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Weekend talking points: England’s World Cup prep and French Open

Plus cricket and rugby league action

The World Cup is inching ever nearer, but there’s still plenty of top sport to enjoy before it all begins in Russia on June 14.

And that’s certainly the case this weekend.

The Coral News Team have done the ground work for the next couple of days…

England’s World Cup prep begins

Most nations have already played a friendly or two in anticipation of the World Cup, and England will commence their own schedule on Saturday night.

Expect plenty of clues as to who Gareth Southgate might pick in Russia when the Three Lions welcome Nigeria to Wembley.

It should be a good test for the hosts. Nigeria offer plenty of quality and experience. Nevertheless, England are 2/5 favourites to start their summer with a win.

French Open gets serious

Over the Channel in France things will be hotting up in Paris as the French Open moves towards the latter stages.

Britain’s Kyle Edmund is into round three. Can the 23-year-old match or better his semi-final run at the Australian Open? Edmund is 10/11 to defeat Fabio Fognini and reach round four over the weekend.

The King of Clay Rafael Nadal is looking his imperious self, while the women’s tournament is turning into a wide-open affair.  Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Simona Halep and Angelique Kerber are all in action across Saturday and Sunday in Paris.

England seek morale-boosting win

After a nightmare first Test defeat at Lord’s, England will be desperate to bounce back in their second five-dayer against Pakistan.

Joe Root’s men suffered a humbling nine-wicket defeat last time around, and there was much disgruntlement about how and where England have gone so wrong.

The second Test is at Headingley. It could have a big say in how England’s summer develops.  The recent thundery weather isn’t expected to have much of an impact and the hosts are 8/13 to claim a much-needed victory.

Challenge Cup quarter-finals

And it’s a busy one in Rugby League too, where the Challenge Cup quarter-finals take place.

Catalan Dragons have already booked their place in the last four after a 20-6 win over Huddersfield Giants on Thursday night.

Leeds Rhinos take on Leigh Centurions on Friday night, before Warrington v Wigan on Saturday afternoon. The fourth quarter-final sees St Helens take on Hull FC on Sunday.

Big match previews, betting tips and transfer news – Coral have it all.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing