Five days to the weekend

What to look out for this week in the world of sport


WITH last week’s 6-1 drubbing by Aston Villa bringing Paolo Di Canio’s promising start as Sunderland boss to an end, his relegation-threatened side have the chance to make amends in a key Premier League clash at Stoke tonight. The npower League One play-off second legs also take place with Brentford hosting Swindon after drawing 1-1 in the first leg, while Sheffield United take a 1-0 lead to Yeovil. There’s a Legends game at Ibrox this afternoon, with Rangers taking on Manchester United in a charity clash.


THERE’S more midweek Premier League action, with Manchester City hosting West Brom and Wigan facing what looks a must-win clash against visitors Swansea in their battle against the drop. In tennis the Madrid Open, featuring Andy Murray, continues, while there’s racing at Ayr, Brighton, Catterick, Exeter and Fakenham. LV= County Championship cricket action features the Division One clash between Yorkshire and Somerset, while in the IPL Rajasthan Royals take on Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Indians host Kolkata Knight Riders.


THE Irn-Bru First and Second Division play-off semi-finals get under way, with Brechin hosting Alloa and Dunfermline travelling to Forfar, while Queen’s Park host Peterhead and Berwick are at home to East Fife. In the Premier League, Chelsea host Spurs as the chase for Champions League places hots up. There’s racing at Kelso, as well as Kempton, Newcastle and Southwell, while the LV= County Championship Division One match between Warwickshire and Middlesex gets under way. The IPL features Sunrisers Hyderabad v Chennai Super Kings.


THERE’S npower Championship play-off semi-final action on the menu, with the first leg between Leicester City and Watford taking place at the King Power Stadium. In golf, the Players Championship tees off in Florida, while a busy day of cricket action features a tour match at Leicester between England Lions and New Zealand. In the IPL, it’s Kings XI Punjab v Rajasthan Royals and Pune Warriors v Kolkata Knight Riders.


THE second npower Championship play-off semi-final first leg features Crystal Palace v Brighton. There’s racing at Hamilton, as well as Ascot, Chester, Lingfield, Market Rasen, Nottingham and Ripon. In rugby, the first RaboDirect Pro12 semi-final takes place between Ulster and Scarlets, with Glasgow travelling to Leinster on Saturday. In motor racing, the Spanish Grand Prix weekend begins in Barcelona, while in cricket Surrey and Durham get their LV= County Championship Division One clash under way. In the IPL, Delhi Daredevils host Royal Challengers Bangalore.