This weekend sees some notable encounters on the Super Rugby front, some high-octane Six Nations action, and some English football to keep an eye on; but we’ve rounded up the particular games you can’t afford to miss:
Lions v Bulls
Saturday | 15:05 (Super Rugby)
The Lions and Bulls go into battle in the first of the two South African derbies on Saturday, as the northern neighbours aim to both bounce back from last weekend’s defeats. Injury has robbed the Lions and Bulls of their captains – Warren Whiteley is out for up to eight weeks while Lood de Jager will spend two weeks on the sideline. However, the Lions will be eager to make their first home game a successful one, and with the Bulls returning from their Argentine trip, it’s likely that the Lions will get the upper-hand.
Predicted result: Lions by 3.
Sharks v Stormers
Saturday | 17:15 (Super Rugby)
It will be a battle between two Springbok laden packs of forwards in Durban, where the Sharks will take on the Stormers in what should showcase both teams’ true potential for the season. The Sharks have gotten off to a great start, trumping both the Sunwolves and Blues, while the Stormers had a terrible loss against the Bulls in Round 1 before narrowly edging the Lions in a scrappy game last weekend. It’s hard not to back the Sharks for this one, given that all their big-names are hitting their stride and they look to be building momentum with each match.
Predicted result: Sharks by 10.
South Africa v England
Sunday | 00:10 (World Sevens Series)
The Blitzbokke will take on longtime Sevens rivals England in their third pool match of the USA Sevens in Las Vegas. South Africa and England sit in 4th and 5th places in the standings, respectively, with Neill Powell’s men struggling to hit full tilt in this Series as of yet, likely due to a lot of changes and newcomers in the team. England are on a similar form-factor, showing strong performances but being lacklustre in certain departments. This is the make-or-break match for both sides in the pool rounds.
Predicted result: England by 5.
Tottenham v Arsenal
Saturday | 14:30 (Premier League)
A struggling Spurs outfit are in danger of losing three consecutive Premier League games for the first time since November 2012, while Arsenal has won 5 of their last 6 league games, making this a pretty crucial encounter to keep the Gunners’ season alive and avoid a string of losses for Spurs. Arsenal has moved up the table into fourth and now look to close the gap between them and their city rivals to only one point, and if the two sides’ history is anything to go by, their 4-2 win at the Emirates earlier in the season should give the Gunners some confidence.
Predicted result: Arsenal 1-0.
Everton v Liverpool
Sunday | 18:15 (Premier League)
Liverpool’s title aspirations will be faced with an ambitious Everton side this Sunday, but Liverpool have had the upper hand over Everton in recent years, and given the quality that the Reds have this season, they’re likely to continue their superb form. There’s no doubt that Liverpool has shown some defensive frailties, but they have a knack for outscoring whatever is thrown their way.
Predicted result: 2-0 to Liverpool.