This Weekend’s Big Match-Ups
(December 9-12, 2022)
The sporting season is getting more heated and dramatic with every week that passes, and this week is no different. With huge matchups taking place everywhere you look and competitions starting to take shape, sport has never been in such a good place as right now. Let’s take a look at some of the most exciting clashes to take place this weekend in the world of sport.
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FIFA World Cup: England vs. France (December 10th)
With the FIFA World Cup well underway, we have finally reached the quarter-final stage, and the contenders for the title are starting to show themselves. After some huge shocks in the group stages, such as third-ranked Belgium and perennial contenders Germany being knocked out, two of the strongest teams meet in the quarter-finals, England and France.
England’s emphatic 3-0 win against Senegal meant that the only goals they have conceded so far were sloppy late goals in the 6-2 win against Iran in their opening game. Their defense has looked incredibly strong, and with Phil Foden, Bukayo Saka, Jude Bellingham, and Harry Kane looking on top form in attack, this England team are certainly one to fear.
However, France won their round of 16 matchup against Poland 4-1, and star striker Kylian Mbappé is looking every bit the world-class talent that he has been for the past few years. His pace, ability, and vision are going to be hard to stop, and Olivier Giroud’s penalty box presence is also going to be a handful for an England defense not necessarily known for its pace. The performance of right back Kyle Walker is going to be key in this matchup, but this is absolutely going to be one of the matches to watch this tournament.
World Cup 2022 Qatar schedule.
UFC 282 (December 10th)
The UFC returns to Las Vegas this week with a strong card headlined by the light-heavyweight clash of Jan Blachowicz and Magomed Ankalaev for the championship belt. Ankalaev is on a nine-fight winning streak dating back to 2018 as he has slowly made his way through the division, and Blachowicz has been one of the dominant forces in the division for years. It’s an intriguing matchup made possible by the unfortunate injury to Jiri Prochazka which forced him to vacate the belt while he recovers.
In the co-main event, rising star Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett continues his stunning rise in the UFC and faces a tough test in Jared Gordon, who has won four of his last five fights and will provide a sterner examination of Pimblett’s talents than what he has come up against before. Also, fan favorite Darren Till will return to the octagon after a 15-month layoff against a dangerous new talent in Dricus Du Plessis, who has won all three of his UFC fights in spectacular fashion. The card is certainly one to remember.
UFC schedule here.
NBA: Golden State Warriors vs. Boston Celtics (December 11th)
Defending champions Golden State Warriors take on their 2022 Finals opponents Boston Celtics this weekend for the first time since they managed to down the Celtics 4-2 to claim the title in June. While Boston has bounced back from their bruising defeat to lead the NBA standings so far this season, with Jayson Tatum playing at an MVP level, Golden State has had a mixed start to the season and has only recently gotten above .500 and into the playoff places.
A worryingly weak bench and a slow start from star shooting guard Klay Thompson gave the Warriors headaches for weeks, but Steph Curry’s heroic performances and coach Steve Kerr’s tactical switches have stabilized their form in recent games, and this matchup should be a perfect insight into how far away the Warriors are from realistically challenging this season. Expect fireworks and playoff-level defensive intensity as both of these proud teams do battle once more.
NBA schedule on TV and stream.
NFL: San Francisco 49ers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (December 11th)
This weekend, the San Francisco 49ers, led by their star quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, will seek to get their sixth consecutive victory against a Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers side that has struggled for consistency this season. The 49ers currently lead the NFC West with an 8-4 record, which has been a marked improvement from their early season struggles. They seem to have found their game both offensively and defensively, and noises from around the team suggest that they are quietly confident of a deep playoff run this year.
The Bucs, on the other hand, are a little lost this season, and with every run of victories comes a bruising loss to bring them down to earth. The truth is, the weapons that they had during their incredible Super Bowl run in 2021 either aren’t there or aren’t as effective anymore, and it doesn’t look like this Tampa team has the talent to get back to the Super Bowl as they planned to. However, any team with Tom Brady leading the way should never be counted out, and this matchup should be a perfect way to gauge how far away they really are from reaching the big time again.
Author: Dan Anderson