This Weekend’s Big Match-Ups
This weekend promises to be one for the ages in the world of sport. There are feisty rival matches in various sports, teams fighting to get to the top of their respective leagues, and fallen giants trying to claw themselves out of a hole. The drama is endless, and there are sure to be some fireworks this weekend. Read on to find out which matchups to look out for.
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NBA: Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers (October 28th)
In the clash of the fallen giants, 2019 NBA Champions Toronto Raptors take on perennial playoff contenders Philadelphia 76ers as they both try to kickstart their seasons. Toronto has started with a 2-2 record, and their star players Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet have been slightly inconsistent compared to their usual high levels. The Raptors have been somewhat inconsistent generally over the past couple of years, but this summer’s acquisition of Gary Trent Jr. was intended to get them back to the biggest stages. This hasn’t proven to work just yet, but it is still very early in the season.
The Raptors come up against a Philadelphia side that had massive amounts of optimism for this season, with superstar guard James Harden coming into camp in the best shape he has been in years. Dominant center Joel Embiid played the best basketball of his career last year, and hopes were high he could even win the MVP this time around. All the more shocking, then, that the 76ers have begun the season with a 1-3 record, and they have played poorly in multiple games. If their playoff hopes are to be realised, they need to turn this around at some point, and Toronto could be their chance to do just that.
EPL: Leicester City vs. Manchester City (October 29th)
After a horror start to the season, Brendan Rodgers’s Leicester City side has recovered in recent weeks to lift themselves from the foot of the table to just outside the relegation places. For a team as talented as Leicester, they should never have been 20th in the first place, but as we have seen many times over the last few years, plenty of talented teams have been relegated from the Premier League. Leicester need to keep this momentum going if they want to be sure of safety this season.
However, this week is going to be difficult for them to do that, as they run into free-scoring Manchester City, with the twin threats of goalscoring machine Erling Haaland and creative magician Kevin de Bruyne at the peak of their powers. City has so many other threats also, the mercurial Phil Foden and Bernardo Silva being just two, but Haaland and de Bruyne have struck fear into the hearts of defenses over and over this season. Leicester will do well do salvage anything from this game, even if they have improved in recent games.
Formula 1: Mexican GP (October 30th)
After Red Bull won the Formula 1 Constructor’s Championship last weekend and Max Verstappen won the Drivers Championship the previous race, the question of who wins the titles is now answered. However, as last weekend’s US Grand Prix showed, there is still plenty to play for, and drivers are not giving up yet. Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton came so close to winning his first race of the season, and Mercedes and Ferrari are locked in a battle for second place in the Constuctor’s Championship that looks like it will go down to the last race.
This weekend’s Mexican GP is sure to be a blockbuster, as we usually get exciting races when F1 goes to Mexico. Fernando Alonso continues to show us how talented a driver he is, and he usually performs extremely well on the Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez track. Red Bull driver Sergio Pérez will take part in his home Grand Prix and we can expect a massive crowd to turn up in support of their countryman. And the battle for dominance at Mercedes between Hamilton and young star George Russell continues, with Russell still leading the points battle between the two drivers as we enter the last few races. It’s going to be a cracker.
NFL: Buffalo Bills vs. Green Bay Packers (October 30th)
Last year’s MVP Aaron Rodgers and his Green Bay Packers have had a frustrating start to the season, currently with a 3-4 record to put them at second place in the NFC North Division. Injuries to key players, some horrific dropped catches, and a leaky defense has seen them lose games to teams they would have dispatched with ease last season. The Packers are a team short on confidence, and they need a pick-me-up to get their season back on track.
But an easy pick-me-up is not what they are faced with this weekend when MVP frontrunner Josh Allen’s Buffalo Bills come to town. Allen has produced some magnificent play over the past six games, and the Bills have a 5-1 record going into this matchup. Buffalo have dominated teams both with their defense and their multi-faceted offense, and they are strong contenders to reach this year’s Super Bowl and even win it all. Rodgers will have to pull out all the stops and use all of his trickery to break down this stubborn Bills defense, and this promises to be a matchup that gives us more information on how ready the Bills are to seriously challenge this year.
NFL schedule on TV and stream.
Author: Dan Anderson