Editors' Picks: Cricket World Cup, ATP Finals & Euro qualifiers all coming to an end

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Editors' Picks: Cricket World Cup, ATP Finals & Euro qualifiers all coming to an end

Can Luciano Spalletti lead Italy to the Euro 2024 finals?
Can Luciano Spalletti lead Italy to the Euro 2024 finals?Profimedia, Flashscore
It might be the international break, which means no club football, but there is still a ton of good sport to look forward to this weekend!

Here's what our news editors are circling in their calendars.

Saturday, November 18th

ATP Finals concludes - all weekend

The ATP Finals is the season-ending championship on the ATP Tour, which sees the world's best eight tennis players gather in Turin to see who will reign supreme.

By the weekend, the round-robin stage will be over, with the semi-finals taking place on Saturday and the showpiece final on Sunday.

Home favourite Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev have already booked their places in the final four, as has world number one and reigning champion Novak Djokovic. 

Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev are the players battling it out for the final spot available in Group B on Friday.

Djokovic was the hot favourite heading into the tournament, but he hasn't looked at his best on the rapid indoor courts. However, should he make it to the knockout stages, it'll be difficult to look past the Serbian great.

It truly is the battle of the best at the most prestigious event outside of the Grand Slams. You do not want to miss it.

Sunday, November 19th

F1: Las Vegas Grand Prix - 07:00 CET

For decades, Formula 1 has tried and failed to crack America, but this weekend is set to serve as confirmation that they've well and truly done it, with one of their biggest-ever events taking place in the States. 

Whether the Las Vegas Grand Prix will provide much entertainment on track is very much uncertain looking at the layout of the street circuit, but in terms of spectacle alone, it's going to be like nothing you've ever seen before.  

The drivers will be going right through the centre of Sin City, flying past all its most famous sights, from Caeser's Palace to the Bellagio fountains to the Eiffel Tower, as they hurtle down the iconic Strip at over 200mph.

They'll be doing so in darkness, with the race being the latest to start in the sport's history - 22:00 local time - so that the lights of the Las Vegas skyline can be seen in all their glory. 

“I think we are there more for the show than the racing itself if you look at the layout of the track, but you know, I’m actually not that into it," said Max Verstappen, and it's hard to disagree with him, but if you are into that, you're in for a treat.

Cricket World Cup Final - 09:30 CET

When Australia had South Africa at 4-24 in the second semi-final at the one-day international (ODI) World Cup, it looked like a win would be somewhat of a formality for the Aussies. That’s not how it turned out but Pat Cummins’ side edged over the line to book a spot in Sunday’s final against India in Ahmedabad.

Australia started this long tournament with two losses - to the only teams that finished above them in the group stage, South Africa and India. Since then, they have won eight out of eight. They have grown into the competition and their ageing squad, bemoaned in some quarters for looking a little stale, has shown that they have a bit of magic up their sleeves and a never-say-die attitude.

They will need all that magic when they face India in the decider. Rarely has a team looked so dominant in a World Cup as Rohit Sharma’s do now. The hosts have won 10 from 10 and have barely looked troubled at any stage. Virat Kohli is in unbelievable touch and basking in the glow of his record-setting 50th ODI ton scored in the semi-final victory over New Zealand. But the stunning thing is, their whole squad are in form.

Ahmedabad has hosted four matches at the World Cup already with the average first innings score being just over 250 and the chasing side has won three times. What's more, in three of those four matches, the team that has won the toss has elected to field first.

Based on that small but relevant sample, expect whoever wins the toss to field first. However, historically, it’s an almost 50/50 split between setting and chasing victories at the Narendra Modi Stadium. Speaking of Indian Prime Minister Modi, he and likely over 100,000 other Indians should be there in support of the home side. If Australia are to spring a surprise, it will be one for the books and a record-extending sixth title.

Monday, November 20th

Ukraine versus Italy - 20:45 CET 

The Euro 2024 qualifying group stage is coming to an end this international break with the 20 automatic berths to be settled. Many nations have secured a spot already but not all are sewn up. One of the continent’s traditional powerhouses, Italy, have yet to book their spot in Germany next summer. Standing in Luciano Spalletti's side's way is another proud footballing nation - Ukraine.

Here’s the situation in Group C - England (16 points) have wrapped up one of the top two spots. Ukraine are second on 13 with Italy third on 10.

Should Italy win their match against North Macedonia on Friday, they will be level on points with Ukraine, rendering Monday’s clash a winner-take-all encounter. 

Even if Italy draw or lose to North Macedonia, they will still be in play, meaning that Monday’s match will be interesting in any case.

Group C standings before Friday's fixtures
Group C standings before Friday's fixturesFlashscore

Considering the tragic situation in Ukraine, it would be special to see them qualify for the finals and they’ll have plenty of support from fans and locals alike in Leverkusen (Germany), where the match is being held.

Thanks to the play-off route based on UEFA Nations League results, Italy will not be out entirely if they fail to secure an automatic spot via the group stage. The same is true for Ukraine. However, neither will want to take their chances.

Read more about the Euro-qualifying permutations here.

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