Sporting Events To Look Forward To In December

December 3, 2018

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December is one of the greatest sporting months in the calendar as far as I’m concerned, and that’s mostly because the weather’s too shit to go outside and do anything else.

With Boxing Day football, the PDC Darts World Championships, some huge boxing bouts, and the King George VI Chase to name but a few, December is absolutely jampacked with goodness.

Anyway, let’s get on with it what exactly is on offer…

Football

Oh maynnn, there’s so much good football to look forward to this month!

We’ll start with the Champions League first because going into the final group game we have five huuuuge matches coming up with Spurs, Inter, Napoli, Liverpool, PSG, Lyon and Shakhtar’s Champions League hopes all hanging in the balance, yet amazingly, it’s only Inter who don’t have their fate in their own hands. Fortunately for them though, Spurs will have to beat Barca at the Nou Camp to qualify should Spalletti’s side beat PSV at home.

With regards to the others, PSG will qualify with a win over Red Star, Liverpool have to beat Napoli 1-0 or by two goals to progress, and Shakhtar need to beat Lyon at home (well, in Kharkiv) to make the Last 16. It’s all very exciting, but it’s just a shame that the Inter, Spurs, PSG and Liverpool – Napoli game all kicks off at the same time on the 11th. Silly UEFA.

Switching to the domestic game, I know it’s very cliche to say the Premier League’s the best league in the world, but if you’re looking for big games they definitely happen more often in England. Throughout December alone we have: Man United vs Arsenal on December 5th, Chelsea vs Man City on December 8th, Liverpool vs Man United on December 16th, and Liverpool vs Arsenal on December 29th. Plus, we have Boxing Days fixtures. Sheesh.

And though Spain, is my preferred league to watch, December is a bit of a dry month for La Liga and we only really have one genuinely big game and that’s when Espanyol host city rivals Barcelona on the 9th December.

In Scotland on December 29th , we have Steven Gerrard’s first ever home Old Firm derby when Rangers take on Celtic. Lovely.

Then there’s the second leg of River – Boca Libertadores final to come at some point, the Club World Cup from December 12th, and lastly, the MLS Cup final where Atlanta United face Portland Timbers on December 9th.

De. Licious.

Some markets we see value in this month

Arsenal to beat Man United – 2/1 with Unibet

Liverpool and over 3.5 goals vs Napoli – 12/5 with Ladbrokes 

Inter Champions League December 2018

Boxing

December is an absolute monster month for boxing. We’ve already had Tyson Fury’s epic battle with Deontay Wilder, but after that we’ve got so much goodness.

On December 8th, we’ve got Ring Magazine’s top-rated pound-for-pound fighter, Vasiliy Lomachenko looking to take the WBO lightweight title off the only-once beaten Puerto Rican Jose Pedraza in New York. Lomachenko is 1/11 to win with Betfair, which, and I know this sounds stupid, is actually quite good odds.

On the same night, just a little bit before, former IBF welterweight title winner Kell Brook faces Australia’s Michael Zerafa in what will end up being a routine win for the Yorkshireman. If you thought Lomachenko was a heavy favourite, Brook is 1/350 with Karamba to win. Silly.

Then a week later there’s a huge one at Madison Square Garden as Britain’s very own Rocky Fielding has a monumental task ahead of him as the imperious Canelo Alvarez jumps up a weight class to Super Middleweight to battle for the regular WBA title. Former WBO heavyweight champ Joseph Parker also returns home that night to face Alexander Flores in Christchurch, New Zealand.

7 days later, we’ve perhaps saved the best until last when former WBA featherweight champ Carl Frampton faces his British compatriot Josh Warrington for the IBF title at Manchester Arena. Warrington was magnificent last time out against Lee Selby, however Frampton can’t at all be discounted – if the Northern Irishman performs the way he did in his first bout with Santa Cruz then we’ll be in for one incredible fight. But that’s not all on the 22nd December because it’s also the night of Dillian Whyte vs Dereck Chisora from the 02 Arena. No titles are on the line at the O2, but the first battle of these two gladiators was an epic and an impressive victory for Whyte could land him a money-spinning rematch with Anthony Joshua next spring.

