It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas, which means the sporting calendar is gearing up for a huge surge. There are almost too many events to watch from now until the New Year. That means the hardest job for viewers is to choose wisely.
As the Formula One Drivers’ Championship proved in Abu Dhabi, you never know what’s going to happen since sports are unpredictable. Still, the following competitions are always good for action-packed contests year in, year out.
PDC World Darts Championship
Interest in darts has skyrocketed in the last decade thanks to the likes of Phil Taylor and Michael van Gerwen. But it’s the new guard that is taking over, with the current champion, Gerwyn Price, the favorite among the field according to the PDC World Championship odds at 4/1. As darts tips go, this year’s most popular is to back the Welshman to secure back-to-back titles at Alexandra Palace.
However, van Gerwen will have a lot to say about things because the Dutchman is a three-time world champion and the closest thing to Phil Taylor since the Greatest of all Time retired. The fact that the bookies quote them as joint-favorites highlights the potential for fireworks if they meet in the latter stages of the tournament.
Of course, we haven’t mentioned Peter Wright, Rob Cross, or Gary Anderson, all of whom have four World Championships between them. As the final takes place on New Year’s Day, there aren’t many better ways to end the holiday festivities.
The 2021/22 Ashes
Okay, the England team is one-nil down in the series after a less than impressive display at The Gabba. Selection issues aside, the team didn’t bat well enough, barring the exceptions of Joe Root and Dawid Malan, and failed to take their opportunities when they snared Steve Smith to leave the Aussies five wickets down.
There are several issues England must fix before they head into the second Day/Night Test at the Adelaide Oval. Still, with Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad returning to the squad, they should get the ball to swing in bowler-friendly conditions. Ollie Robinson has proved his worth, too, meaning England could be in with a fighting chance.
If the team performs admirably, the series betting odds that rank Australia as the 1/8 favorites will drop sharply. However, it’s a big bet considering how flaky the batting has been of late.
Christmas Football Fixtures
The holiday season is an excellent period for soccer supporters as the games come thick and fast. From Matchday 18 to 21, four games will be played in fewer than two weeks. And that’s just the Premier League. English Football League fixtures are intertwined, which means there’s usually a match on every time you switch on the TV.
There are a couple of tasty contests from Boxing Day onwards, but New Year’s Day is the pinnacle of the hectic calendar. All 10 clubs are in action, including Arsenal versus Man City and Chelsea versus Liverpool. With so many Matchdays left, the home of the Premier League trophy won’t be decided by these two matches.
With little between the top three favorites, the day may finish with Man City extending their lead at the top of the table and justifying their 8/15 outright winner odds. Alternatively, Chelsea or Liverpool could close the gap and set up a thrilling end to the season in spring 2022.
Whatever happens, there are bound to be twists and turns to keep you entertained throughout the festive period. Can you think of more ways to enjoy some time off that don’t involve flicking between the footy, cricket, and darts? Us neither!