Opinion / 11 January 2020, 08:30am / sanele tshabalala
This year’s sporting calendar has started warming up, with a fresh batch of golf and ponies on the cards, alongside some football and cricket action.
This past week’s second Test match between South Africa and England was a great advert as to why the ultimate format should remain a five-day affair.
The Barmy Army is marching on to the ‘Windy City’, Port Elizabeth, where they will run into the local band. Should be a vibe!
Whoever wins is safe from not losing the series, but will also have a chance to win it. To say it’s a crunch game, then, is an understatement.
England are on a high after Kaapstad, but they may feel slightly deflated after losing James Anderson to injury for the rest of the series.
If South Africa bring the intensity (as we do in sporting matters the world over), they can give the English real trouble, but it can never be as bad as what is happening back home for the English.
It’s interesting times on and off the pitch in the British monarch. In case you missed the news - Harry and Meghan retired from the Royal household. That beer in the Bok changeroom clearly didn’t go down well!
The Duchess has already split to Canada - she didn’t waste a second - leaving the old lady confused.
It’s the case of the Missing Harrys, with the ginger royal pulling a Harry Kane - missing in action.
Both will be missed, but the latter more so in the near future, when his team takes on log leaders Liverpool, as we go back to sporting matters.
The highlights this weekend are Arsenal travelling to Palace in the early game today, followed by Chelsea versus Burnley, Leicester hosting Southampton and Manchester United playing Norwich.
All the home teams are looking to maintain their positions, and should, barring Palace. I expect the Gunners to collect points away from home.
The home treble of Leicester, United and Chelsea is 2/1.
Today’s big game is Spurs versus the unbeaten Liverpool. Spurs go into the game without their skipper, the ‘Kane train’. It’s been more like the Pain Train lately.
The Lilywhites are coming up against an astute Jurgen Klopp outfit, who are leading the log by 13 points over surprise package Leicester City.
Mourinho versus Klopp is a duel made for television.
Each coach has vastly different targets at the minute, with one trying to get into the top four to save his job and the other targeting a multiple trophy winning season.
Either way, this game is likely to be an absolute cracker, with a dollop of controversy on the touchline.
I’m leaning towards Liverpool maintaining their lead at the top of the table, with one of their African stars getting in on the goal action.
On Sunday, Bournemouth play against Watford and Aston Villa take on Manchester City. Bournemouth and City should collect points.
In the PSL, there are three games today and tomorrow. This is a big round for the strugglers, with eight of the twelve teams in action all featuring in the bottom half of the table, with only seven points between them.
In golf, the South African Open at Randpark saw local player Daniel Greene take an early lead into the clubhouse izolo (yesterday) in round two.
Let’s hope we get a local winner come Sunday afternoon.
Lastly, watch out for the L’ormanis Queen’s Plate horse racing, the champagne race of the year. Hawwaam is the strong favourite at 7/10, with Anton Marcus on board - however look out for the local combo of jockey Richard Fourie and trainer Justin Snaith, who may just... ‘Do It Again’!