This Christmas on Betfair: Boxing Day football, King George, World Darts and more

One solution to the Christmas cabin fever is the sublime sporting calendar so here's our guide to the best in football, cricket, horse racing and more this Festive season...


Premier League Football

Boxing Day football is one of Britain's finest traditions. Where other leagues take a well-earned winter break we make our teams get out there in the cold and compete.
This 26 December boasts nine Premier League matches, beginning with Tottenham's trip to Brighton, followed by six 3pm kick-offs, a tea-time Manchester United v Newcastle fixture and, saving the best till last, the top of the table clash - Leicester City v Liverpool at 8pm.
Fresh from winning the Club World Cup, Liverpool will stretch their lead to a massive 13 points - with a game in hand - over Leicester with a win at the King Power Stadium, while also moving 14 points ahead of Manchester City who don't play until the following evening when they travel to Wolves.
Going in to Boxing Day's packed fixture list the Reds are just 1.17 to win the Premier League title ahead of Man City at 7.60 and the Foxes at 75.00.
There's also a full programme of ChampionshipLeague One and League Two football on Boxing Day, and just two days later on Saturday 28 December they all do it again with no fewer than seven Premier League fixtures being the highlight.
We will have full match previews of every single Premier League game, plus previews of the live Championship matches, divisional tipsheets, and much more, meaning we've got your festive footy all wrapped-up.

Horse racing - King George VI Chase at Kempton Park

Of course, Boxing Day isn't all about football and getting out to a frost tipped racecourse can be truly soul stirring. Kempton Park will be the choice of many for the Christmas highlight, the Grade 1 King George VI Chase.
The race draws incredible talent and this year's renewal is no exception, with the Exchange betting headed by the highest rated Chaser in training, Cyrname (pictured below), trained of course by Betfair Ambassador Paul Nicholls who also has last year's winner Clan Des Obeaux in the race.
Harry Cobden will ride Cyrname while Sam Twiston-Davies will be aboard Clan Des ObeauxFull story here.
Another member of our stable, Kevin Blake, has already recommended a bet for the race, and with top class racing in England, Ireland and Wales over the festive period, he won't be the only Betfair Ambassador that you will want to read.
Nicholls, Gordon ElliottJoseph O'Brien and Olly Murphy will have runners from Boxing Day into the weekend as Kempton's showcase meeting is joined by the Welsh National meeting at Chepstow and the top class Christmas Festival meeting at Leopardstown.

Cricket - South Africa v England First Test

Fancy being transported to sunnier climes? Then you'll be pleased to know England's four Test series in South Africa starts at 8am on Boxing Day.
Joe Root's men come into this one having lost their two Test series to New Zealand in the autumn after drawing with Australia in the summer. Root would love to end speculation about his captaincy by leading England to victory here but it won't be easy against a South Africa side that sit above them in the ICC Test rankings. Mind you, Faf du Plessis' men have just been whitewashed by India.
For expert analysis from somebody who's been there and won it all, we'll have Betfair Ambassador Graeme Swann writing about the series as well as betting tips from Ed Hawkins, so make sure you read our cricket blog for the best bets.

Darts - PDC World Championships until New Year's Day

An essential part of the seasonal sporting calendar is the PDC World Championship at Ally Pally. The number one darts tournament in the world has been going since 13 December and, after a brief break from 23 December, it returns on Friday 27 to finish off the third round ties.
After that the business end of the competition begins, with the quarter-finals starting on Sunday 29 and matches running through to the New Year's Day final. We're covering every day of the tournament with our tipster Dan Fitch picking bets.

NBA - title rivals meet in Christmas Day clash

Like the Premier League, the NBA in America has no let up over the festive period. In fact, the world's best basketball league goes even further and holds fixtures on Christmas Day.
This year, the Boston Celtics are in action against the Toronto Raptors at about 5pm UK time but the real treat is on the west coast at around 1am UK time when the Los Angeles Lakers travel to local rivals the Los Angeles Clippers. Both teams are strong contenders to go all the way in this year's championship - in fact, Exchange bettors say it's between them - so worth staying up for, we reckon.

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