A weekend of must-see sport

Sports fans up and down the country are in for a particularly busy weekend of sport with the Ashes taking place in Australia, the return of the Premier League and the Rugby League World Cup reaching the semi-final stages.

Everton v Liverpool (Premier League, Saturday, 12.45pm)

The main talking point ahead of this Merseyside derby is the battle of the strikers. Everton’s Romelu Lukaku has five goals in seven matches and has been a major factor in Everton’s good form this season.

However, Liverpool have perhaps the best strike partnership in England with Daniel Sturridge and Luis Suarez scoring a combined 16 goals in 17 matches this season.

England v New Zealand (Rugby League World Cup semi-final, Saturday, 1pm)

If the football doesn’t take your fancy perhaps England’s rugby league World Cup semi-final encounter with New Zealand hits the spot.

England go into this match as heavy underdogs but have the advantage of playing on home soil. Having looked slightly unconvincing against France in their quarter-final victory, England coach Steve McNamara knows his side needs to up their game.

Arsenal v Southampton (Premier League, Saturday, 3pm)

Arsenal have a two-point cushion over second-placed Liverpool at the top of the Premier League but with the Anfield club playing high-flying Everton, there is a real chance for the Gunners to extended their lead at the top, provided they win.

Southampton have been the surprise package of the season so far and currently find themselves in third place. Having remained unbeaten against Liverpool and Manchester United already this season, the Saints will certainly be no pushovers.

Borussia Dortmund v Bayern Munich (Bundesliga, Saturday, 5.30pm)

After 12 games of the Bundesliga this season Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich are still unbeaten with 10 wins and two draws to their name but this weekend will be their first real test on the domestic front.

Dortmund were victorious the last time these two sides met, a 4-2 victory in the German Super Cup, and manager Jurgen Klopp will relish the opportunity to go head-to-head again with Guardiola.

Carl Froch v George Groves (WBA/IBF super-middlewight boxing, Saturday, 10.30pm)

Carl Froch and George Groves squared up with each other earlier today at their official weigh-in with the latter weighing almost two pounds less.

Londoner Groves has a 19-0 record but is the challenger against Froch who currently holds both the WBA/IBF super-middleweight titles.

Australia v England (The Ashes Cricket, Sunday, 12.00am)

After their collapse earlier today England are unlikely to come out of the first test match with anything other than a defeat.  The tourists lost six wickets for just nine runs in a poor 10 over spell as they crumbled from 82-2 to 136 all out.

With three days left to play, Australia finished day two on 65-0 with a lead of over 200 runs on a good batting wicket.

Manchester City v Tottenham (Premier League, Sunday, 1.30pm)

Manchester City are the only side in England with a perfect home record and with Sergio Aguero currently on an impressive goalscoring run, they go into their Premier League encounter against a goal-shy Tottenham side as favourites.

City’s problems have instead been at the other end of the pitch with Joe Hart’s drop in form and the subsequent decision by Manuel Pellegrini to drop England’s goalkeeper in favour of Costel Pantilimon. City’s manager has yet to announce who will start in goal this weekend.

Ireland v New Zealand (Rugby Union, Sunday, 2pm)

New Zealand go into their last international test match of 2013 knowing that if they avoid defeat they will have remained unbeaten throughout their 14 matches this year.

Ireland also have something to play for after a very poor performance last Saturday where they were on the receiving end of a 32-15 defeat to Australia. If Ireland fail to improve, they will almost certainly be on the end of an even bigger defeat.

Brazilian Grand Prix (Formula One, Sunday, 3pm)

This weekend sees the last race of the 2013 Formula One season at Interlagos in Brazil. Unsurprisingly Sebastien Vettel’s eight wins in a row mean he has already won the drivers standings but there will be all eyes on him to see if he can make it nine consecutive first places.

The Brazilian Grand Prix will also be Mark Webber’s last race in the sport with the Red Bull driver set to retire.

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