This weekend is lining up to be an absolute cracker for sports-fans. From some titanic Super Rugby battles to some Premier League rivalries, there’s a wealth of big-name fixtures going down, and we’ve rounded up the very best you can’t afford to miss.
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As for the games themselves, this is what you can expect this weekend.
South Africa v France (World Sevens Series)
The Blitzboks are leading the World Sevens Series log after victories in Dubai, Wellington, Sydney, and Las Vegas, and look to continue their dominance form this weekend in Hong Kong. South Africa are in arguably their best form in the last few seasons, and although they’ve lost the likes of Seabelo Senatla to Super Rugby, they should be too much for France, who, while are capable of upsets, haven’t delivered anything substantial this season. It should be a comfortable win for Neil Powell’s men.
Our prediction: South Africa by 15
Sharks v Jaguares (Super Rugby)
The Sharks will be reeling from a narrow 34-29 loss to the Lions last week, which proved to be one of the best games of the season so far. They’ll need to rally together and show the same determination on defence against the Jaguares, who – with a powerful pack and elusive backs – are one of the most all-round teams in the comp. After a narrow loss to the Stormers and a win over the Kings in SA, the Argentine side would have acclimatised to the South African conditions and will be looking to seal another victory in the Republic. A tough game to call, but the Sharks’ form against the Lions showed they have what it takes to rise to the occasion and should take the win at home.
Our prediction: Sharks by 3
Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid (La Liga football)
The Madrid derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid goes down this weekend, and both the teams are in fine form with both not losing a single fixture in the last 5 in the tournament, which is pretty impressive. Also, the strong defence of both teams has to be noted and we can expect this to be a close fixture with the result most probably coming in favour of Real Madrid, as the 32-time La Liga champions cannot risk dropping points at this stage of season. Atletico needs a win desperately to maintain its Champions League qualification spot, which makes the fixture even more intense.
Our prediction: 2-1 to Real Madrid
Stormers v Chiefs (Super Rugby)
Two of Super Rugby’s in-form teams go head-to-head on Saturday at Newlands as the Stormers play host to the two-time champions, the Chiefs. The New Zealanders have been in red-hot form and overcame a spirited Bulls side last week, but face a tough challenge following the travel drain and opposition of the Stormers. The Cape Town side had a strong game against a somewhat underwhelming Cheetahs side last week, but there’s no doubt the Stormers are finding their groove this season. If the weather holds up, this should be a fantastic game of running rugby, but it’s a style the Chiefs are far more capable and experienced at.
Our prediction: Chiefs by 3
Sunderland v Manchester United (Premier League football)
Manchester United make the trip to the Stadium of Light looking to get back to winning ways against bottom club Sunderland this Sunday. After too many draws, United have given themselves a lot to do in terms of a top four place. Meanwhile, the Black Cats must start gaining points if they want to keep their Premier League status for next season.
Our prediction: 2-1 to Manchester United
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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!