Five days to the weekend

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The sport to look forward to this week


DESPITE a waterlogged track putting paid to the day’s racing, the third-round draw for the William Hill Scottish Cup will go ahead at Hamilton Racecourse. There’s Premier League action in store with struggling QPR looking to kick-start their season against London rivals West Ham United at Loftus Road. In cricket’s ICC World Twenty 20 Super Eights, New Zealand face West Indies and Sri Lanka take on Holland. Andy Murray returns to the tennis court this week as he begins the defence of the Rakuten Japan Open. The China Open also gets under way.


CHAMPIONS League action returns this week with Celtic travelling to Moscow to face Spartak Moscow in Group G, while CFR Cluj host Manchester United and Chelsea travel to face FC Nordsjaelland. The other fixture in Celtic’s group sees Benfica host Barcelona. There’s also a busy evening of football action in the Championship and the npower Leagues One and Two, while in cricket’s ICC World Twenty 20 Super Eights it’s Australia v Pakistan and India v South Africa. There’s racing at Ayr.


THE second evening of Champions League football this week sees Manchester City host Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal at home to Olympiacos. In the other ties, Ajax take on Real Madrid, Schalke face Montpellier, Dymanmo Kiev host Dinamo Zagreb, Porto are at home to Paris St Germain, Anderlecht play Malaga and AC Milan travel to Zenit St Petersburg. In the Championship it’s Middlesbrough v Derby and Nottingham Forest v managerless Blackburn, while in npower League two Bristol Rovers host Cheltenham.


THE draw for the quarter-finals of the Scottish Communities League Cup takes place, while the evening’s football action sees the Europa League take centre stage. Liverpool will hope to maintain their upturn in fortunes after a dismal start to the season when they host Udinese, while Newcastle are at home to Bordeaux and Spurs travel to Greece to face Panathinaikos. Following the drama of the Ryder Cup, St Andrews plays host to golf’s

annual Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.


THERE’S a Friday night Highlands derby in the SPL between Inverness and Ross County. There’s also football at Pittodrie with a Victory Shield match between Scotland and Wales. In rugby union, Edinburgh are in RaboDirect Pro12 action when they host Benetton Treviso. Elsewhere, Scarlets host Newport Gwent Dragons, Ulster are at home to Connacht and Zebre face Ospreys. In the Aviva Premiership it’s Sale v Leicester. In Birmingham, the Horse of the Year Show gets under way, while there’s racing at Ascot, Fontwell, Hexham, Wolverhampton and Yarmouth.