Eight sporting events to get you excited for 2018
There's plenty of sport to be looking forward to in 2018. Our extensive listings below detail all of the key dates but if you want to get really excited, we've picked out the eight blockbuster events to mark in your diaries.
The World Cup in Russia — June/July
Hands of God: England were drawn against Panama, Tunisia and Belgium in the group stage (Source: Getty)
Allegations of corruption, dodgy characters, Russia’s human rights record. If it was any other event, it would be tempting to feign righteous indifference such are the clouds that hover over the tournament. But it’s the World Cup. There's always so much to be giddy about. Can Neymar and Brazil heal the wounds left by their 7-1 humiliation in 2014? Will Lionel Messi finally drag Argentina over the line? What new depths can England sink to? Who will win the grandstand opening of Russia v Saudi Arabia? Don’t pretend you won’t be watching it.
The Ryder Cup — September
Now watch this drive: Next year's Ryder Cup will be in Paris (Source: Getty)
It’s the highlight of the golf calendar every other year, but the Parisian flavour of next September’s Ryder Cup promises to be particularly memorable. The French capital is providing the cinematic backdrop to just the the second ever Ryder Cup to be held in continental Europe. What better place for captain Thomas Bjorn and Team Europe to seize the trophy back from America? Europe could have a fresh young squad to get excited about featuring the likes of Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrell Hatton and Jon Rahm.
Chris Froome in the Giro d’Italia — May
Froome won the Vuelta a Espana and the Tour de France last year (Source: Getty)
The Team Sky rider might have other matters on his mind at the moment, but on the bike 2018 could be another historic year for Froome. Next May he will race in the Giro d’Italia for the first time since 2010 as he aims to become only the third cyclist in history after Eddy Merckx and Bernard Hinault to hold all three Grand Tour titles at the same time.
Chris Eubank Jr vs George Groves — February
The biggest all-British fight since Froch v Groves? (Source: Getty)
It's not going to sell out Wembley, but the super middleweight between Eubank Jr and Groves might just be the biggest all-British affair in boxing since the latter’s second bout with Carl Froch filled the iconic stadium. Not only is Groves’ world title at 168-pounds on the line, the fight is a semi-final in the World Boxing Super Series which has a $10m (£7.5m) honeypot waiting for the winner. But most importantly, it promises to be a well-matched affair between two of Britain’s most talented boxers. Groves, 29, has the nous that comes with having fought in five previous world title fights while Eubank Jr has been remorseless in winning seven of his last eight fights by stoppage.
India tour England — July-September
England will hope to have better results against Virat Kohli than they have against Steve Smith in the Ashes (Source: Getty)
The visit of the world’s No1 side might not be the most appealing prospect for English cricket fans currently facing up to the very real possibility of Joe Root’s side being routed 5-0 in Australia, but India’s five match Test series next summer will be something to savour — it’s only the second time they’ve played a series of that length in England since 1959.
England vs New Zealand — November
The All Blacks have not played England since 2014 (Source: Getty)
There’s plenty to look forward to for Eddie Jones and co in 2018; the chance to become the first team in history to win the Six Nations for a third successive year, a first tour of South Africa for six years and the first ever visit of Japan to Twickenham. But the stand out date on the fixture list is England vs New Zealand on 10 November. After four years without facing each other, the two stand out sides in the world will finally get to do battle ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
Jo Konta at Wimbledon — July
Konta came up short against Venus Williams in 2017's semi-final (Source: Getty)
British men’s singles champion at Wimbledon? Been there, done that. Twice in the last five years, in fact. After Andy Murray’s two triumphs, the focus is now on Johanna Konta who last year became the first British women since Virginia Wade in 1978 to reach the semi-finals. Can she go even further and become the first since Wade in 1977 — a 41 year wait — to win? The pressure’s on for the world No9.
The Winter Olympics — February
Can Yarnold defend her Olympic title? (Source: Getty)
Pyeongchang in South Korea hosts the Winter Olympics next year where there should be plenty of British representation amongst the medals. Pick of the bunch is 2014 hero Lizzy Yarnold. The skeleton racer who won gold in Sochi has since won the World Cup twice, the World championship and the European championship. Keep an eye out too for the women’s curling team who will be aiming to improve upon 2014’s bronze.
|3rd-7th||Ashes fifth Test||Cricket|
|5th-8th||FA Cup third round weekend||Football|
|13th-4th Feb||Africa Cup of Nations||Football|
|4th||Six Nations: England v Italy||Rugby|
|4th||Super Bowl||American football|
|9th-25th||Winter Olympics||Winter sports|
|10th||Six Nations: England v Wales||Rugby|
|17th||Eubank Jr vs Groves||Boxing|
|24th||Six Nations: Scotland v England||Rugby|
|25th||Carabao Cup final||Football|
|9th||Winter Paralympics||Winter sports|
|10th||Six Nations: France v England||Rugby|
|17th||Six Nations: England v Ireland||Rugby|
|25th||F1 season begins: Australian Grand Prix||Formula 1|
|5th||Haye v Bellew||Boxing|
|10th-13th||The Players Championship||Golf|
|12th||European Champions Cup||Rugby|
|16th||Europa League final||Football|
|19th||FA Cup final||Football|
|24th-28th||England v Pakistan First Test||Cricket|
|26th||Champions League final||Football|
|26th||Premiership Rugby final||Rugby|
|26th-28th||Football League play-offs||Football|
|27th-10th June||French Open||Tennis|
|31st-17th June||World Cup of Darts||Darts|
|14th-15th July||World Cup||Football|
|18th||WC: England vs Tunisia||Football|
|24th||WC: England vs Panama||Football|
|28th||WC: England vs Belgium||Football|
|7th-29th||Tour de France||Cycling|
|8th||British Grand Prix||Formula 1|
|15th||World Cup final||Football|
|1st-5th||England v India first Test||Cricket|
|15th||Uefa Super Cup||Football|
|27th-10th September||US Open||Tennis|
|7th-11th||England v India fifth Test||Cricket|
|2nd-25th||Women's World Twenty20||Cricket|
|3rd||England vs South Africa||Rugby|
|10th||England vs New Zealand||Rugby|
|11th-18th||ATP World Tour finals||Tennis|
|15th-18th||DP World Tour Championship||Golf|
|17th||England vs Japan||Rugby|
|19th||Davis Cup final||Tennis|
|24th||England vs Australia||Rugby|
|25th||F1 season ends: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix||Formula One|