Sport On The Box’s Christmas Watch series returns for the festive period of 2012 as we guide you through all the must-see live sporting events each day, plus highlighting the best review shows and documentaries as this sensational sporting year draws to a close.
It’s a busy day of football as the final round of fixtures before Christmas take place across the country. There will be the usual thrills and spills from the Premier League, including two televised matches on Saturday, plus live action from the npower Championship, Spain’s La Liga and Italy’s Serie A.
Elsewhere, the glorious setting of London’s Olympia has been the scene of the 40th staging of the annual International Horse Show, with a fine array of Christmas jumpers from across the glove set to excite the vast crowds for the feature FEI World Cup show jumping qualifier, live on BBC One.
Full details below:
Clare Balding is at Olympia to present an afternoon of top class showjumping on the sixth day of the London International Horse Show at the Olympia Grand Hall in London.
The featured event of the afternoon is the FEI World Cup show jumping qualifier, which features all four members of Great Britain’s gold medal-winning showjumping team from the Olympic Games.
Nick Skelton, Scott Brash, Ben Maher and Peter Charles are among the final list of entries confirmed by show organisers.
The quartet gave Britain its first Olympic showjumping gold medal for 60 years by beating Holland in a thrilling London 2012 jump-off at Greenwich Park just over four months ago.
Three of the four, Skelton, Brash and Maher, are entered with their respective Olympic horses Big Star, Hello Sanctos and Tripple X III.
The prestigious London show is highlighted by the Rolex FEI World Cup class on the penultimate day, which was won last year by Maher.
Some of the biggest names in the sport are out in force for the showjumping competition, which is the seventh of 12 legs culminating at next April’s global final in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Plus, the programme also features highlights from the week’s Puissance and Dressage events, and there is a look back at some of the best moments from a remarkable equestrian programme at the London Olympics.
Commentary is provided by Michael Tucker, Andy Austin and Judy Harvey.
In the evening, British Eurosport has live coverage of the Ivy Stakes competition from 9pm.
Arsenal travel north to Lancashire to face Wigan Athletic in the first of two televised Premier League games on Saturday.
The Latics are looking to haul themselves out of the Premier League relegation zone, having registered just four points out of a possible 18 to leave them in 18th place.
They will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Norwich City last weekend, and Wigan boss Roberto Martinez’s squad has been reduced to its bare bones with no fewer than eight players sidelined, including James McCarthy.
Meanwhile, Arsenal eased the pressure on manager Arsene Wenger on Monday night with a dominant 5-2 victory over Reading, but the Gunners have only won twice in their last seven games in all competitions.
Midfielder Santi Cazorla scored a hat-trick in that match to take his season’s tally up to seven goals to make him Arsenal’s top scorer for the season.
Unlike Martinez, the Arsenal manager has no fresh injury concerns after Monday’s convincing win against Reading.
David Jones presents live coverage on Sky Sports 3 from 12.30pm ahead of a 12.45pm kick-off.
Highlights will be shown on Match of the Day (10.25pm, BBC One).
Fulham and Liverpool ended last season with identical records in the Premier League after both finished on 52 points, having won 14, drawn 10, and lost 14.
Though goal difference edged the Reds into eighth, one place above the Cottagers, Martin Jol’s side were responsible for two of those Liverpool losses as they secured a double over them for the first time in their history.
Indeed, their 1-0 triumph back in May was a landmark moment for Fulham as they finally won at Anfield at the 31st time of asking, having previously lost on 21 occasions since their inaugural visit in 1934.
Saturday’s match will be Liverpool’s 10th home game of this season, yet they are seeking only their fourth success there. Their three wins so far have come against bottom four sides: Wigan, Reading and Southampton.
Fulham’s recent form doesn’t suggest they’re likely to inflict an eighth, though, as they’re currently on a run of just one victory in their last nine games.
They’ve also only managed to secure just one more away win since their historic triumph at Anfield seven months ago.
Live coverage will be presented by Ray Stubbs on ESPN from 4.30pm ahead of a 5.30pm kick-off, with commentary from Jon Champion.
Highlights will be shown on Match of the Day (10.25pm, BBC One).
England’s final match of an eventful calendar year sees them face India in the second T20 international at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Yuvraj Singh starred with bat and ball as the home side won the first match in Pune on Thursday by five wickets.
It was never going to be easy for England to replicate their form from the test match series to the T20 contests.
Alex Hales hit 56 and Jos Buttler 33 but England’s total was well below par as Yuvraj took 3-19 from his four overs.
In reply, Yuvraj top-scored for India with 38 as the hosts reached their target with 13 balls to spare.
England’s bowling attack served up 10 wides and will have to be far more disciplined if they are to square the series in Mumbai on Saturday.
With regulars Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn all rested after their exploits in the 2-1 Test series win and Stuart Broad injured, Eoin Morgan leads an inexperienced England line-up for the two match series.
After losing their first test series at home to England since the mid-1980s, the hosts brought home a fairly comfortable win in the first T20 contest to save a bit of face in front of their adoring public.
