We’ve got some exciting sport to look forward to this weekend. We have the final of the Cricket World Cup coming up, which will be contested between either India or New Zealand facing off against England or Australia, depending on the outcomes of the two semifinals.
However, with the final not yet known, we are instead going to focus on two sporting events where things are more settled. The first is the African Cup of Nations, which has now reached the quarterfinals stage after an explosive and intriguing Round of 16, which saw hosts Egypt eliminated in surprise fashion by South Africa.
Then we are also going to run the rule over the forthcoming Formula 1 British Grand Prix, which takes place this weekend at Silverstone in what could be the last British Grand Prix to be held at the track for the foreseeable future. Can Lewis Hamilton clinch a record-clinching sixth win in the race in front of his fervent home fans?
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Let’s begin our look at the two big sporting events taking place this weekend with the quarterfinals of the African Cup of Nations which are set to begin imminently in Egypt.
AFCON Quarterfinals Preview
Round of 16 Results
- Morocco 1-1 Benin (Benin win 4-1 on penalties after extra time)
- Uganda 0-1 Senegal
- Nigeria 3-2 Cameroon
- Egypt 0-1 South Africa
- Madagascar 2-2 DR.Congo (Madagascar win 4-2 on penalties, after extra time)
- Algeria 3-0 Guinea
- Mali 0-1 Ivory Coast
- Ghana 1-1 Tunisia (Tunisia win 5-4 on penalties, after extra time)
AFCON Quarter Finals
Senegal v Benin
Benin have been one of the surprise teams of the tournament this season in the African Cup of Nations, but they are yet to win a game inside 90 minutes, their win in the last round coming via penalties after they drew their three group games. Senegal have that extra bit of quality in attack and while they are not yet in top form, they should have enough to get the win here.
Nigeria v South Africa
This could be the most intriguing clash of the quarterfinals as Nigeria and South Africa clash after two fine wins over the two teams that contested the last AFCON final. I think South Africa’s tactics were spot on against Egypt but I don’t think marking one player out of the game will impinge on Nigeria as it did the same way Egypt and as such, I am backing Nigeria to come away with a narrow win in this one.
Ivory Coast v Algeria
Two very talented side, with some outstanding and familiar attacking talent in each, Algeria for me have been the best team at the tournament so far, racking up four wins, scoring nine goals and not conceding any in the process. Ivory Coast have laboured to wins at times and their big win over Tanzania was padded out by two late goals that did give the scoreline a flattering look. This will be a real battle and I would think extra time may be needed to separate them but I just feel Algeria have the right stuff to grab the win.
Madagascar v Tunisia
Two contrasting sides, Tunisia a very defensive minded team that are solid and experienced at the highest level, Madagascar more attack minded with less experience but with a bit of momentum coming into this game after a superb series of performances in Egypt. I’d love to think Madagascar can win this and they certainly can, but I just feel that Tunisia have too much knowhow and experience and that will be enough to squeeze them through into the semifinals.
Formula 1 British Grand Prix – Saturday 13 – Sunday 14th July
After losing out at the Austrian Grand Prix last time out, Lewis Hamilton will be desperate to find his best form once again, especially in front of his home crowd, as the Mercedes driver seeks another win in the British Grand Prix this weekend.
Max Verstappen took the chequered flag in Austria on Red Bull’s home track and the Dutchman along with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Hamilton’s Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas, look likely to be the Englishman’s chief rivals once again this weekend.
Hamilton has opened up a large lead in the Driver’s Championship but he will know that with 25 points up for grabs in each race, that lead could disappear quickly if he falters. Having finished second here last year to Sebastian Vettel and with him chasing a record sixth British Grand Prix win, becoming the only driver ever to win that number of times here, Hamilton will certainly have renewed focus.
The Silverstone track was altered back in 2011 to slow it down a little, with a new inland part of the track leading up to Becketts. Still, it remains a fast track with some good passing opportunities and it should be an exciting race for fans to enjoy this weekend.
As for the winner, I can’t see past Hamilton claiming victory in front of his home fans. After a disappointing time in Austria the last time out, he will want to bounce back immediately to show that weekend was a one-off. My 1-2-3 is Hamilton, Vettel and Bottas.