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As Karen seems keen to remind you off on Facebook, it’s only ‘x’ amount of sleeps until Christmas. Which for many means a time of the year when they can relax with family, let their hair down and indulge in way too much food.
For sports fans though it is also a special time of the year as the festive period plays havoc with the sporting calendar, keeping up with the latest sport news can feel impossible, with endless fixtures, seemingly daily Match of the Day’s and traditional Christmas clashes you didn’t even know existed. Here’s what we’ve got to look forward to:
Boxing Day Football
It used to be a popular excuse when England crashed out of a major tournament to blame the hectic Christmas period for the national team’s malaise. Who would have thought though that a good coach and dedicated players could change all of that?
Now that we know England can compete internationally without a winter break we can enjoy frantic, frenzied, festive football guilt free. This year we have the classic Boxing Day Match of the Day to look forward to with a full fixture list.
Then we have the netherzone (the period between Christmas and New Year’s) games to look forward to before a huge New Year’s fixture list featuring Arsenal vs Manchester City and Chelsea vs Liverpool.
If that’s not enough to whet your football whistle, there is also a full fixture list in the Football league to look forward to. Not bad!
(A look back at some of the best Boxing Day games ever.)
Boxing Day Christmas Evening Cricket
Every year the Australian cricket team host their traditional Boxing Day Test Match at the MCG in Melbourne. Last year the hosts welcomed World Number One side India to the stunning venue. This year they will welcome begrudgingly accept a match against England in the Ashes.
As only the third match in the five match series this clash should not prove to be too pivotal in determining the outcome of the series. In recent tours however England have made a habit of rolling over and accepting defeat, so don’t be too surprised to see the hosts going into this one 2-0 up and sensing blood.
Still, after a busy day socialising, drinking and eating it will be nice to sit down in front of the telly and watch Australia rip through England’s top order in devastating fashion in front of a partisan crowd of 80,000. Won’t it?
(2010 was the last time an England side dominated in Australia, and what a feeling it was!)
World Darts Championship
The World Darts Championship traditionally starts a week before Christmas, but it isn’t until after the big day that the heat starts to turn up. That’s when the big hitters face off against one another and when you suddenly find yourself wildly invested in the fortunes of a darts player you’d never previously heard of.
If you’re of a certain age you may find yourself wondering out loud what has happened to Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor as you watch Michael van Gerwen, Gerwyn Price and Peter Wright battle it out for the £500,000 prize money.
It is perfect viewing for those cosy nights sat in front of the fire with a beer in hand.
(Peter Wright shocked Michael van Gerwen in last year’s PDC World Championship final.)
World’s Strongest Man
Weirdly the World’s Strongest Man 2021 has already taken place, ending with a dramatic finish in Sacramento, California back in June. That doesn’t mean though that watching it on TV isn’t a Christmas tradition so we won’t be cruel and ruin it for you by saying who won – if you want to know that you can click HERE.
The event will be shown in between Christmas and New Year on Channel 5 with the iconic James Richardson returning to talk us through the action. If you love watching a man drag a bus and seeing how many tractor tyres they can push over, this is the ideal show for you.
Even if you don’t like the World’s Strongest Man, it’s a Christmas tradition, just like Brussel sprouts!
What are your favorite sports events to watch over the Christmas period? Let us know in the comments section below.