As many football teams work away the off-season cobwebs, South Africa’s two most famous clubs are gearing up for their annual showdown at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.
Some may scoff at the gimmicky element, where the votes of fans are considered in choosing the line-ups, but Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates will have only victory on their minds as they fire the opening shots of the local season (SS4, 2pm, SS10, 2.50pm).
There is nothing like this ultimate derby to whet the appetite for the programme ahead, with both teams hoping that a sparkling performance on Saturday will be a springboard to greater things.
Also looking for greater things will be the South African cricketers, who begin the third test against England at the Oval in London on Thursday (SS2, 11am each day).
Deadlocked at 1-1 after the Proteas bounced back in heroic style at Trent Bridge, the tourists cannot expect any more favours.
The Oval strip is unlikely to suit their seamers and if they allow the England batsmen to get on top, the going could get rough. Hopefully the second test performance will have injected some confidence into the Proteas’ ranks for one of cricket’s toughest assignments – beating England in England.
In acknowledgement of New Zealand’s rugby supremacy, three of their Super Rugby franchises will be fighting for a spot in the final when the penultimate round of play-offs take place on Saturday.
There will be a fascinating encounter when Crusaders host the Chiefs (SS1, 9am) on Saturday. Saders have the nous to go all the way and Chiefs’ biggest problem could be staying the distance after having to travel to Cape Town last week for their quarterfinal clash.
Later on in Johannesburg, the Lions, who are the odd team out, will be banking on home-ground advantage to handle the formidable Hurricanes (SS1, 2pm).
However, as the Chiefs demonstrated, the NZ sides are competitive at home or away and it will take a terrific effort by the hosts to reach a second successive final. Their reward will be another game at home.
The Formula One Grand Prix show moves to Hungary this weekend, with Lewis Hamilton looking to match German great Michael Schumacher’s record of 68 pole positions.
If he achieves that, it could be the impetus he needs to go into the summer break at the top of the standings. The action all takes place on Sunday (SS6, 12.30pm).