In India: This is the last weekend of regular play before the playoffs begin in IPL, India Premier League Cricket. Saturday, the Rajasthan Royals take on Royal Challengers Bangalore, potentially for a place in the play-offs. Later, the Sunrisers Hyderabad will be pitted against Kolkata Knight Riders, which also has playoff meaning. Hyderabad have already reached the qualification round, as they are at the top of the standings.
Unless they are creamed by Kolkata, they will remain at the top of the table, with Chennai second. Kolkata are in third place and are, indeed, formidable opponents. Either of the Royals could best Kolkata in the standings, depending on the outcome. On Sunday, Mumbai visit the basement team, Delhi with an NRR superior to even Bangalore's (0.384). Of course, Bangalore could either reduce the NRR gap or even overtake Mumbai in this regard depending on how big their margin of victory over Rajasthan is likely to be.
In the English Premier League, Manchester United have a chance to salvage the season, and their reputation, whilst meeting Chelsea. United’s FA Cup rivalry with Chelsea is a mostly modern affair. The pair meet at Wembley Stadium in the cup final on Saturday, the third time they have done so since 1994. Historically, they have clashed 14 times in the competition, with United winning eight of those games and losing only four. Nine of those encounters have come since that 1994 final, which United triumphed 4-0.
United came from behind with goals in besting Tottenham Hotspur in the semifinals to win 2-1. The semi-final was the first time United has beaten Spurs in London in five attempts. United, who have won 12 FA Cups and will match Arsenal’s record 13 wins if they triumph, will be hoping for a similar change in fortune against a team which has also found it easy to beat them in England’s capital in recent years.
In the USA, in Baltimore Maryland, the Preakness Stakes will be run at the Pimlico Race track this afternoon. The Preakness was first run in 1873, and is the second of the Triple Crown, run two weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and three weeks before the Belmont. It is always run on the third Saturday of May. The course is 9.5 Furlongs, or 1 3/16 miles (1900m). Justify, which won the Kentucky Derby two weeks ago, is a favorite.