Join us as we look ahead to the main sporting events of October, as the home nations aim to qualify for the European Championships, we see the final of the Rugby World Cup, there’s 2 more rounds in the F1 calendar, a British Heavyweight boxer gets a World Title shot, the England cricket team head off on another tour, and much much more.
Although it’s still in it’s early days of the tournament the Rugby World Cup concludes this month with the final being played on the final day of the month at Twickenham Stadium in London, with a huge percentage of the already sold out crowd hoping the red rose of England can make it there, although the fans of the other home nations we’re sure would have something to say about that.
October is a huge month in football calendar, particularly on the International scene, as Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland could all join England in qualifying for the European Championships next year in France.
Wales are in pole position as they top their group and need only 1 win (although they might not even need that if other results go their way) to guarantee their place. They have an away match in Bosnia-Herzegovina (Oct 10th), followed by a home match 3 days later (13th) against the whipping boys of the group Andorra, whom have lost all 8 games so far.
Northern Ireland also top their group as well, and again only need a victory to qualify, which hopefully can be achieved with games against Greece at home (Oct 8th), and away at Finland (11th); both teams Northern Ireland have already in the group so far.
The Republic of Ireland’s fate is still in their hands too, however if they are going to book a place on the plane to France then they will have to do it the hard way, as their final two games are again the two teams currently above them. They play the World Champions Germany at home (Oct 8th) followed by at trip to Poland 3 days later (11th).
Scotland meanwhile (who are actually in the same group as the Republic) look only to be playing for a play-off spot after recent defeats to Germany and Georgia. The could do themselves and the Republic a huge favour however in their first match (Oct 8th) as they play Poland at Hamden Park, and you would think a comfortable victory awaits them in the final game (11th), as they play the whipping boys Gibraltar who currently have a goal difference from their 8 games of -44.
England meanwhile can relax knowing they have already qualified for the tournament, winning all 8 games so far. They wrap up their campaign with a game against Estonia at Wembley (Oct 9th), and finally Lithuania away (12th).
After a largely disappointing week one in Champions League that saw 3 of the 4 English clubs lose, their fans will be hoping for more positive outcomes in the one round of matches in October. Arsenal take on German giants Bayern Munich at the Emirates, whilst Chelsea travel to Dynamo Kiev on October 20th, whilst Manchester United travel to Russia to take on CSKA, and Manchester City host Spanish side Sevilla.
And over in the Europa League Celtic tackle Fenerbahce at home and Molde away, Liverpool take on Sion at home and Rubin Kazan away, and Tottenham are up against Monaco and Anderlecht away, with all matches taking place first on October 1st, and then the 22nd October.
The England cricket team will be hoping to continue the test success of the Ashes series when they head on over to the United Arab Emirates for a Test, One Day, and Twenty20 series against Pakistan. Played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah with the first match starting on October 13th and finishing on 30th November.
Of the test squad that beat Australia over the summer there are only 2 changes to the side with Gary Balance, and Adam Lyth being replaced by Alex Hales and Samit Patel (who himself was a call up for the now injured Zafar Ansari).
October 24th sees one of the biggest boxing in years, and especially in the UK, as Ukrainian Wladimir Klitschko puts his WBA, IBF and WBO Heavyweight Titles on the line against British boxer Tyson Fury in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Next month's fight will be a record-breaking 28th heavyweight title bout for Klitschko and his 19th defence in his second reign as world champion. Dr. Steelhammer as he is known hasn’t tasted defeat in over 11 years, and can name Francois Botha, Ray Mercer, Lamon Brewster, Tony Thompson, Hasim Rahman, Chris Byrd, and our own David Haye amongst the 64 victories he has.
Bolton born Fury on the other hand hasn’t fought the calibre of fighter Klitschko has, although he has won all 24 of his professional fights so far, and with 18 KO’s, so it should make for a very interesting contest.
And if the recent news conference is anything to go by (where Fury came out dressed as Batman) then the build up could be interesting too.
Sticking with combat sports over in the UFC we have the UFC 192 event which sees the Light Heavyweight Title on the line as Daniel ‘DC’ Cormier take on Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson at the Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas on October 3rd (the early hours of October 4th in the UK).
In a weight class that has some of the biggest names in the sport things have gotten a bit messed up lately……but here goes. The Champion and best pound-for-pound mma fighter in the world Jon Jones was stripped of the title for violating the Athletic Code of Conduct Policy relating to well publicised current ongoing legal problems. Anthony Johnson whom had recently beaten the Swede Gustafsson to secure a title shot now found himself fighting American Cormier in a fight for the vacant title. Cormier somehow found himself in a title shot having previously come up short in his recent title match against Jones, and despite having no win streak defeated Johnson. The UFC then decided that his first title shot should be against Gustafsson, and so despite losing 2 of his last 3 fights (with his latest being the defeat by Johnson) he now has a chance to lift the strap unexpectedly.
All this shouldn't detract from what promises to be a great fight, and a great card that also features former UFC Welterweight Champ Johny ‘Bigg Rigg’ Hendricks take on former Strikeforce Welterweight Champ Tyron ‘The Chosen One’ Woodley, and former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad ‘Suga’ Evans take of Ultimate Fighter winner Ryan ‘Darth’ Bader amongst others.
We will also have Rounds 15 and 16 of the Formula One calendar which will see our own Lewis Hamilton still on top of the Driver’s Championship regardless of what happens at this weekend’s Japanese GP.
Round 15 sees the teams head to Sochi Autodrom in Russia (race on Oct 11th), and then two weeks later to the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas for the United States GP. A good omen going into this that both races were won by Hamilton last year.
Elsewhere we have the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe taking place on October 4th at the Longchamp Racecourse in Paris.
The Group 1 flat horse race popularly referred to as the "Arc", is Europe's most prestigious horse race. Its roll of honour features many highly acclaimed horses, and its winners are often subsequently regarded as champions. It is currently the world's third richest turf race, behind the Melbourne Cup and the Japan Cup, although the 2014 purse bump to €5 million will make the Arc the world's richest turf race and second-richest horse race (behind the Dubai World Cup).
Since it’s first running way back in 1920 there have been 7 horses that have won 2 Arc’s, and this year French Thoroughbred Treve has a chance to make history and win his 3rd, as he has previously won in both 2013, and 2014.
There should also be honorable mention for the finale of the American baseball series as the first of the ‘best-of-seven’ matches takes place on October 27th in the 111th World Series Final.
And there is also the 45th edition of the WTA Finals taking place at the Singapore Indoor Stadium which features the top 8 ranked female single and doubles players.