London’s festive sporting highlights

WITH the weather having potentially put paid to any pre-planned foreign-based festive frolics, City A.M. has heroically rescued Christmas by pointing you in the direction of some of the sporting highlights the capital will be hosting.

FOOTBALL

Pivotal games at the top and bottom of the Premier League will be staged in London this weekend.

On Boxing Day, basement boys West Ham travel to Craven Cottage to take on a Fulham side who are only a place outside the relegation zone on goal difference. Meanwhile, also in west London, Championship pacesetters QPR will be looking to arrest their recent slide against fellow high-flyers Swansea. The following evening, Arsenal have the opportunity to end their woeful recent form against the top flight’s elite sides when they entertain champions Chelsea at Emirates Stadium. On New Year’s Day the Hammers will again be involved in a relegation six-pointer when Mick McCarthy’s Wolves come to town, while over at White Hart Lane the north versus west London derby between Spurs and Fulham promises to be an entertaining encounter.

RUGBY UNION

All eyes will be on Wembley come Boxing Day when Gavin Henson is likely to make his eagerly awaited comeback.

The two-time Welsh Grand Slam winner is set to end his 21-month self imposed exile from the sport and make his Saracens debut in front of an anticipated 50,000 fans at the famous old venue against Wasps.

The following afternoon stuttering London Irish will be looking for a much needed win at Harlequins. The Exiles then host Bath on New Year’s Day and the following afternoon sees the visit of Newcastle to Wasps.

HORSE RACING

Jump racing has suffered more than most at the hands of the weather recently. The early indications are that Boxing Day’s famous King George meet will go ahead, however.
The astonishing Kauto Star will be aiming to clinch a fifth win in the King George VI Chase – he’s already an odds-on shot with Long Run the likeliest candidate to cause an upset. The other Grade 1 race on the card, the William Hill Christmas Hurdle, is shaping up to be a three-way fight between Binocular, Starluck and Khyber Kim.