The weekend is here, and there are some colossal encounters going down — and we’ve got a handy guide to the biggest of them all, so you don’t miss a thing.
South Africa v Kenya (World Sevens Series – Dubai)
The Blitzbokke kick off their 2017-2018 campaign as defending champions following an overwhelmingly successful season, but they’ll have to deal with Kenya on Day 1 of the Dubai 7s. The two African sides have formed a serious rivalry in recent years, with either side getting the better of one another almost intermittently. That said, SA is in fine form following some warm-up fixtures ahead of the season, and with all their big-guns back, they should make short work of Kenya.
Predicted result: South Africa by 15.
Wales v Springboks (International rugby)
The Springboks round off their lacklustre 2017 season against Wales, in what should be a final test of mettle for South African coach Allister Coetzee. The Welsh have been battered and bruised this Test season, with the Wallabies edging a close win and the All Blacks delivering a notable scoreline against the men in red; and they’ll be unlikely able to match the physicality of a Springbok side desperate for one more win for 2017.
Predicted result: South Africa by 7.
Watford v Tottenham Hotspur (Premier League)
Spurs started the season looking like legitimate title-contenders and seemed to be the only club capable of giving the Manchester clubs a reasonable run for their money. Over the course of the last few fixtures, however, they’ve suffered some unfortunate defeats and now find themselves struggling to get back into the highly-contested top 6 segment of the log. They face the tough prospect of going to Watford, who possess a competitive and gritty squad capable of giving the best sides a hard time. Watford beat Arsenal and drew to Liverpool earlier in the season, likely meaning Pochettino will be well aware of the trouble they can cause his side which is low on confidence.
Predicted result: Watford 1 – 2 Tottenham Hotspur
Arsenal v Manchester United (Premier League)
Saturday – 19:30
Since Arsenal’s impressive victory over Tottenham Hotspur, there’s been a noticeable uptick in their form and the mood around the team. They’ve acquired a certain resilience and tenacity that they’ve lacked for some time, which has resulted in them recording five victories out of their last six league fixtures. United are just four points ahead of Arsenal which puts more pressure on the Red Devils due to Arsenal and Chelsea breathing down their necks. Jose Mourinho generally gets the better of Arsenal, but United have been inconsistent this season and will face off against a well-drilled and skillful Arsenal attack, and they’ll need to perform at the top of their game to get any points.
Predicted result: Arsenal 1 – 1 Manchester United
Athletic Bilbao v Real Madrid (La Liga)
Real Madrid are still struggling to work their way back into the title-race after a disappointing draw with their cross-town rivals Atletico. They find themselves behind Valencia in second, as well as Barcelona in first, and will take a trip to the Basque country to play against 16th place Bilbao. While Bilbao’s form has been disappointing, they’ve historically managed to give bigger sides a tough fight due to their physical nature and compact tactical set up. Knowing how much Real need a victory to stay in touching distance of the summit gives them an added incentive to frustrate Los Blancos, which may happen if the Real attack doesn’t click on the evening.
Predicted result: Athletic Bilbao 1 – 3 Real Madrid
What are your predictions for this weekend? Which teams will come out on top in the respective encounters? Let us know by tweeting us @MenStuffZA!
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