April is set to be a massive month for televised sport, with The Masters, Formula One, crucial matches in the football season and the Grand National all to come this month, there's really something for everyone. We look ahead to all the main action that you can enjoy this month with Virgin TV.
Golf - The Masters
Spring has sprung, which can only mean its time for the first golf major of the year. The world’s best players are set to tackle the picturesque, yet unforgiving Augusta National course in what many look forward to as the highlight of the golfing year. You may be forgiven for thinking the tranquility of blooming flowers, rich blue skies and chirping birds make this a leisurely retreat for the world's best golfers. But beware, the course that can make even the best look foolish, and offers little sympathy, especially on those traditionally tense back nine holes on Sunday’s final round.
Conquering Augusta requires courage and skill - victory grants the winner golf’s most famous prize, the green jacket, as well as a lifetime invitation to all future Masters. Dustin Johnson is the reigning champion and he is looking to join the illustrious list of Jack Nicklaus, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods as the only players in its 86 year history to defend their Masters green jacket. But with golf flourishing with talent at the moment and potential winners everywhere you look, that will be no easy task.
Sky Sports Golf, April 8th – 11th
If the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix was anything to go by, the 2021 Formula One World Championship is set to be a classic. For so long the prospect of a season long duel between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen has been tantalisingly just out of reach. Mercedes have been so dominant during this era, we’ve rarely been treated to small glimpses of a Hamilton/Verstappen rivalry.
Bahrain suggested that we'll finally get the title battle we deserve. Red Bull have closed the gap and their car looks good enough to take the fight to the Mercedes regularly. Hamilton drew first blood in Bahrain, but only by the slimmest of margins after a fascinatingly tense battle, well and truly setting the tone for the remaining 22 races.
Round 2 takes the teams to the historic Imola circuit this month, will its fast and flowing character favour Red Bull or Mercedes?
Sky Sports F1, April 16th – 18th
April represents the traditional business end of the season and - whisper it quietly - may also see the return of fans to some matches. In what Sir Alex Ferguson famously called 'squeaky bum time', Manchester City are within touching distance of the Premier League title, they could be crowned champions by the end a huge month for their credentials as would-be record breaking quadruple champions. With the League Cup final against Tottenham towards the end of the month, as well as key matches in the Champions League and FA Cup, we'll have a firmer idea if Man City can do it over the next few weeks.
There's still plenty left to play for across the Premier League, even if City are crowned champions. Fulham & Newcastle in particular have a big few weeks coming up in their battle against the drop. Brighton & Burnley may also be looking over their shoulders if things go well for the former pair during the month. Watch out for the battle for fourth as well, West Ham currently occupy the coveted Champions League spot, but at least 6 sides within 5 points will feel they have a chance of making the spot their own.
And in Europe, there remains plenty of English representation as the Champions League and Europa League reach the latter stages, beginning with the first leg of the quarter finals tonight.
League Cup – Final: Man City vs. Tottenham – Sun Apr 25th, Sky Sports
FA Cup – Semi Finals: Chelsea vs Manchester City, Sat 17th Apr 5.30PM, BBC One; Leicester vs Southampton, Sun 18th Apr 6.30PM, BT Sport
Champions League – Quarter Finals: 1st leg, April 6th/7th 2nd leg, April 13th/14th – BT Sport
Europa League – Quarter Finals: 1st leg, April 8th 2nd leg April 15th – BT Sport
The Grand National
Horse racing’s most famous race returns after last year’s covid-related hiatus. It's always an unpredictable race, with a large field competing over a long and challenging distance, picking a winner is notoriously difficult. This only adds to the appeal, for some of the Grand National’s most famous winners have overcome long odds to reward lucky punters. The Grand National completes a three day festival of horse racing from Aintree racecourse with all races free to air on ITV.