in how their powerful hitting has seen them emerge as surprise packages through the tournament in a format that rewards hot streaks like no other in cricket. Added to that, both sides will be already be considered winners by many in this tournament just for making the final. Neither England nor the West Indies, though, will want to throw away the chance for ultimate glory.
Prediction: England to snatch it.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid (La Liga)
The 231st El Clasico will take place at Camp Nou on Saturday night when Barcelona welcome Real Madridin La Liga. The home side, who are closing on another league crown, will enter the match 10 points clear of third-place Real Madrid and on the back of a 39-game unbeaten run in all competitions. Real Madrid have also not won a league match at Camp Nou since April 2012 and Los Blancos will have revenge on their mind having taken a 4-0 thumping in the reverse clash at the Bernabeu earlier this season. It will not be a significant match in terms of the title race, but Real Madrid have shown signs of their best form in recent weeks.
Prediction: 2-2 draw