Arsenal has a number of new faces this season, but are likely to struggle early.
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1. Football gods fail to fry Judd
Carlton captain Chris Judd returns to the field this week after serving a four-match suspension for his chicken-wing tackle on North Melbourne's Leigh Adams. The Kangaroo was this week ruled out for the rest of the season after North's medicos booked him in for shoulder surgery after he failed to play out a match for a second time since the incident. If there were such a thing as a football god, Judd would go down with a crippling knee injury as his side was eliminated from finals contention by a blistering Bomber blitz. Unfortunately, Essendon looks to have run their race this season, and the more likely scenario sees Judd putting in a best-on-ground performance as the Blues win by a percentage-boosting margin that should see them sneak into the eight. - BH
2. Inglis return to inspire Souths
South Sydney's loss to Manly was a hiccup for their title aspirations, but it was one the Bunnies were probably entitled to have. The Rabbitohs had won six matches straight leading into that game, and dropping one might work in their favour with three games still remaining in the regular season. Greg Inglis will return from suspension for their clash against Cronulla on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium, and he'll be champing at the bit to wreak havoc on the Sharks, who were poor in their Monday night loss to Newcastle. While both teams got beaten, you get the feeling the circumstances were very different. For the Bunnies, it's likely to serve as a wake-up call but for the Sharks, it was probably the beginning of the end of their season. - DR
3. Kiwis continue to humiliate Aussies
Fresh from the Olympics where New Zealand managed just one gold medal fewer than Australia despite a significantly lower population and smaller sports funding program, all eyes now move to the Bledisloe Cup. Unfortunately the Wallabies are in no position to offer any retribution. The series win over the Welsh in June was hardly convincing, despite the Wallabies winning all three Tests and the loss to Scotland is a truer account of the side's inconsistency these days. The pre-match focus has been on who should play five-eighth for the Wallabies and Berrick Barnes seems to be the right selection, especially when you think back to Quade Cooper's performances during the Rugby World Cup. Barnes will do enough to hold the position for the series but it's hard to see the Wallabies reversing the tide against the All Blacks. - BH
4. Arsenal's life without RvP gets off to a shaky start
The Gunners may have already got used to the idea that they were going to lose captain Robin van Persie this season, but the news that he is joining Manchester United would still have been a body blow to Arsene Wenger's men. Wenger has made some useful additions in the off-season, bringing in three quality internationals in Lukas Podolski, Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud, and that should allow the team to prosper in the long term. But in the first match of the season as the team looks to find a way to goal without the man they have relied upon for all of last season against a competent Sunderland outfit, a disappointing draw looks on the cards. - BH
5. MotoGP finally crowns a new race winner
We are already 10 rounds into the Moto GP season and only three riders – Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa – have managed to win races. This has made for very predictable races and podiums, but with the circus moving to Indianapolis this weekend, it might just be time for a change. The two Tech 3 Yamaha riders – Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow – have been threatening to have a breakout result for some time, and the three-week break away from the pressures of racing in Europe might be the perfect time to do it. Crutchlow, for all his promise, hasn't managed to finish on the podium this season, so a race win is probably beyond him. But Dovizioso could be ready for just his second race win in the sport's top category to break his drought since his only race win in the British GP in 2009. - BH
Saturday, 1.15pm – St Kilda defender Jason Gram drops by the BigPond Sports Weekend studios to review Friday night's big clash with Geelong.
Saturday, 3.27pm – The spring carnival is just around the corner and already the action on the track is starting to heat up. The action kicks off at Caulfield this weekend in the P.B Lawrence Stakes. Watch all the racing action LIVE on BigPond Sports Weekend.
Sunday, 1.10pm – Essendon forward Angus Monfries joins Brad Seymour and Daniel Harford in the BigPond Sports Weekend studios to analyse Saturday's clash with Carlton.
Sunday, 2.10pm – NSW captain Paul Gallen talks Origin coaches and reviews Saturday's action in the BigPond Sports Weekend studios.
Follow BigPond Sport on Twitter: @bigpondsportThe views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of BigPond Sport.