This Weekend’s Big Match-Ups (January 13-16, 2022)
As always, this week promises to be a huge one in the world of sport, with plenty of tasty clashes and fierce rivalries taking place all over the world. With the season in full swing in the majority of top sports around the world, this weekend sees many huge teams come up against each other in the battle for superiority, and the results of these matches could have huge ramifications for the silverware that will be handed out at the end of the season. So read on for a roundup of the biggest matches taking place this weekend.
EPL: Manchester United vs. Manchester City (January 14th)
Another week, another huge match for Manchester City. After facing Liverpool, Everton, and Chelsea (twice!) over the last few weeks, City come up against a dangerous Manchester United side who are slowly rebuilding their season after a horror start under new manager Erik ten Hag. The fact that the match is taking place at Old Trafford, Manchester United’s home stadium, is notable for the fact that United have performed incredibly well there over the past few months. Add this to the fact that United have won 10 out of their last 11 games, and this is looking a trickier tie than expected for title-chasing City.
However, with City’s firepower, including goal machine Erling Haaland and midfield wizard Kevin de Bruyne, they will be more than confident of going to Old Trafford and getting a result. Their 6-3 win in the reverse fixture this season was more comprehensive than the score looked, and they will be more than up for this match against their fiercest rivals as they attempt to take top spot from a rampant Arsenal side. Expect fireworks and tensions in the most hotly anticipated Manchester derby in years.
NBA: Miami Heat vs. Milwaukee Bucks (January 14th)
This weekend’s clash between the dominant Milwaukee Bucks and the Miami Heat seems like a foregone conclusion if you just look at the standings. Milwaukee are in a comfortable third place in the Eastern Conference, with only outstanding runs by the Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics pushing them off first place. Superstar forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is playing arguably the best basketball of his career, and the team that has been built around him is looking sharper, more physical, and more eager than ever to claim their second championship.
Miami, on the other hand, have had a difficult season and find themselves in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Heat have had troubles with injuries and team chemistry, but their poor record shouldn’t fool anyone; they’re still a force to be reckoned with. Their physical defense and outstanding offensive weapons of Jimmy Butler, Tyler Herro, and Bam Adebayo, shouldn’t be taken lightly, and they should be well up for a game against one of their big rivals over the last few years. This should be a matchup to remember.
NFL: San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks (January 14th)
The NFL regular season has finally come to an end, and this weekend, the Wild Card Round begins. The most anticipated matchup of the Wild Card Round has to be the clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks, with the 49ers going on a truly unbelievable 10-match winning run to end the season with a 13-4 record and comfortably taking first place in the NFC West.
The Seahawks, on the other hand, finished in second place in the NFC West, and their record of 9-8 looks decidedly less impressive, although they did win their last two matches of the season to clinch their place in the playoffs. They will have to be wary of the 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and his potential to play them off the park, but the Seahawks have shown tremendous resilience over the past few weeks to get to where they are.
Tennis: Australian Open (January 16th-29th)
The tennis season is finally back, and the first season without legendary icon Roger Federer begins with the prestigious Australian Open. Serial winner Novak Djokovic is back in Australia after having to miss last year’s tournament because of being deported due to his anti-vaccination stance and reported positive COVID-19 test, so the tournament has a lot more edge and tension to it than usual.
However, there are some notable absences to this year’s tournament due to injury, such as US Open winner and world number one Carlos Alcaraz, along with women’s tennis legend Venus Williams and superstar Naomi Osaka. This has opened up the draw for the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Rafael Nadal, Casper Ruud, and current women’s number one Iga Swiatek, and the amount of strong contenders is still impressive considering the amount of injuries that have piled up.
The form of Norwegian star Casper Ruud especially has made the tennis world sit up and take note, and big things are expected of the 24-year-old in this tournament and over the next year in general. However, the favorite is surely Djokovic in his first appearance at the event since beating Medvedev in the 2021 final.
Author: Dan Anderson