By Harry Shorthose
1 The Return of the Premier League
After nearly three months away from our screens, the Premier League is back this weekend. The Premier League is always one of the most competitive leagues in Europe with four or five teams vying for the crown each year.
Last season’s champions were Chelsea but with the Manchester clubs having shelled out over £350million on players between them this summer, it appears as if they may have a fight on their hands to keep hold of that crown for another year.
The Premier League is also home to some of the best players in the world including Paul Pogba, David De Gea (both Manchester United), Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard, N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Phillippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane (Liverpool), Alexis Sanchez and Metsut Ozil (Arsenal). The Premier League returns on Friday night with the meeting of Arsenal and Leicester on Sky Sports from 7pm.
2 The Women’s Rugby World Cup
This year’s Women’s Rugby World Cup takes place in Ireland. UCD in Dublin and two stadiums in Belfast, Kingspan Stadium and Queens, will play host to one of the most competitive tournaments in the world when it kicks off tonight.
Ireland will undoubtedly be considered one of the favourites to lift the coveted trophy in two and a half weeks’ time, having beaten France, New Zealand and England in the past few years.
Ireland enjoyed a fruitful Six Nations tournament this year, having only lost one game, coming second to England. It will be a close tournament as Ireland, England and France have each won Six Nations titles over the past four years.
New Zealand have also followed in the footsteps of their male counterparts and manage to dominate against most opponents they face, making them one of the contenders for the trophy. The Women’s Rugby World Cup starts today (Wednesday) and will be shown on ITV4 and Eir Sports.
3 Waterford v Cork, All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final
The Déíse take on the Rebel County in a repeat of the Munster senior hurling semi-final.
Cork were most recently in an All-Ireland final back in 2013 when they forced Clare to a replay. Waterford are one of the emerging talents in hurling over the past few years, and have already beaten Dublin, Kilkenny and Wexford in this year’s championship and so will fancy their chances.
The Déíse can boast stars such as Austin Gleeson and Maurice Shanahan while the Rebels can call upon the likes of Colm O’Neill, Aidan Walsh and Kevin Conlon to cause carnage to the opposing defence.
This clash of the titans will certainly be a close encounter between two Munster heavyweights with many bookies making Cork the slight favourites. However, as knockout games have shown in the past, anything can happen. Waterford vs Cork is on RTE Two from 3.30pm on Sunday.
4 The 2017 PGA Championship
The final Major of the year takes place this weekend at Quail Hollow in North Carolina and should be one of the most exciting. Previous winners include the likes of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Jason Day and Rory McIlroy in the past few years. All eyes will be on the youngster Jordan Spieth who has a chance to become the youngest ever player to secure a career Grand Slam, having won the three other majors in his career.
Irishman Rory McIlroy is the favourite as he has a great record both at Quail Hollow and in the PGA Championships. The fact that rain is forecast will also be of benefit to McIlroy as he is equipped to handle wet conditions. However, the likes of Spieth, Jon Rahm and Rickie Fowler cannot be ruled out either as each is in good form heading into the tournament. The PGA Championship will be shown on BBC.
5 The World Athletics Championships
The final action from the World Athletics Championships takes place this weekend. Some of the highlights of the weekend’s action includes the finals of the men’s 5,000m, the men’s 4x100m relay and the men’s and women’s 200m.
The 5,000m competition will be the last time we see British ‘double double’ Olympic champion Mo Farah in action on the track. After he cruised to victory in the 10,000m race on Friday in the most unlikely of circumstances, the question on everybody’s lips will be whether we will see Mo pick up a seventh world championship gold.
Usain Bolt will be the star attraction in the 4x100m relay race. After he only picked up a bronze medal in the individual race on Saturday, the whole world will be hoping that the man with 11 gold medals to his name can pick up his 12th and sign off what has been an incredible career on a high. The championships are on BBC each evening.