With the Currie Cup heading into its semi-final stage and the Premier League lining up some colossal encounters, this weekend’s action is full of old rivalries and do-or-die moments for some of the biggest teams in the world.
Wallabies v All Blacks (Bledisloe rugby)
The Bledisloe Cup is already in the hands of the All Blacks, but there’s one final Test match between Australia and New Zealand to finish the 2017 series. Lima Sopoaga will start this match at fly-half as Hansen has decided not to risk Beauden Barrett after the 26-year-old suffered a head knock last time out. The Wallabies have their usual potent attacking backline, who unfortunately haven’t hit their stride as of yet. Expect a tighter match, but one the All Blacks are still likely to clinch.
Predicted Result: All Blacks by 7. You can bet on the game here.
Western Province v Lions (Currie Cup semi-final)
The clash between Western Province and the Golden Lions will mark the sixth time the teams meet in the play-off stages since 2011 – two of which were in the Currie Cup finals of 2015 and 2014, with each of the teams winning one. The Joburg side will welcome back the Springbok pedigree of Malcolm Marx and Ruan Dryer, which should give the Lions a huge boost. However, Western Province will be riding high after their win over the Sharks, and a homeground advantage should just nudge them as favourites.
Predicted Result: Western Province by 3. You can bet on the game here.
Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool (Premier League)
Spurs have an opportunity to put even more distance between themselves and a fellow rival for the Champion’s League positions this weekend when they welcome Liverpool to Wembley. It’s arguably a more important match for Liverpool as they’ve fallen behind the competing pack at the top of the log and will need a victory against a big team to give them an injection of confidence. Historically Liverpool doesn’t lose to Spurs, but this Spurs side is ticking along well and are confident both in attack and defense – can the Reds turn their fortunes around?
Predicted Result: Tottenham Hotspur 1 – 2 Liverpool You can bet on the game here.
Hamburg v Bayern Munich (Premier League)
Last week Borussia Dortmund suffered a shock defeat that allowed Bayern to get within two points of them, so the Bavarians will feel positive about their visit to Hamburg who haven’t won in 6 games. Jupp Heynckes has returned to Bayern to steady the ship after Carlo Ancelotti’s departure, and so far he appears to have improved the confidence in the team. Sacking managers this early is never good to see, but perhaps Bayern’s board did it early enough in the season that Bayern can fight their way back to the top and capitalize on Dortmund’s slump.
Predicted Result: Hamburg 0 – 4 Bayern Munich. You can bet on the game here.
Chelsea v Watford (Premier League)
Watford inflicted a shock loss on Arsenal last week that coincided with a bizarre loss for Chelsea against bottom of the log Crystal Palace. Now, the Blues host Watford, who will be boosted considerably by taking three points against Arsenal, and they may feel like Chelsea are a wounded side and are prone to another defeat. Chelsea only managed a 3-3 draw against Roma in their midweek Champions League game, so their confidence won’t have recovered much. A spirited Watford side might be able to steal some points against the Blues who definitely aren’t living up to their title-holding reputation.
Predicted Result: Chelsea 2 – 2 Watford. You can bet on the game here.
If you’re looking to earn your weekend drinks off the guys at Sportingbet (it wouldn’t be the first time), you can place your bets on the upcoming sporting clashes here.
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!