We’re still just edging into the 2018 sports schedule, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some colossal encounters going down this weekend — and we’ve got a handy guide to the biggest of them all, so that you don’t miss a thing.
Kings v Cheetahs
The two South African entrants into the Pro 14 go head-to-head this weekend when the Kings host the Cheetahs in PE. The Kings have a lacklustre start to their Pro 14 adventure, while the Cheetahs have been one of the surprise packages, currently sitting in the No. 3 spot ahead of the playoffs. The Kings have had their moments, but it’s likely the men from Bloemfontein will control this battle.
Predicted result: Cheetahs by 10
Chelsea v Leicester City
The current champions welcome previous champions Leicester to Stamford Bridge as the first game of the weekend with an opportunity to go to second place with a win. Leicester has only gotten a win twice out of their last six matches, but they’ve reminded the bigger clubs that they’re a dangerous side on numerous occasions this season so they 8th place team shouldn’t be ignored by Chelsea. Leicester’s star-man Jamie Vardy is likely to be their best outlet for attack if he plays, as Chelsea’s tendency to play a back three presents some weaknesses to speedy forwards. Chelsea’s motivation to go to second place, at least until United play on Monday, should mean they’re up for the match and do what’s necessary to get the win.
Predicted Result: Chelsea 2 – 1 Leicester
Real Madrid v Villarreal
Saturday – 17:15
Fourth place Real Madrid host sixth place Villarreal at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend, with both teams having recorded only two victories in their last six matches. It’s an alien position for Los Blancos to be in because of their incredible pedigree, but at the moment it seems as though every game is a challenge for them and no points can be taken for granted. Gareth Bale has come back into the starting lineup recently to fairly good effect, which combines well with Villarreal’s sketchy defensive record, so Real should manage to get another necessary victory under their belts.
Predicted Result: Real Madrid 2 – 1 Villarreal
South Africa v India
Vernon Philander led the way at Cape Town with a career-best 6-42 as South Africa’s pace attack tore through India to secure a 72-run victory on day four of a thrilling first Test at Newlands; but India will be looking for a clinical comeback when the two sides meet again on Sunday in Centurion. Both teams showed batting fragility in Cape Town with India’s pace bowlers showing they too could take advantage of helpful conditions at Centurion in what promises to be another action-packed Test.
Predicted Result: South Africa by 2 wickets.
Liverpool v Manchester City
It looks like Manchester City are going to take their runaway 15-point lead all the way to the end of the season, but they’re coming up against a newly reinforced Liverpool team that could be capable of derailing them. Interestingly Manchester City’s record at Anfield is historically disappointingly poor, having last beaten the Reds there in 2003. Not having managed a victory there for 15 years is quite a record, and with the world’s most expensive defender Virgil van Dyk added to their ranks Liverpool might feel even more confident of their ability to keep the blue half of Manchester quiet. Overall, though, this will be a match of two talented and fast-paced attacks, so expect a lot of action, and in all likelihood a few goals, too.
Predicted result: Liverpool 2 – 2 Manchester City
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!