The Hunter’s Week Ahead – 9 Sep

Tips, Tricks, Picks and Odds. 

This week it’s Australia vs the world.

International fixtures are the name of the game and the Australian teams are taking on the world in three different sports this week. It’s going to be an exciting few days as the Aussies show the world what they’ve got, and I’m keen to see how they perform on the global stage.

As always in this column, I’ll explore what Australians can look forward to in this week of sports – focusing on a different sport for each day – and provide the tips that I feel most confident in based on my research, analysis and expert intuition. 

Tuesday – FIBA World Cup

Palace of Sports, Kyiv, FIBA World Cup 2019 European Qualifiers game. Image via Shutterstock.

Australia’s dream run in the FIBA World Cup will be tested again on Tuesday, as the Boomers take on the French national team in China. For France, this will be the first time that the Aussies face another serious contender (with actual NBA players), so it’ll be interesting to see whether they can keep their unbeaten record alive.

Australia v France

Australia come into this game looking like world beaters. The NBA stars have been phenomenal with Delly, Patty, and Jingles all doing their bit – but the NBL players have been just as good, with Creek and Gouldings’ sharp shooting keeping the Aussies alive throughout this tournament. A win against France guarantees them a trip to the next round, but it’ll be no easy task against players the standard of Batum and DPOY Gobert.

I see this game going one of two ways. Either the Boomers play like the favourites they are and wipe the French off the court, or, they capitulate under the pressure of the Australian (and world) media and roll over to the French. Let’s hope it’s the former.

The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Australia to Win

Wednesday – FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

MCG 2010 World Cup Qualifying. Photographed by FlashStudio. Image via Shutterstock.

The international break in global football is often met with disdain and boredom from fans, as they wait – eager – for their favourite league (be that EPL, Bundesliga, or other) to restart. But, fortunately for Australian fans, the international break has brought us a juicy fixture on Wednesday as the Australians start their run to Qatar 2022.

Kuwait v Australia

The Western-Asian State of Kuwait host the Socceroos in a fixture that’ll start Australia’s hopeful campaign for a fifth-straight world cup qualification. Nepal, Taiwan (or Chinese Taipei), and Jordan round out a trying, but overall not difficult, group for the Australians, and they’ll really be hoping to start their campaign with a win here.

While on paper, Kuwait aren’t a side that should worry the Socceroos, they’re also not a side to be underestimated. The roos have a woeful record away from home, and with the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Middle Eastern countries will be desperate to qualify for a tournament with conditions that give them an advantage. They’re fresh off a 7 – 0 drubbing of Nepal and will carry that momentum into this fixture.

Obviously, I have to pick Australia to win this, they’re a far better team. But don’t count out Kuwait.

The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Australia to Win

Thursday – The Ashes

England v Australia, Kia Oval, London. Photographed by Mitch Gunn. Image via Shutterstock.

Will the English ever figure out Smith?

The fifth and final test of this incarnation of The Ashes gets underway at the Kia Oval on the weekend. While the series is all but decided with Australia’s win in the 4th test, it’ll be interesting to see if the Poms can still claw one back – if not just as consolation.

Australia v England

The whole Aussie team (barring maybe Warner) have been exceptional this series, with Labushagne, Cummins, Lyon and Starc all putting in solid performances. But, at the end of the day, every other player has been dwarfed by the heroics of Steve Smith. He’s a batsman who just seems impossible to get out and England are yet to figure him out beyond pegging the ball at his head. The Bradman comparisons have made their way back into the news – and for once I’d say they’re justified.

On England’s side of things, their bowling attack has been solid – but Jofra’s lacked the energy we saw in test 3. Their middle order has been stable, with Bairstow and Buttler both performing well in test 4 to keep England’s hope alive. But they really need to sort their openers problem out. They don’t have a Steve Smith to bail them out.

I think the Aussies will claim this match and retain The Ashes in style. Let’s hope for a double century from Smith and a five-for for Lyon.

The Hunter’s Hot Tip: Australia to Win

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Feature image: Kia Oval, London. Photographed by Ritu Manoj Jethani. Image via Shutterstock.