And finally – whether it’ll actually happen or not is still up for debate – Floyd Mayweather is also scheduled in to fight the 20-year-old unbeaten kickboxing champ Tenshin Nasukawa in Japan on New Year’s Eve. Why’s Mayweather taken on that fight? you ask. Well, $$$$$$$$$$$$$$, of course.

Some markets we see value in this month

Josh Warrington by decision vs Carl Frampton – 3/1 with Royal Panda

Canelo Alvarez to win in rounds 4-6 – 47/20 with Karamba

Floyd Mayweather Tenshin Nasukawa

Darts

It’s the most wonderful time, of the year. Yesssss, it’s time for the PDC World Championships. What would the Christmas period be like without the darts, eh? Very boring, that’s what it would be.

Last year’s tournament will live long in the memory after Rob Cross overcame 16/1 pre-tournament odds to overcome 16-time World Champion Phil Taylor in his final ever tournament to secure the title. However, despite the sentiment and the guard-changing feeling of that final, it was Cross’ incredible victory over world number one Michael van Gerwen in the semi-final that will be remembered most fondly.

2017 was an astonishing season for MVG as the world number one won the World Championship, The Masters, the Premier League, the European Championship, the Grand Slam of Darts plus the Players Championship Finals, and going into the 2018 World Champs he was red-hot favourite to retain his title, but Rob Cross, who only joined the PDC that year, had other ideas.

After reaching the semi-final of the Players Championship, the quarter-final of the Grand Slam, and the final of the Europeans, Cross had ended the season well, and he retained that form in the early rounds of the World Champs racking up 100 + averages in the first two rounds, 99.77 in the third and 97.13 in the quarters. MVG though, had hit 100 + averages in every round including an insane 108.65 against James Wilson in the second round.

The semi-final was an utterly magnificent affair which swung back-and-forth, back-and-forth with both players missing match-winning darts in the sudden death leg before Rob Cross won the blockbuster hitting double 8 at the first time of asking.

It was a ridiculous battle, and if we have anything like that in this year’s tournament, then we’ll all be very, very grateful.

Some markets we see value in this month

Paul Lim to beat Ross Smith – 6/5 with Coral

Gary Anderson to win the tournament – 10/3 with Boyle Sports

Darts World Championships 2019

And More…

Oh man, there’s so much more as well. Horse racing fans, we’ve got the lovely King George Chase to look forward to on Boxing Day and the Welsh Grand National two days later.

The NFL season comes to an end on December 30th with loooooads teams still vying for a place in the playoffs.

We’ve got Christmas games in the NBA including the Warriors vs the Lakers and the Rockets vs the Thunder.

Then elsewhere, the UK Snooker Championship reaches its finale on December 16th, the Hockey World Cup and the Cycling World Cup ends on the same day, and the 2018/19 Formula E season begins on December 15th.

Ex-cell-ent.

Finally, TV

The last month of the calendar is usually the last month for a lot of our favourite reality TV. X Factor went yesterday, while the likes of Strictly, The Apprentice, and I’m a Celebrity are all set to end over the next few weeks.

But don’t despair, Christmas is a great time for TV with Sports Personality of the Year, a Doctor Who Christmas special, the ABC Murders, the return of Luther, a brand new Les Miserables, Call the Midwife Christmas special, Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, Eastenders Christmas special, Love Island Christmas special, Top of the Pops Christmas special, and loads more on over the Christmas period.

Woooooof!


Author: Tom Mortimer

Tom is the editor at Betting Circle and has been creating online content for over 10 years. Tom mainly writes about sport and gambling, but every now and then also delves into fleshier subjects like politics and psychology. When he was 18 he created HungarianFootball.com and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer, Goal.com, among many others.

Twitter @TMortimerFtbl


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