The highlight of this weekend’s international fixtures is undoubtedly this clash between the reigning World Cup holders France and the dual European Champions and Nations League winners Portugal at the Estadio da Luz.
Both sides were in action in midweek, with Portugal thrashing Andorra, while France slipped to a shock defeat against Finland, which ended their 12-game unbeaten run.
French coach Didier Deschamps rested a number of players for that game, but key forward Kylian Mbappe is far from certain to be fit for Saturday and that could hand the edge to the home side. Cristiano Ronaldo warmed up with a substitute appearance in the week and he should be raring to go here.
Neither of these sides have had a smooth start to the Pro14 season but Connacht look good value to beat an inconsistent Scarlets team on Saturday.
Scarlets have had their moments so far this season, and arguably deserved more in their narrow loss to Munster on the opening weekend, but haven’t been convincing in any of their last three outings, slipping to defeats against Edinburgh and Glasgow and only narrowly beating Zebre.
By contrast, Connacht have had two weeks off due to consecutive opponents Benetton and Dragons being hit by positive COVID-19 tests, so they should be fresh enough here. Prior to their enforced absence they had won two out of three and they should be able to resume their winning form this weekend.
The 2020 Pakistan Super League will finally be concluded over the next three days and Saturday’s qualifier looks like being a close one.
Multan topped the table back in the spring, but we shouldn’t assume they will return in the same form. They will be without James Vince and Mahmudullah for this game, and their replacements Joe Denly and Brendan Taylor are a slight downgrade.
The Karachi Kings, who finished second behind Multan, have also been handed an advantage as this game was switched to Karachi from Lahore, due to poor air quality in the latter city. These sides won one apiece in the Group stage but I’m siding with Karachi to edge this one and make Tuesday’s final.
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