The Six Nations concludes this weekend, and although England have already been crowned champions, they travel to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin aiming to win back-to-back Grand Slams. As well as the motivation of wanting to prevent England winning a record-breaking 19th straight match, Ireland can finish second should they overcome their fierce rivals.
Ireland are bidding to avoid losing to all three home nations rivals in one Championship for the first time since 1998, and must now do so without several of their most trusted lieutenants. Scrum-half Conor Murray has failed to shake off his shoulder problem and thus will be replaced by Kieran Marmion who plays for Connacht in the Pro12.
Playing in Dublin the day after St. Patrick’s Day will provide an interesting experience for England, there may be one or two sore heads in the crowd as well as on the pitch by the time the game is over. Elsewhere, Wales take on France in Paris as both sides look to improve on identical records of two wins and two losses.
The Premier League returns after a week of dramatic Champions League action which has left Leicester as the nation’s sole representative in the elite European competition. Arsenal visit the Hawthorns on Saturday lunchtime, knowing that nothing less than a win against West Brom will get them back on track in their effort to overhaul their rivals and claw back a top four place.
But the standout game of the weekend takes place on Sunday afternoon between Liverpool and Manchester City and the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp will go head-to-head for the 10th time as managers, with the Citizens just one point ahead of the Reds in the Premier League – although the home side do have a game in hand.
Liverpool will have gone three months without an away Premier League win by Sunday, but they have actually won the last four meetings between the two clubs in the Premier League! City however may be something of a wounded animal, having just been dumped out of the Champions League on away goals by a Monaco team who put six past them over the two legs.
Meanwhile, Roger Federer’s career resurgence continues in the Indian Wells Masters, as the 36-year-old bids to reach the semi-finals on Friday night. Federer meets Australian bad boy Nick Kyrgios who knocked defending champion Novak Djokovic out in the previous round. And with Andy Murray having also made an early exit, Federer will certainly be eyeing up his fifth Indian Wells Masters title.