2016 continues to fly by, and as we wave farewell to February, there is another weekend of huge sporting events for you to enjoy…
It’s Reds versus Blues on Sunday afternoon, when two of the North West’s finest football clubs will do battle at Wembley in this season’s League Cup Final.
In what is sure to be a well-fought contest, we will see if Liverpool can replicate their massive 4-1 win the last time the two sides met, or if Manchester City can erase the memory of their disappointing exit from the FA Cup last Sunday.
Both managers will desperately want to get their hands on the trophy, with Jürgen Klopp’s first Premier League campaign at Anfield not going quite as well as hoped, and Manuel Pellegrini edging closer to the end of his spell in Manchester, as he prepares to make way for Pep Guardiola.
After both sides have had important European ties in midweek, it will be interesting to see who makes the starting line-ups, and whether any tired legs could impact the outcome of the game. With both clubs’ schedules not really showing any signs of slowing up, anything beyond 90 minutes would not be a favourable outcome for anybody.
One man in blue who’ll be desperate to clinch victory will be Raheem Sterling, who left Liverpool for the Etihad under a pretty dark cloud in the summer. After a solid start to his Man City career, he’s been quiet recently, so will look to make an impact against his former club.
On the other side of the clash, one of the main focuses will be on Daniel Sturridge, and whether he can last or is given opportunity to play for the full game. In what has been a terribly unlucky period, Sturridge has spent more time in the physio’s room than on the pitch. However, as he approaches full fitness, Pellegrini’s men will do well to recognise just how big a goal-threat the striker is.
Two of the globe’s finest Super-bantamweight boxers, Carl Frampton and Scott Quigg, are set to put their respective titles on the line, as Manchester Arena plays host to a bout which has been hugely anticipated for some time, not least by the fighters themselves.
It’s sure to be a testing occasion for both men, as the victor will walk away with both the IBF (Frampton) and WBA (Quigg) Super-bantamweight belts, not to mention the pride of keeping an undefeated record.
Carl Frampton is yet to lose a fight in his career, after picking up 21 wins from all 21 attempts, whilst Scott Quigg has a 31 from 33 record, with the addition of 2 draws to his name.
Belfast-born Frampton is currently the bookies’ narrow-favourite to come out on top, but with Quigg being from Bury, the impact of the crowd could help to swing the odds in his favour on the night.
World Heavyweight champion Tyson Fury has announced that he expects to be ringside on Saturday night, as his cousins Hosea Burton and Isaac Lowe both feature on the undercard. With Fury and a few other famous faces also reported to be in attendance, there should be plenty of entertainment on view outside of the ring too.
Saturday afternoon sees two interesting rugby match-ups in round 3 of the 2016 Six Nations Championships, as things start to get interesting at the top of the table.
First, strugglers Scotland travel to the Stadio Olimpico, to face an equally-bad Italy as the pair carry out their yearly battle to avoid the Wooden Spoon. Without a win between them thus far, it’s safe to say that neither will be challenging for a Grand Slam win, however after both suffering defeat in their opening two matches, this is an opportunity to restore some national pride.
After the Scots and Italians have finished, England will look to continue their post-World Cup form, after their 15-9 and 40-9 wins against Scotland and Italy respectfully. With that being said, Ireland should prove to be England’s biggest task so far, after their hard-earned draw against Wales, and a narrow 10-9 defeat against France.
Given that England have probably already had their two easiest games, beating Ireland will be vital if they are to have a real chance of winning the championship, going in to their final two games against Wales and France.
With Wales playing host to the French – underneath the famous, atmosphere-enriching roof – on Friday night, this round is sure to be a true indicator as to who are true contenders for the Grand Slam.
Who do you think will lift the League Cup on Sunday? Will it be Frampton or Quigg who keeps their undefeated record? Who’s your favourite for the Six Nations Grand Slam? Let us know in the comments below!
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