Christmas & New Year TV Preview: 24 December 2011 - 2 January 2012



Saturday 24 December

12.45 St Mirren v Rangers, SPL, Sky Sports 1/HD1
The mid-table of the SPL is becoming a tight bunch and, despite some less than optimistic results of late, St Mirren are still in the chase for a top four finish. Rangers have put their recent blip behind them and maintain a four point lead at the top of the table.

Monday 26 December

12.15 AFC Wimbledon v Oxford Utd, League Two, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Wimbledon fans will be hoping Santa brings a change in fortunes as they go into this game on a run of nine without a win. While their newly recovered league status isn't under threat so far, it won't be long before collars are started to be tugged if things carry on as they are.
17.30 Birmingham City v West Ham, Championship, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Almost certainly picked out as a fixture for the individuals in the boardroom rather than any on the pitch activity. Chris Hughton is still making Birmingham look more like a silk purse than a sow's ear and they are still unbeaten at home - not an easy away day for Big Sam's men.
20.00 Stoke City v Aston Villa, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Meanwhile, on the other side of the second city, Villa are dropping like a stone. Worrying in that there are teams below them who look far more likely to have a positive change of form than Villa do right now. Not a great time for a trip to the Britannia, but then when is?

Tuesday 27 December

14.15 Sheffield Utd v Notts County, League One, Sky Sports 1/HD1
In the UK we're still on holiday working our way through the remaining turkey. This afternoon's offering sees the Blades breathing down Wednesday's neck for the second automatic spot while County's hopes for a play off berth have taken a dent with recent results.
14.35 Bangor City v Prestatyn Town, Welsh Premier League, S4C
It's "gwichian gwaelod" time for Prestatyn Town as they try to hold on to their top half place in the penultimate round of fixtures in the Welsh Apertura. Bangor are in a three-way tussle for the top, a point either side of Llanelli and The New Saints.
17.00 Swansea City v QPR, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
An evening double bill of Premier League action features all the newly promoted sides. QPR have found the going in the top flight the hardest, to the surprise of many, while Swansea continue to impress. This tie was 0-0 in the Championship last season, even if that scoreline is repeated it'll still be worth watching this one.
19.30 Norwich City v Tottenham Hotspur, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1/3D
Paul Lambert's side are deservedly top half and there's no reason why they can't hold on to it. Spurs' have put the Stoke result behind them and with the distraction of Harry Redknapp's tax evasion trial just a month away, need every point they can to maintain their top four placing.

Wednesday 28 December

19.45 Celtic v Rangers, SPL, Sky Sports 1/HD1
The 8th (EIGHTH) Old Firm tie of 2011. Celtic are just up in the head to head this year with three wins to two (11-8 on aggregate), though a win for them here probably won't be enough see them snatch top spot.

Friday 30 December

19.45 Liverpool v Newcastle United, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Demba Ba, signed by Newcastle for free, scores 13 goals in 16 league games. Andy Carroll... nah, it's just too easy. Don't be surprised if you hear Liverpool fans giving a one minute's applause on the 7th minute for poor old Luis Suarez - it's the sort of thing they'd do.

Saturday 31 December

12.15 Leicester City v Portsmouth, Championship, Sky Sports 1/HD1
The last couple of ties between these two have been the David Nugent show. He scored the winner for Pompey the last time they visited the Walkers Stadium in March but was on hand to get the equaliser for his new club Leicester when the sides met at Fratton Park just five weeks ago.
12.45 Manchester United v Blackburn Rovers, Premier League, ESPN/ESPN HD
Remember Slim Pickens riding the A-bomb at the end of Dr Strangelove? Ok now imagine it's Steve Kean as Major Kong. Yeah, that.
17.20 Leyton Orient v Charlton Athletic, League One, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Get 'round the Joanna and 'ave a good cockney knees up on New Year's Eve. Former Charlton stalwart Kevin Lisbie lines up against his old club for the O's and has rediscovered his scoring touch after joining on a free in the summer. Charlton fans will hope Bradley Wright-Phillip's goal-spree will start again, after a blistering start he's gone four games without a goal.

Sunday 1 January

12.30 West Brom v Everton, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Lunchtime, New Year's Day? That's going to be pleasant.
15.00 Sunderland v Manchester City, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
Bono once sang "nothing changes on New Year's Day" and in this case he'll be right. Three points to City.

Monday 2 January

12.15 Hibernian v Hearts, SPL, Sky Sports 1/HD1
If recent months are anything to go by, Hearts players will still be waiting for their December pay-cheques when this game kicks off. Hibs of course have troubles of their own on the pitch and sit just above Dunfermline at the bottom of the table on goal difference alone...
15.00 Dunfermline v Celtic, SPL, ESPN/ESPN HD
... goal difference that won't be improved by this fixture.
17.30 Fulham v Arsenal, Premier League, Sky Sports 1/HD1
And so, Robin van Persie's "goals in a year" tally gets reset to zero.

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