February Sports Preview
February Sports Preview
While the domestic leagues continue throughout the month, Champions League and Europa League football also returns to our screens in February, with the first round of knock out matches.
Man City v Barcelona, with Messi back in attack and Arsenal v Bayern Munich are two of the momentous battles to look forward too, as the European football season progresses towards it's May climax, and players push their claims for World Cup places.
A feast of International Rugby awaits this month with the return of the Six Nations, and Wales will set their sights on becoming the first team to win the tournament three years in a row.
The defending champions passed their first task as they welcomed Italy to the Millennium, but Scotland were dismantled on their travels to Dublin for their opening fixture.. The tie of the opening weekend however, came from the Stade de France as England set out to make a statement of intent and wrestle the title from the tight grasps of the Welsh. In a classic, the French scored a late try to steal a victory that looked beyond them throughout the second half. As usual, we'll be offering a wide selection of markets, including enhanced try-casts on every game. Domestic rugby also continues with betting available on the Aviva Premiership, PRO12 and Top 14.
The build up to the Cheltenham Festival hits top gear this month, when star hurdlers, chasers, jockeys and trainers will be out in force to prove their fitness and form. Newbury, Ascot, Haydock and Kempton offer top quality action throughout this exciting period. With high octane graded races and some of the season's most competitive and prestigious handicaps to battle over, in addition to the Aintree Grand National trials, this really is a month of racing to savour.
Stan the man took the Australian Open title, as Rafa's injury woes resurfaced. The Spanish, World number one, returns to the courts and will play through the pain, as the ATP and WTP seasons hit their stride, with tournaments in Europe and the Americas taking pride of place, on the Clay and Hard court surfaces.
Thursday night, all month, is Premier League Darts night, with Phil Taylor and his young pretender Michale Van Gerwen headlining the quick fire excitement at the Oche.
After Ding Junhui stunned Judd Trump to take the German Masters, the world's best players will be travelling to Newport to contest the Welsh Open, another European highlight in the Snooker Calendar.
The pinnacle of the US Sporting Calendar got the month off to a hot start as the Denver Broncos were surprisingly dismantled by the Seattle Seahawks in the 48th Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium. The Seahawks defence showing a power and aggression that will live long in the memory and gave Seattle a first Super Bowl.
In UFC, Renan Barao, Lyoyuo Machida, and Alistair Overeem make their return to the octagon, with the month ending in Ronda Roussey defending he Bantamweight title against Sara McMann.
Meanwhile, the NHL and NBA regular seasons continue, whilst MLB Spring Training gets under way.
This month sees the first major clash of the tours, as the best from the European and PGA battalions play heads-up in the Accenture World Matchplay Championships in Arizona, one of the season's greatest knock out challenges. Individually, the European Tour continues in spectacular South Africa and Dubai, while the PGA tour is headlined by the Pebble Beach, Northern Trust and Honda Classics. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson and many more of the biggest names in sport will be strutting the fairways and grabbing the headlines.
After their long, gruelling and disastrous tour of Australia, England only have two games to negotiate during February as they play their third T20 against the Aussies then head to West Indies for some ODIs and Twenty20s ahead of the ICC World Twenty20.
There is no shortage of quality cricket to look forward to though as all of the leading countries do battle across the formats, with the highlight series being number one Test outfit South Africa taking on Ashes winners Australia in three matches.
The Big Bash League concludes during February, with Perth Scorchers looking to finally triumph after finishing runners-up in the last two competitions.
Sure to be a fantastic event, the Winter Olympics takes place during February at Sochi.
Great Britain have only won two gold medals in the last seven Games so they'll be desperate to improve that in Russia, and the likes of Eve Muirhead and David Murdoch (Curling) and Shelly Rudman and Lizzy Yarnold (Skeleton) have realistic chances of topping the podium.
USA are the strong favourites to land the most gold medals, but the most important thing to look out for is how the Jamaicans will get on in the Bobsleigh!
The TV/Specials world brings us the continuation of Dancing on Ice, Splash and the Voice, and there are also some showpiece events to look forward to in the UK with the Brit Awards and the BAFTAs taking place during the month.
In another month of wonderful sporting adventure, William Hill will have all angles covered.
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