Weekend sport preview

Arsenal marked its return to Australia after a 40-year absence with a workmanlike 2-0 against a battling Sydney FC on Thursday night in front of a sell-out 80,000 crowd.


Tomorrow, the Gunners will play the Western Sydney Wanderers in front of another huge crowd in Sydney.

Iconic Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is now into his 21st year in charge and he says he’s expecting another tough game, if Sydney’s impressive performance is any guide.

“You could see that we had the physical superiority in pace in power and for them not to pay a heavy price for that means they were intelligent. I was surprised how well they defended in their final third we really had to push to create clear-cut chances.”

SBS Viceland has full coverage of that fixture against the Western Sydney Wanderers.

The coverage gets underway at 7.30 pm.

The Tour de France continues over the weekend with a new name in yellow after Sky rider Chris Froome’s assault on winning a fourth title suffered a hiccup during the week.

Froome relinquished the leaders’ jersey to Fabio Aru of Italy.

Elsewhere, third-placed French rider Romain Bardet is aiming to become the first local to win the famous race since 1985.

Former professional cyclist David McKenzie is covering the race for SBS and he says despite Bardet not being the best time triallist, he could re-write cycling history.

“Romain Bardet can win the Tour de France. With the French willing him across the line – and Bardet has got an attacking style himself, he’s already showed already he’s willing to take this race on – we could have the first French winner in 31 years, now wouldn’t that be something?”

And SBS’s comprehensive coverage of the great race continues on Radio, Online and Television.

Wimbledon looms front and centre for tennis fans this weekend.

The men’s semi-finals begin when America’s Sam Querrey lines up against Marin Cilic of Croatia.

That match gets underway tonight at 10 pm AEST and will be followed by Roger Federer’s semi against Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic.

Despite being the biggest name in the last four, the Swiss Federer says he’s wary of the remaining men in the race for the title.

“Being the favourite or not the favourite doesn’t matter, these other guys are all big hitters. I mean all three guys are taller and stronger than I am, so I’ve got to figure out a different way and carve my way through the draw somehow with my slice and my spins and my consistency maybe.”

The women’s tennis final takes place on Sunday evening and sees rising Spanish star Garbine Mugaruza against Venus Williams of the United States.

The 37 year-old five-time champion Williams is into her first final since 2009 and knows it will be tough against the 14th-seeded Spaniard.

If she does manage to win her 6th title, she’ll do it without her sister Serena who’s about to have her first child.

I’ve missed her so much before this match and I was like I just wish she was here. And I was like I wish she could do this for me I was like, no, this time if you do it you do it for yourself. So here we are.”

Wimbledon isn’t the only big event taking place in Britain this weekend.

The British Formula One Grand Prix takes place at Silverstone with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel of Germany holding a 20-point advantage over British Mercedes pilot Lewis Hamilton.

If he manages to win on Sunday night, it will be Hamilton’s fourth consecutive win at his home Grand Prix.

But he made news for all the wrong reasons by snubbing team orders and missing a showpiece demonstration event in London.

The 32 year old Hamilton defended his decision to skip the event, and said it was more about getting his mental preparation right.

“I wanted to make sure that I was the best prepared this weekend, it is an intense season. I mean I love my fans, don’t get me wrong. But it’s really important to make sure I’m here to do the job the best way I can possibly do and be the best prepared I can be and that’s the decision I took.”

Australia takes on South Africa in its final group match of the women’s Cricket World Cup tomorrow night having already booked a semi-final spot.

India and New Zealand face off at the same time in a match that will decide which nation will progress to the last four.

In the AFL this weekend, the big match takes place in Sydney with the second placed Greater Western Sydney Giants looking to slow the Sydney Swans march into the top 8 when they meet on Saturday night.

And in the NRL, the second-placed Sharks have the chance to keep up the pressure on the league-leading Melbourne Storm which has the bye.

The Sharks travel north on Saturday night to tackle the struggling Gold Coast Titans.