Five days to the weekend
The best sporting action this week.
CRAIG Levein and his Scotland squad can be forgiven for a sense of foreboding as they board their flight to Brussels today ahead of Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against high-flying Belgium. Few will fancy the Scots’ chances of restoring some pride to what looks another doomed campaign following Friday’s disastrous defeat in Wales. Billy Stark’s Scotland U21 side face Canada in a Marbella friendly, while there’s racing at Musselburgh and in tennis the Luxembourg Open, the Esrte Bank Open, the Stockholm Open and the Kremlin Cup get under way.
WHAT many predict will be Craig Levein’s last game in charge of Scotland kicks off in Brussels at 7.45pm when table-toppers Belgium hosts the Group A World Cup qualifier. Wales will feel rejuvenated after beating the Scots, but face a tester in Croatia, while Macedonia host Serbia in the group’s other tie. England have a key Group H clash in Poland, and Northern Ireland will have their work cut out in Portugal in Group F. The Republic of Ireland head for the Faroes eyeing respite after a 6-1 battering by Germany in Group C.
WITH the World Cup qualifiers over until March, it’s back to the gritty reality of domestic football as Clyde host Elgin City in Division Three. An away win would see the visitors take over from Queens Park at the top of the table, but Clyde will be eager to put further distance between themselves and the league’s basement clubs. In England, Sheffield United head for Notts County on Johnstone’s Paint Trophy second round duty, while there are race meetings scheduled for Kempton, Lingfield, Nottingham and Wetherby.
EUROPEAN rugby kicks off ahead of the weekend with Gloucester hosting Bordeaux in the Amlin Challenge Cup Pool 1, while in Pool 4 it’s Agen v Bath. In golf, Australia’s richest tournament – the Perth International Championship – tees off at Lake Karrinyup, with Scotland’s Alastair Forsyth among those competing. The event is co-sanctioned between the PGA Tour of Australasia and the European Tour. The McGladrey Classic also gets under way in Georgia. There’s racing at Brighton, Kempton, Uttoxeter and Wincanton.
THE SPL swings back into action, and following what was an entertaining Highland derby in the league’s most recent Friday night match, Dundee and Inverness will be hoping to put on a decent spectacle. The home side are badly in need of points to avoid becoming detached at the foot of the table, but Terry Butcher’s Inverness are on a strong run of form. In the npower Championship, Sheffield Wednesday host Leeds, while in League Two it’s Barnet v Northampton. Glasgow are in Heineken Cup action, hosting Ulster in Pool 4, and in motor racing the Italian Rally gets under way.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west