New England Patriots v Jacksonville Jaguars - NFL Conference Championships – Sunday 21 January - Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Action, Sky Sports Mix – 7pm
Philadelphia Eagles v Minnesota Vikings – NFL Conference Championships – Sunday 21 January – Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Action – 11.30pm
All perennial Super Bowl favourites the New England Patriots have to do in order to reach yet another end-of-season showpiece is topple a team that has made the play-offs for the first time in a decade in front of their own fans at the Gillette Stadium – located around 20 miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts.
However, with talismanic quarterback Tom Brady missing midweek practice with a hand injury, the Jacksonville Jaguars will harbour hopes of catching this century’s most prolific NFL side on the hop and advancing to their first Super Bowl.
Should they do so, they’ll meet either the Philadelphia Eagles or the Minnesota Vikings – another side with a shot of history, as they could become the first team to contest a Super Bowl on home soil if they can beat the Eagles in the NFC Championship game (also live on Sky Sports on Sunday night) and advance to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis.
Manchester City v Newcastle – Premier League – Saturday 20 January – BT Sport 1, BT Sport 4KUHD – 5pm (kick-off 5.30pm)
It finally happened. Manchester City’s immaculate record over the first half of the season fell by the wayside at Anfield – a ground where they’ve only won once in the Premier League era – in an uncharacteristically sloppy display against a relentless, albeit Philippe Coutinho-less, Liverpool.
Still 12 points clear of second place Manchester United, City will look to get back on track against Newcastle at the Etihad Stadium this weekend. The eternal soap opera at Newcastle continued this week as it was announced that an attempt from American investor Amanda Staveley to buy the Magpies from Mike Ashley had hit the buffers.
Unbeaten in their previous three matches, Newcastle’s last defeat in the Premier League came at St James’ Park against this weekend's opponents – who haven’t lost to Newcastle since 2005 when Michael Owen and Alan Shearer led Newcastle’s attack. However, since that defeat, the sides have played 20 times with City winning 17 of them – scoring 51 times in the process. All things considered, a backlash from the league leaders seems the most likely outcome.
Australia v England – ODI Cricket – Sunday 21 January – BT Sport 1 – 3am until 11.15am (Highlights follow immediately at 11.15am on BT Sport 1)
In a reversal of fortunes, following a comprehensive 4-0 defeat in this winter’s Ashes series, England find themselves 2-0 up in a five-part one-day international series against Australia, which concludes next Friday (26 January).
The tourists claimed a four-wicket victory on Friday (19 January), with Jonny Bairstow top-scoring with a knock of 60 runs from 56 deliveries before being caught by Australia’s David Warner off the bowling of Jhye Richardson, Joe Root tearing through Australia’s top batsmen, and Chris Woakes starring with 39 runs, two run-outs and one wicket, to take a 2-0 series lead before this Sunday’s international in Sydney.
As with the recent Ashes series, coverage will begin in the early hours, however the ODI’s conclusion and a 90-minute highlights package will be on offer for anyone willing to open their doors early this weekend.
Brighton & Hove Albion v Chelsea – Premier League – Saturday 20 January – Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League – 11.30am (kick-off 12.30pm)
Chelsea, unbeaten in their previous seven league fixtures, come into Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off on the south coast having been taken to penalties by Norwich City in their FA Cup replay in midweek.
After a 2-0 defeat at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day – the first meeting between the two sides since 1989 – could Chelsea’s tired legs and suspensions allow Brighton to even things up in less than month-old Premier League history of this fixture?
The overall form guide says ‘no’ as Brighton have won once – a 1-0 win against Watford – in their last 12 games. However, in their 11 Premier League home fixtures so far, the Seagulls have proven hard to beat – losing on just two occasions.
Given Chelsea will be without Alvaro Morata and appear to be going to great lengths to avoid playing Michy Batshuayi – with shock bids for Peter Crouch and Andy Carroll rumoured this week – Brighton may fancy their chances of shutting out their visitors and springing a surprise.