Christmas means days off from work and a whole lot of football. There are some huge fixtures for you to sink your teeth into and we’ve got the lowdown; our pick of the stand-out matches through to New Year. So read ahead and be prepared to plan your Christmas around the greatest sport in the world.
Friday 22nd December – Arsenal v Liverpool (Premier League)
A game shrouded in controversy due to the Sky’s original plan to move the match from the 23rd December to Christmas Eve. Instead, the game was moved to the 22nd, a date that poses many of the same problems for the fans as it would had it been on the 24th. In fact, Liverpool fans would need to leave the Emirates by half-time at the very latest to make the last direct train back to Liverpool Lime Street from London Euston. Nonetheless, the match will go ahead. Expect goals galore in this one as both teams boast impressive attacks and consistently leaky defences. Arsenal may have been clattered 4-0 in the previous meeting at Anfield, but surely there won’t be a repeat of this at the Emirates.
Saturday 23rd December – Real Madrid v Barcelona (La Liga)
Probably the most anticipated foreign matchup for any British football fan. The two giants of European football with two of the best teams you could ever wish to see live. The El Clasico always holds importance regardless of the competition, however this month’s fixture could well be a title decider. Real Madrid will go into the game knowing that they need to beat Barca to cut the Catalan team’s lead at the top of the table to five points. A draw or a loss for Los Blancos could, in many people’s eyes, signal the end of their title hopes. A tense occasion for fans of the two teams and a mouth-watering prospect for any football-loving neutral.
Saturday 30th December – Celtic v Rangers (Scottish Premiership)
The two most bitter rivals in Scotland come head to head once again for this season’s second face off in the Scottish Premiership. Rangers suffered a miserable start to the season but finally seem to have found their feet and are currently breathing down the back of Celtic’s neck. Eight weeks ago it was fair to question whether many of the Rangers players had the mentality to play for the club but what’s clear now is that they’re up for the scrap. If Rangers can take their unbeaten run to seven matches, it would take them right up to the Celtic game. Whilst it would be pointless saying Rangers are better and stronger than Celtic but at least they’re making more of a fist of it this time around.
Sunday 31st December – Spurs v West Ham
Maybe not the most high profile of matches but a generally exciting one nonetheless. The previous two games between the two have had 5 goals scored in each as well as a red card. Despite West Ham’s atrocious form, this is one game they always strive to show their best in. When they met at Wembley in the League Cup earlier this season, West Ham fought back from 2-0 down to win 3-2 in a fantastically thought and feisty affair. Neither teams will want to back down and you can expect more of the same in 2 weeks time.