Ready for even more live football on the box? Then you’ll probably want to cast your eye over these massive matches coming up
Sky Sports live football round-up
For sports fans, the best thing about the festive season isn’t the endless turkey sandwiches or the presents, it’s the fact that the live football just keeps coming and coming and coming. This week, there are no fewer than 10 clashes for you to get your teeth into, with action from the Premier League, Sky Bet Championship and Scottish Premier League.
It’s a fabulous fixture pile-up featuring the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal, Celtic, Rangers, Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Plus, with Sky Sports on Virgin TV you can watch every single match at home or on the go with the Sky Sports App. Beautiful! So, without further ado, let us show you what’s in store…
Friday night football
Cardiff City v Preston North End, Friday 29 December, 7.30pm, Sky Sports Football/HD (CH 513/503)
Expect a tight battle, as two of the Sky Bet Championship’s tightest defences go head-to-head. Given this pair’s current league positions, Preston would take a 0-0. Promotion-chasing Cardiff, on the other hand, will be aiming to take three points, so look out for big performances from highly-rated attackers Junior Hoilett and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing.
Scotland’s biggest game
Celtic v Rangers, Saturday 30 December, 11.30am, Sky Sports Football/HD (CH 513/503)
It’s derby season in Scotland and, as ever, the pick of the bunch is the most passionate game in world football. Brendan Rodgers’ all-conquering Celtic have ruled the domestic roost in recent times, but arch-rivals Rangers are beginning to find a bit of form. Could they cause a seasonal shock by turning over their Old Firm adversaries in their own back yard?
The battle for promotion
Bristol City v Wolverhampton Wanderers, Saturday 30 December, 5.15pm, Sky Sports Football/HD (CH 513/503)
The good news for Bristol City is that if they end 2017 with a victory it will both reignite their charge for the Premier League and derail Wolves’ promotion bandwagon. The bad news for Bristol City is that, according to Sky Sports expert Andy Hinchcliffe, their table-topping opponents “have no weaknesses”.
The banana skin
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal, Sunday 31 December, 4pm, Sky Sports Premier League/HD (CH 512/502)
If you look at the Premier League table, you would assume that this is going to be a relatively easy win for Arsène Wenger’s outfit. If you look at the last two games between these sides at the Hawthorns, you will discover that the Baggies have won them both. Add in some wintry weather and this is a real test of the Gunners’ top-four credentials.
The South Coast shake-up
Brighton and Hove Albion v Bournemouth, Monday 1 January, midday, Sky Sports Premier League/HD (CH 512/502)
The Premier League’s opening fixture of 2018 sees two of the league’s smallest guns meet for the third time this season. After triumphing in the reverse league fixture and winning their Carabao Cup tie in extra time, Bournemouth will be looking to complete a hat-trick of victories, but Brighton are a stronger side at home.
The sleeping giants
Leeds United v Nottingham Forest, Monday 1 January, 2.30pm, Sky Sports Football/HD (CH 513/503)
Once upon a time Leeds United and Nottingham Forest were among the finest sides in Europe – with Leeds reaching the 1975 European Cup final and Forest winning the competition in both 1979 and 1980. Now, they are both trying to fight their way out of the Sky Bet Championship. At present, Leeds look the more likely to achieve this aim, but on top form Forest can beat anymore.
Everton v Manchester United, Monday 1 January, 5.15pm, Sky Sports Premier League/HD (CH 512/502)
Rooney! Rooney! Rooney! All eyes will be on England’s record scorer as he attempts to inspire his resurgent Everton side to victory over the club he made nearly 400 appearances for. United’s 4-0 win at Old Trafford earlier this season suggests this is unlikely, but the Toffees have won three of the last five Premier League games between these two at Goodison Park.
New year, new Tottenham?
Swansea City v Tottenham Hotspur, Tuesday 2 January, 7.30pm, Sky Sports Premier League/HD (CH 512/502)
It feels like 2018 is going to be a huge year for Spurs. If they can consistently produce the form that saw them defeat Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, then some trophies could be in the offing. If they can’t, then they’ll continue to lose games they shouldn’t and some of their stars might leave in the summer. First things first, though. They’ll be looking to begin the year with a few goals, and three points, against a Swansea side staring into the abyss of relegation.
The London Derby Part I
Arsenal v Chelsea, Wednesday 3 January, 7pm, Sky Sports Premier League/HD (CH 512/502)
Chelsea’s first mission? Keep 11 men on the pitch (they’ve had a player sent off in each of the two games they’ve played against Arsenal this season). Chelsea’s second mission? Find some way of becoming only the second away team after Manchester United to secure three points at the Emirates Stadium this season. Arsenal’s only mission? Win.
The London Derby Part II
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United, Thursday 4 January, 7.30pm, Sky Sports Premier League/HD (CH 512/502)
Tottenham’s second telly outing in three days sees them face-off against bitter rivals West Ham at Wembley Stadium. All the signs point to a relatively straightforward home victory, but the Hammers need to start picking up points and seem to save their best for their biggest games.
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