The countdown to Christmas continues with a wealth of sporting action to tickle your televisual tastebuds
This week on Sky Sports and BT Sport
This is a no-football zone. We repeat: This is a no-football zone.
Whether you fancy a break from Premier League action or you simply can’t comprehend why multi-million-pound superstars would deem it warm enough to wear short-sleeved shirts yet cold enough to wear gloves, both Sky Sports and BT Sport have a wealth of alternatives.
That includes a top-two clash in the Gallagher Premiership, the business end of the PDC World Darts Championships and an absolute ding-donger of a day in the NBA diary. Elsewhere, Test cricket continues in sunnier climes and playoff places are up for grabs in the NFL.
Read on to find out what you must not miss this week.
World Championship Darts
PDC World Championship, from Friday 21 December, 12.30pm, Sky Sports Main Event/HD (CH 511/501)
The crowds are in, Ally Pally is awash with Big Birds and nine-dart finishes are at an all-time high. At least that’s how we’re envisaging the penultimate week of action in what has become a staple of the Christmas and New Year calendar. Let’s. Play. Darts!
NBA – WEEK 10
Denver Nuggets @ LA Clippers, Saturday 22 December, 10pm, Sky Sports Mix/HD (CH 520/510)
After losing this closely contested season opener on home soil, the Clippers bounced back to win nine in a row at the Staples Centre and top the Western Conference. However, with an up-and-coming Nuggets boasting an unexpectedly tight defence and Nikola Jokic in the form of his life for a team that’s busy ripping up all pre-season predictions, the return fixture may be decided in similarly late fashion. The best of the West continues to be turned upside down in its most exciting campaign for years.
Houston Rockets @ Miami Heat, Friday 21 December, 7pm, Sky Sports Action/HD (CH 517/507)
Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics, Saturday 22 December, 1am, Sky Sports Action/HD (CH 517/507)
Atlanta Hawks @ Detroit Pistons, Sunday 23 December, 8.30pm, Sky Sports Mix/HD (CH 520/510)
NBA – WEEK 11
LA Lakers @ Golden State Warriors, Boxing Day, 1am, Sky Sports Main Event/HD (CH 511/501)
Pictionary has ended in family fisticuffs and you can’t bear the thought of eating ever again… but it’s time to dip back into that biscuit tin for one final Christmas Day cracker! The pick of the NBA’s festive selection sees LeBron James renew his personal rivalry with the Warriors. Despite controversially claiming that the All-Star outfit are streets ahead of the Lakers (for this season, at least), you can still expect to see the sport’s marquee man ready to roar on the double-double.
Milwaukee Bucks @ New York Knicks, Christmas Day, 5pm, Sky Sports Mix/HD (CH 520/510)
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets, Christmas Day, 8pm, Sky Sports Mix/HD (CH 520/510)
Philadelphia 76ers @ Boston Celtics, Christmas Day, 10.30pm, Sky Sports Mix/HD (CH 520/510)
Kansas City Chiefs @ Seattle Seahawks, Christmas Eve, 1.10am, Sky Sports Action/HD (CH 517/507)
Young QB: check. Leading RB: check. Top TE: check. All-encompassing WRs: check. Offensively, the Chiefs are the AFC’s complete package, yet their clash with a typically late-starting Seahawks could be closer than it might appear. Russell Wilson is a perennial second-half-of-the-season quarterback, while the 12th man in Seattle is as imposing as you’ll find in the NFL. Over in Oakland, a defeatist Raiders host a buzzing Broncos on the other side of a tough run of games, and very much in the playoff hunt.
Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders, Christmas Day, 1am, Sky Sports Action/HD (CH 517/507)
From Christmas Day, 9.55pm, Sky Sports Cricket/HD (CH 514/504)
If you want to enjoy that Christmas Day comedown with something a little more soothing than the spectacle of Bruce Willis taking down terrorists, switch on Sky Sports for the first day of New Zealand’s Second Test with an off-form Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Australia battle India to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in a Third Test match-up that’s guaranteed to produce drama on BT Sport, before South Africa and Pakistan commence their Three Test series back on Sky Sports the following day.
New Zealand v Sri Lanka, Christmas Day, 9.55pm, Sky Sports Cricket/HD (CH 514/504)
South Africa v Pakistan, Boxing Day, 7.55am, Sky Sports Cricket/HD (CH 514/504)
Australia v India, Christmas Day, 11.15pm, BT Sport 1 HD (CH 527)
From Friday 21 December, 7pm, BT Sport
There’s nothing like a top-of-the-table clash to set Premiership pulses racing – and that’s exactly what you’ll get at Sandy Park. Saracens, generally poor at this time of the year, have lost their last three in Devon but did defeat the Chiefs in last season’s Final. Before that, the Warriors kick off proceedings at home to the Saints on Friday, followed by a classic dust-up between Wasps and Bath to round off the week’s action.
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints, Friday 21 December, 7pm, BT Sport 1 HD (CH 527)
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens, Saturday 22 December, 2.30pm, BT Sport 2 HD (CH 528)
Wasps v Bath, Sunday 23 December, 2.30pm, BT Sport 1 HD (CH 527)
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