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:
Crusaders v Hurricanes
This big New Zealand derby is always worth getting up for, as two of the most successful Super Rugby teams go head-to-head in what should be a scintillating clash. Both the Crusaders and Hurricanes just edged away wins last week against the Blues and Waratahs respectively, so they’re off to good starts but both need to up their game if they’re to make a splash on home turf. Tho two sides didn’t look their lethal best last weekend, but the Crusaders’ ruthless outside backs will be a notable threat for the ‘Canes, who will also have to endure the hostile Christchurch crowd.
Predicted result: Crusaders by 6.
Sharks v Blues
The Sharks had a good win against the Sunwolves in Japan last weekend, but will have to get their first home win under their belts against a Blues side who is hurting from a game that they should’ve won against the Crusaders. The Auckland side has welcomed back All Black centre Sonny Bill Williams, but lost the services of returning recruit Ma’a Nonu, but the midfield threat still remains for the Sharks, who will have to be on point with their defence.
Predicted result: Sharks by 3.
Stormers v Lions
The most underwhelming team of Round 1 has to go to the Stormers, who were completely blown off the field by a clinical and devastatingly-clinical Bulls side. They have to comeback fiercely against a Lions side who will be fatigued, but ecstatic with a win against the Jaguares in Argentina. The Stormers have a solid squad this season, but off-field concerns and a lack of clarity in their game-plan seems to be holding them back. The Joburg side have proven that they can win away from home, and after numerous Super Rugby trophies have slipped through their grips in past seasons, will be wanting to make a statement with this fixture.
Predicted result: Lions by 10.
England v Wales
Saturday | 18:45 (Six Nations rugby)
England managed to pull off a stunning and admittedly-surprising win over Ireland a fortnight ago thanks to a thrilling defensive display. Wales have also been a surprise package of this Six Nations tournament so far too, so with both northern giants going head-to-head, it should be an interesting battle. That said, if England can repeat the form they showed against Ireland, Wales will be in for a tough time at Twickenham this weekend.
Predicted result: England by 7.
Manchester United v Liverpool
Sunday | 16:05
Manchester United return to Premier League action on Sunday when we welcome Liverpool to Old Trafford, hoping to continue our unbeaten record in the league under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. German giants Bayern Munich held Liverpool to a 0-0 draw in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie in midweek, however, Klopp’s side remain strong contenders to claim their first ever Premier League title despite their patchy form.
Predicted result: 1-1 draw.