English cricket history will be made on Thursday with the start of the first day/night Test match in England and the use of a pink ball. West Indies are the opponents for the first ever 5-day match played under lights in this country and the home side can prevail. Joe Root won his first series as captain with England beating South Africa this summer and the side can continue the winning run in this groundbreaking match.
The Solheim Cup is the women’s version of the Ryder Cup as it brings together the 12 best players from Europe and the United States in the matchplay format. The Americans are playing at home that is not necessarily the key to the outcome. There have been 14 Solheim Cups and four have been won by the visiting team. The USA leads 9-5 in wins and can make home advantage tell this time.
The Vuelta a Espana is one of the classic Tours in cycling. It is Spain’s equivalent of the Tour de France and with the Giro d’Italia one of three races in the sport that matter most. Part of the race takes place in France this year and that must be a positive for Chris Froome who won his fourth Tour at the end of last month. The strength of the field does not quite match the Tour de France and Froome has the form to win.
England are the holders of the Women’s World Cup and odds-on to defend the trophy. English women’s sport is on a role with great efforts from the cricket and football teams this summer and the rugby side can deliver the World Cup again. New Zealand are potentially the closest challengers but England have the experience and confidence to win the Rugby World Cup for the second time.
Racing has a bit of a lull during the gap between Goodwood and Galway and next week’s York Ebor meeting. It’s more about quality than quality on Saturday with nine meetings in total in Britain and Ireland. The Shergar Cup was something different last weekend but we are back to conventional racing. The main meeting of the day is at Newbury where Richard Hannon and Paul Hanagan have decent records but at the moment all roads lead to York.
Its early days in the new football season and the table only takes shape after about 10 games. Jose Mourinho has a superb record for winning the title in his second full season at a club. On the evidence of the opening day Manchester United have a great chance of maintaining that record but their local rivals City will be right in the mix this season but the Red team in the city can prevail.
The sporting calendar is in transition from the great summer events to the seasons in the main European football leagues. However, the highlight of the week will be the first ball bowled under floodlights in a Test cricket match in England.