Editors’ Picks: India begin home World Cup campaign before big Premier League showdown

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Editors’ Picks: India begin home World Cup campaign before big Premier League showdown

Arsenal and Manchester City met earlier in the season in the Community Shield with the Gunners winning on penalties
Arsenal and Manchester City met earlier in the season in the Community Shield with the Gunners winning on penaltiesProfimedia, Flashscore
Across the world and across sport, world championships are set to be decided, two World Cups host massive ties and last year’s top two in the Premier League do battle on a great weekend. Here are our Editors’ Picks for an engrossing couple of days.

Saturday October 7th

Qatar Sprint Race - 19:00 CET

Normally a Formula 1 race on the Sunday is the main course of any race weekend, however this is no normal weekend.

The dominant driver of the season, Max Verstappen (26), can produce a rare feat by being crowned world champion on a Saturday.

He needs to finish in the top three during the sprint race to lift his third world title, his third in a row. However, given the short nature of the race, it can mean just one mistake can see you careering down the field.

Given no-one is close to him in the standings - he is 177 points clear of his nearest rival Serigo Perez (33) with 180 left to drive for - it would mean waiting just one more day, but if he can pull it off on Saturday, he would be the sixth three-time world champion, following in the footsteps of his partner Kelly’s father Nelson Piquet and Aryton Senna.

Ireland v Scotland, Rugby World Cup - 21:00 CET

Hot on the heels of the sprint race comes our first proper showdown of the weekend. 

Scotland and Ireland face each other in their final Pool B match, knowing a win for either side will seal their passage through to the quarter-finals, whilst the loser could be packing their bags and heading home.

There are plenty of permutations with South Africa still in the mix too, but they will be sitting out this weekend, having played all of their pool games.

The mindset of both teams will be to ignore the minuta of bonus points and focus on winning the game. 

The main battle of the clash will be centred around the two fly halves - Ireland’s Johnny Sexton (38) and Scotland’s Finn Russell (31). The pair are the main creators of their sides and the one who is contained more will probably end up on the defeated team.

Read more about the de-facto knockout showdown with our expert analysis here.

Sunday October 8th

India v Australia, Cricket World Cup - 10:30 CET

The crowds in Ahmedabad for the opening game between England and New Zealand may have looked sparse in the 120,000-seater stadium, but that certainly won’t be the case on Sunday in Chennai, when India open their tournament against Australia.

As ever, this cricketing mad country is at fever pitch and nearly a billion eyes will be on this game. The national side come into the six-week tournament as favourites given they have home advantage and a side full of experience, talent and firepower.

But, Australia are never a pushover and they themselves have pushed India in a three-match series proceeding this World Cup.

Plenty of their stars have both Indian Premier League (IPL) and international experience on the sub-continent, so will not be in awe when they step out to play on Sunday.

For India, a good start is vital if they are to keep up with a nation that expects, but a loss could ratchet up the intense pressure even more.

Follow the game with Flashscore.

Arsenal v Manchester City - 17:30 CET

Finishing off the weekend is a Premier League treat between the two sides that finished in the top two spots last season.

Manchester City won the title by five points over Arsenal in the last campaign, but took six points off the Gunners in that season, showing just how pivotal these clashes between the top sides can be.

Going into the game, both sides have had a poor result. For City, they were shocked by Wolves at Molineux in a 2-1 loss last weekend, whilst Arsenal were humbled by Lens in the Champions League in midweek.

However, the London side are one of just two unbeaten sides remaining in the English top flight - alongside rivals Tottenham Hotspur - so they should be brimming with confidence.

Bukayo Saka (22) - a vital cog in their attacking machine - is likely to miss out through injury for Arsenal, which will be a big blow for them. Whereas City are without Rodri (26), seemingly always in the side when they win, through suspension. 

It may only be the start of October, but this game could have huge ramifications on the title race come May.

Listen to our live audio commentary on Sunday.

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