What's on: Sporting Life pick out five big sports events for the week ahead

Sporting Life previews the big sporting events coming up over the next seven days

Sporting Life highlights the main events of the week with key details and odds, so you don't miss a thing.


Racing – bet365 Charlie Hall Chase

The jumps season goes up a gear on Saturday with Wetherby staging a cracking card, on which the feature is the bet365 Charlie Hall Chase.

It’s been won by some great staying chasers over the years and while we may be down on star quality in 2020, we do have a fascinating race.

Kim Bailey has his team in terrific form right now and he’s long thought Ultima fourth Vinndication could go to the top of the chasing tree. This is the next step in his education.

Sam Spinner is short on experience over fences but he’s very talented and does go well at this track while Paul Nicholls is set to rely on Secret Investor/

Former winner of the race Definitly Red will let them all know he’s in there fighting and is the subject of encouraging reports from Brian Ellison too.


Football – Manchester United v Arsenal

Pizza-gate. Ryan Giggs’ shirtless, hairy chest. Martin Keown bellowing in Ruud van Nistelrooy’s face. Arsenal clinching the title at Old Trafford but getting hammered 6-1 and 8-2 there too. Memories.

Things might have calmed down since the height of the Alex Ferguson-Arsene Wenger rivalry but the meeting of the reds of Manchester and London still elicits some excitement all these years later.

Okay, it’s not quite the same as when Roy Keane and Patrick Vieira were snarling at each other in the tunnel (and on the pitch) and it’s the top four, rather than the title, both are aiming for nowadays but it's still marquee material.

United will be seeking some stability after a rollercoaster campaign which, only seven games in, has sunk to the low of a 6-1 hammering by Spurs and risen to a midweek high of another famous Champions League win in Paris.

Arsenal’s season has been somewhat more serene as Mikel Arteta’s rebuilding continues but defeats at Liverpool and Manchester City have again raised the question of whether the Gunners can win the big games, something they will hope to answer at Old Trafford.


Darts – European Championship

The latest televised major of a hectic winter of darts takes place in Germany this weekend as Rob Cross bids to defend the title he won 12 months ago against Gerwyn Price.

Michael van Gerwen will be marginal favourite to win the title for a fifth time despite his ropey form since the season resumption while Price and Peter Wright will be regarded his most serious threats, as usual.

Players qualify for this event by virtue of the money they’ve earned over the four European Tour events this year – which is obviously a lot less than usual – so the likes of Devon Petersen and Jose De Sousa will carry favour with some punters having scooped a title each over the past few weeks.


Golf – Bermuda Championship

Two weeks out from the Masters, golf takes a deep breath courtesy of the Bermuda Championship, an event for players who likely do not have a Green Jacket in their future.

At least, not their immediate future. Within this line-up there are a collection of potential stars, including Denmark’s Rasmus Hojgaard and American hotshot Will Zalatoris. The latter bagged a top-10 finish in the US Open and is destined for the upper echelons of the PGA Tour. Hojgaard meanwhile has been a star in his rookie European Tour season, winning twice. Both will be fancied by many.

Still, this event last year threw up a very different storyline, as Brendon Todd completed his return from the golfing abyss. That’s the Bermuda Championship for you. There are stars, veterans, those in the middle, and any one of them can win. It makes for a fascinating heat for punters.


Snooker - Championship League

Snooker's Championship League returns for its third and final instalment this week with a ranking title on the line.

Reigning champion Ben Woollaston has already fallen by the wayside, soo too Ronnie O'Sullivan who was a later defector, but plenty of big guns are still standing.

Recent English Open hero Judd Trump will be in action on Monday as he takes on the likes of Barry Hawkins and Ryan Day in Group A while Mark Selby will appear a day later in Group D.

Other likely title contenders are Kyren Wilson and John Higgins.


Responsible gambling

We are committed in our support of responsible gambling. Recommended bets are advised to over-18s and we strongly encourage readers to wager only what they can afford to lose.

If you are concerned about your gambling, please call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133, or visit begambleaware.org.

Further support and information can be found at GamCare and gamblingtherapy.org.

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