Ian Ward presents live coverage on Sky Sports 1, with commentary and analysis from David Lloyd, Nasser Hussain, Nick Knight and Marcus Trescothick.
James Whitham presents a comprehensive review of the 2012 MCE British Superbike Championship season, six months of the very best two-wheel action condensed into a bumper two-hour programme.
This year’s championship was tightly contested, the eventual winner being Shane ‘Shakey’’Byrne, the Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki rider from Kent who won the championship for a third time, pipping his nearest rival Josh Brookes of Tyki Suzuki by 28 points in a season that went right down to the wire.
Shakey’s victory was not secured until the final race of the day at the last round of the competition at Brands Hatch in October.
He joins the elite club of riders who have won the championship three times, the others being John Reynolds, Niall Mackenzie and Ryuichi Kiyonari.
Byrne has already set his sights on an unprecedented fourth BSB win, having announced that he will stay with his winning Kawasaki team for the 2013 season.
Atlanta Falcons @ Detroit Lions – NFL (Week 16) LIVE: 1.25am-5.00am (Sun) – BBC Red Button Tomasz Adamek v Steve Cunningham IBF North America Heavyweight Title LIVE: 9.00pm-11.00pm – Premier Sports Melbourne Renegades v Brisbane Heat – Big Bash League LIVE: 8.00am-11.30am – Sky Sports 1 India v England – 2nd T20 International | Start: 1.30pm LIVE: 1.00pm-5.30pm – Sky Sports 1 PDC World Championship – Day 9 Afternoon Session Kevin Painter v Ronnie Baxter Mark Webster v Colin Lloyd Raymond van Barneveld v Brendan Dolan LIVE: 12.30pm-4.30pm – Sky Sports 2 Evening Session Wes Newton v Scott Rand Simon Whitlock v Colin Osborne Adrian Lewis v Denis Ovens LIVE: 7.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 1 London International Horse Show 2012 – Day 6 FEI World Cup Show Jumping LIVE: 1.00pm-4.30pm – BBC One H&M Six Bar Competition DELAYED: 8.00pm-9.00pm – British Eurosport H&M Ivy Stakes LIVE: 9.00pm-10.15pm – British Eurosport Gillette Soccer Saturday 12.00pm-6.00pm – Sky Sports News Football Focus 12.15pm-1.00pm – BBC One Wigan Athletic v Arsenal – Premier League | k/o: 12.45pm LIVE: 12.30pm-3.10pm – Sky Sports 3 Final Score 2.30pm-4.30pm – BBC HD | 2.30pm-6.00pm – BBC Red Button 4.30pm-5.20pm – BBC One Prestatyn Town v Newtown – Welsh Premier League | k/o 3.45pm LIVE: 3.00pm-6.00pm – S4C Liverpool v Fulham – Premier League | k/o: 5.30pm LIVE: 4.30pm-7.45pm – ESPN Crystal Palace v Huddersfield Town – Championship | k/o 5.20pm LIVE: 5.00pm-7.55pm – Sky Sports 2 Valladolid v Barcelona – La Liga (joining 15mins after k/o) LIVE: 5.15pm-7.00pm – Sky Sports 4 Malaga v Real Madrid – La Liga | k/o 7.00pm LIVE: 7.00pm-9.00pm – Sky Sports 4 AS Roma v AC Milan – Serie A | k/o: 7.45pm LIVE: 7.45pm-9.45pm – ESPN Football First: Game of the Day 8.25pm-10.15pm – Sky Sports 2 Athletic Bilbao v Real Zaragoza – La Liga | k/o 9.00pm LIVE: 9.00pm-11.00pm – Sky Sports 4 Match of the Day 10.25pm-11.55pm – BBC One The Football League Show 11.55pm-1.10am – BBC One TT 2012: Review Show (Part 1) 10.35am-11.35am – ITV4 British Superbike Championship Review 2012 6.00pm-8.00pm – ITV4 The Morning Line 7.55am-8.55am – Channel 4 Channel 4 Racing: Ascot & Haydock Park LIVE: 1.20pm-4.30pm – Channel 4 Live Racecard 14:00 – ASCOT: Shawbrook Bank Graduation Chase 14:15 – HAYDOCK PARK: Bet at BlueSq.com H’cap Hurdle 14:30 – ASCOT: Long Walk Hurdle 14:45 – HAYDOCK PARK: Blue Square Bet Tommy Whittle H’cap Chase 15:05 – ASCOT: Ascot Racecourse Silver Cup 15:40 – ASCOT: The Ladbroke Bath v Saracens – Aviva Premiership | k/o: 1.15pm LIVE: 12.45pm-3.30pm – ESPN Northampton Saints v Harlequins – Aviva Premiership | k/o: 3.15pm LIVE: 3.10pm-5.30pm – Sky Sports 3 Freestyle Skiing World Cup – Kreischberg, Austria Men’s & Women’s Dual Moguls disciplines LIVE: 12.30pm-1.30pm – British Eurosport 2