Five days to the weekend

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The best sporting action coming up this week


TONIGHT’S Premier League football action is a London derby at Upton Park, where West Ham host Tottenham. While the Hammers are not entirely free of relegation worries, they will face a testing night against a Spurs side with their sights set on a top-four finish – and possibly denying close rivals Arsenal a Champions League spot. In cricket, the first Test between India and Australia continues in Chennai, while England Lions face Australia A in a tour match in Sydney.


THERE’S SPL action at Pittodrie, where Aberdeen face Ross County. Craig Brown’s men will be bidding to climb back into the top half of the table, but have found goals scarce of late and won’t have it easy against a County side already sitting pretty in the top six. In the First Division Cowdenbeath host Partick and Raith travel to Dumbarton and there are a trio of matches in both Divisions Two and Three, including Stirling v Rangers. Everton host Oldham in a fifth-round FA Cup replay.


THE evening’s SPL fixtures include a CIS Cup final dress rehearsal between St Mirren and Hearts – second and third-bottom of the table respectively – while Hibs host Kilmarnock ahead of their quarter-final Scottish Cup trip to Rugby Park at the weekend. Seemingly-doomed Dundee are at home to St Johnstone, with Dundee United travelling to Inverness and runaway league leaders Celtic heading for Motherwell. In the Second Division it’s Arbroath v Alloa. In the FA Cup, Middlesbrough host Chelsea in a fifth-round replay, while there are race meetings scheduled for Lingfield, Southwell, Wetherby and Wolverhampton.


IN cricket, a New Zealand XI host England in Queenstown, with the tourists likely to be in confident mood after wrapping up a 2-1 ODI series win against the host nation. In golf the Honda Classic and the Tshwane Open tee off in Florida and the Ernie Els-designed Copperleaf course in South Africa respectively. In the former event, Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods will look to rebound from early exits at the Accenture Match Play Championship.


HIGH-flying Glasgow are back in RaboDirect PRO12 action as they host Cardiff at Scotstoun, where they will bid to follow up last Friday’s inspiring victory over Ulster. Toiling Edinburgh will bid to end a run of ten consecutive defeats as they travel to Scarlets. In athletics, the European Indoor Championships get under way in Gothenburg, while in football there’s npower Championship action featuring Derby v Crystal Palace and Wolves v Watford. The day’s race meetings are scheduled for Doncaster, Lingfield, Newbury and Wolverhampton.