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Week on the Punt: Sport everywhere on Australia Day weekend

Australian Open betting predictions

Local sport takes top billing as we head into the Australia Day weekend. In the spirit of the national holiday, let’s look at the pick of the action taking place on Aussie soil.

Australian Open matches you need to see

Rafael Nadal may need to face a fellow Spanish star if Pablo Carreno Busta can get through his second-round battle against Germany’s Peter Gojowczyk at the 2020 Australian Open.

The crowd will be divided when Roger Federer plays John Millman in the third round, while Nick Kyrgios will be in the frame to play on the weekend if he can win his tricky matchup with Gilles Simon.

World no.1 Ash Barty will face Elena Rybakina in the third round of the women’s singles on Friday, when Naomi Osaka and Petra Kvitova are also scheduled to play.

Two NBL blockbusters that will shape the finals

There are two matches that are clearly going to be more important than the others in the NBL this week, and they both fall on Australia Day.

Firstly, the South East Melbourne Phoenix will host the Cairns Taipans in a clash between two teams that need to win every remaining match to have a chance of reaching the NBL Finals.

The other must-watch match feature two of the top teams in the league, with the Sydney Kings hosting Melbourne United in what is shaping up as a finals preview.

Last chance for BBL teams to make finals case

It doesn’t matter who you support this weekend, as every BBL side will be on display. All eight teams are slated to play over the two days, with the pick of the games scheduled for Australia Day.

The Sydney Thunder and Perth Scorchers are in the mix to make the BBL Finals, and they will battle at Sydney Showground Stadium early in the afternoon. This match is basically a knockout clash, where the loser will be out of the race.

Matthew Wade and D’Arcy Short will try and save the Hobart Hurricanes’ season when they take on the Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval, but Travis Head and Jake Weatherald are hard to beat.

Top-of-the-table clashes in the A-League

The two best teams in the 2019-20 A-League season are going to face off at AAMI Park when Melbourne City hosts Sydney FC on Saturday. Both of these teams have been enjoyable to watch and will feature prominently in the finals.

Another good matchup is the solitary Australia Day clash between Western United and Adelaide Untied. With the teams sitting fifth and sixth on the A-League ladder respectively, this match could have a big say on both sides’ chances of playing in the post-season.

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