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The Best Sport On TV Over Christmas (And Beyond)

So many days off work, so much sport to watch… Thankfully, very few of your favourite sports stars are allowed Christmas off, which means the best in the world competing live in your living room – even on Christmas Day itself. In the spirit of competition, here’s Coach’s top 10 events to catch.

PDC World Championship

Over the past decade this annual festival of darts has become as important a Christmas tradition as mince pies and rewatching Die Hard. The audiences keep getting larger, with the well-oiled crowd at Ally Pally almost as much of a spectacle as the darts itself. This year reigning champ Gary Anderson will attempt to become just the second man to claim a third world title, with stiff competition from favourite Michael van Gerwen and 14-time winner Phil Taylor. December 15-January 2, Sky Sports

India vs England Fifth Test

Cricket

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Since England bested them 2-1 across four Tests in 2012/13, India have been dominant on home soil. England have shown flashes of brilliance this series, but it will take a Herculean effort to win. December 16-20, Sky Sports 2

Leicester Tigers vs Munster

Rugby

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There’s plenty of European Champions Cup action over December and January, and this looks like the pick of the fixtures. Both have enjoyed success in the tournament, but neither’s made the final since 2009. December 17, 3.15pm, BT Sport

Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors

Basketball

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This repeat of last season’s NBA Finals match-up is the perfect way to wake yourself up after the traditional Christmas Day afternoon snooze. December 25, 7.30pm, BT Sport

King George VI Chase, Kempton

Horse racing

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The highlight of the festive racing schedule, this will feature some of the finest gee-gees in jump racing, and provide an insight into the best bets for next year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup and Grand National. December 26, Channel 4

UFC 207: Nunes vs Rousey

Along with Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey is one of UFC’s two bona fide superstars, so her long-awaited return to the Octagon is an event no fan should miss, even if it involves a very late night. December 30, BT Sport

Rangers vs Celtic

Football

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Some might question the wisdom of scheduling the Old Firm derby on one of the booziest days of the year. Celtic beat Rangers 1-0 in the cup and delivered a 5-1 shellacking at Celtic Park in Sept: expect a response from Rangers on home turf.
December 31, 12:15pm, Sky Sports 1

Liverpool vs Man City

Football

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The Premier League’s two most entertaining sides should serve up a classic to start your New Year’s Eve revels, with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp facing off for the first time on English soil. December 31, 17:30, BT Sport 1

Tottenham Hotspur vs Chelsea

football

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Last season’s Battle of Stamford Bridge saw 12 yellow cards (nine for Spurs) and four goals as Chelsea came from 2-0 down to draw and seal Leicester City’s remarkable Premier League title win. That should add some spice to a game that needs little extra in the way of flavouring, with both teams jockeying for position around the top of the table and London pride on the line, not forgetting Chelsea having beaten Spurs 2-1 just a few weeks ago. January 4, 8pm, Sky Sports 1

College Football National Championship Game

Rugby

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US college football’s equivalent of the Super Bowl may not get the ratings of its NFL equivalent, but tends to be watched by around 30 million. So stay up late. January 9, ESPN on BT Sport/ESPN Player

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