Stag Weekends Weekend Preview 7th October

Nowadays, an international weekend is dreaded among football fans up and down the country as it means there is no Premier League action!

So, let it be our duty to try and lift your weekend spirits, give you that Friday feeling and get you excited for the weekend's sport. And yes, that even includes England!

Another New Era

No sooner than it had started, Sam Allardyce's reign as England manager was over after the much publicised sting by The Telegraph. The FA have decided to promote Gareth Southgate from his role as U21s boss for the next four games at least, as England continue their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

As far as difficulty goes, Southgate couldn't have wished for an easier start as England host Malta at Wembley on Saturday. England will be expected to win at a canter'most bookmakers have Southgate's side at 1/100 favourites.

Perhaps the more interesting spectacle will be whether or not Marcus Rashford is given his first competitive start for England. The Manchester United striker has been in great form recently, and scored a hat-trick for the U21s in the last round of internationals. England will face a tougher test on Tuesday evening when they travel to Slovenia.

Other Home Nations

England's Group F opponents Scotland are also in action on Saturday as they host Lithuania at Hampden Park. Gordon Strachan will be looking for his side to make it two wins from two following a comfortable 5-1 win in Malta in the first round of fixtures.

Northern Ireland will be fully expected to gain their first win of the campaign on Saturday night, as they play international minnows San Marino at Windsor Park.

Sunday evening sees Wales play hosts to Georgia in Cardiff. Chris Coleman's side earned a 2-2 draw in Austria last night, but will be expected to pick up all three points in their match against lowly ranked opposition.

The Republic of Ireland defeated the Georgians last night with a 1-0 win at the Aviva Stadium. They face a trip to Moldova on Sunday night, and should make it two wins from two over the international period.

Japanese Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton has five races left to try and claw back the deficit to Nico Rosberg; with the first of those five races being the Japanese Grand Prix this weekend. Hamilton will be hoping for better luck than last weekend at the Malaysia Grand Prix, where his engine failed late on with him ahead of Rosberg.

So far, in Friday's practice it is Rosberg who has had the edge after the German set the pace to finish 0.072 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Should be an intriguing race either way!

Second ODI

On Sunday, England will face Bangladesh in the Second One Day International of the three match series. England look set to go into the match in Dhaka with a 1-0 series lead after setting Bangladesh a target of 310 to win in the first ODI, which is taking place now.

Ben Stokes was the star of the show in the first innings after smashing his highest ever score an ODI with 101 of 121 balls!

Image credits: Sky Sports, England Cricket, BBC Sport

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Date Posted: Friday 7th October 2016

Author: George Crewe

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