The New Year means a host of new sporting events for sports fans, and the rest of winter has plenty to keep us entertained. From special events, such as the Winter Olympics, to regular ones, such as the Australian Open in tennis and the Six Nations in rugby union, there are lots of events to add to your calendar. Here are a few of the most notable.
Winter Olympics: 9-25th February
The Winter Olympics will take place from the 9th to the 25th of February in Pyeongchang, South Korea. For fans of winter sports, the event is unmissable as it covers everything from alpine and cross-country skiing to ice hockey, snowboarding, speed skating and bobsleigh.
There is a total of 102 events across 15 disciplines of 7 sports, and there will be some 90 nations sending athletes to take part. It will also see the debut of four different events, including big air snowboarding, mixed doubles curling, mass start speed skating and mixed team alpine skiing.
Football – FA Cup: 3rd round 5-8th January
England’s premier football tournament reaches its third round on the first weekend of January, and this is where the big Premier League teams enter the competition. It is often a time for shocks and upsets, as well as top teams playing each other.
One of the biggest matches in the round is the Liverpool derby between Liverpool and Everton, which is always a fierce match. Another local derby involves Sunderland and Middlesbrough. Top sides, such as Manchester United, play lower league opposition Derby County, while Manchester City takes on fellow Premier League side Burnley. So there are plenty of chances for an upset among the fixtures.
Tennis – Australian Open: 15-28th January
The Australian Open is one of the four Grand Slam tennis events with the others being the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. It features men’s and women’s singles; men’s, women’s and mixed doubles and a junior championship.
This year’s championship has already had a few notable players missing from its lineup, but there are still plenty of quality players to pick from when looking at who will win. Top seeds Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are both playing, but Britain’s Andy Murray and Japan’s Kei Nisikori have both pulled out. Defending champion Serena William is expected to play her first major tournament after giving birth to her first child in September, as is her sister Venus. See all the latest betting odds at crownbet.com.au to get a better view of each team’s chance of winning.
Rugby Union – Six Nations: 3rd February onwards
Rugby union’s Six Nations tournament starts on February 3rd and features England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, France and Italy. But who is likely to take the tournament by storm?
England enters the tournament looking strong after cementing its position as the number two ranked side in the world with wins over Argentina and Australia during the winter. Scotland is many experts’ pick after the team came very close to beating world champions New Zealand in the autumn and rising to their highest world ranking position of fifth. Ireland also saw a record win over South Africa during the winter and has a strong side for this tournament.
American football – Super Bowl LII: 4th February
The 52nd Super Bowl will take place on February 4th at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. While we don’t know who will be playing in the season’s ending match, there are already some favorites standing out from the crowd.
The New England Patriots have come into the season as favorites and are the defending champions after beating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime last year. The Atlanta Falcons are longer odds for this year with the Philadelphia Eagles being second favorite and good money on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Minnesota Vikings and the New Orleans Saints. Longest odds on most sites at the moment go jointly to the Chicago Bears and the Indianapolis Colts. At 1000-1, most bookmakers and even die-hard fans don’t like their chances.
Cricket – Australia v England T20: 7th & 10th February
Even people who have never watched cricket before can get into the shortest form of the game. The series between Australia and England starts on February 7th with the second game on the 10th. At twenty overs a side, the matches are fast-paced with high numbers of runs being scored and offering loads of excitement. Australia has had the upper hand in the longer form of the game and have already won The Ashes, but England hopes to dominate the T20 games.
January and February have lots of great sporting events to offer fans around the world. Whether you want to catch a favorite or try something new, there is lots to enjoy!