Rafa offers Reds a Christmas test

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Rafael Benitez

It’s another packed day of sport to look forward to on Boxing Day, with top level football, horse racing, cricket and basketball all battling for attention.

Klopp seeks another home suuccess

Liverpool lead the Premier League table by four points going into Christmas, with eight of last nine title winners also top on December 25.

The Reds will meet a former favourite on Boxing Day, when ex-manager Rafa Benitez returns with his current club, Newcastle.

Benitez is the master when it comes to finding the tactics to stifle a team’s threat and exploit their weaknesses. He will certainly look to frustrate Liverpool for long periods, but the leaders should ultimately be too strong for a Newcastle team who are in the bottom half.

Don’t expect a goalfest at Anfield, though, and backing ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ at 19/10 could be a good option.

Meanwhile, Manchester City and Tottenham will hope that Liverpool slip up and they can take advantage against Leicester and Bournemouth respectively.

All eyes on Kempton cracker

There will be no fewer than three Class 1 contests at Kempton on December 26, with the pick of the races being the King George VI Chase.

Might Bite won this race 12 months ago and Nicky Henderson’s charge is likely to go off the favourite, currently 3/1, despite a poor display at Haydock last month.

Wetherby also has a Class 1 encounter in it’s seven-race card, the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase. Sue Smith’s Wakanda is expected to go off the favourite.

MCG will suit Australia bowlers

The finely-poised Test series between Australia and India heads in to the third clash at the Melbourne Cricket Ground this week.
The MCG on Boxing Day is one of the finest venue’s in world sport and with over 90,000 fans in attendance, Australia will look to take a grip on the series – which is currently 1-1.

Reports Down Under suggest the pitch is looking green and could suit the quick bowlers. If that is the case, then 21/20 looks a decent price for the home side.

GSW too good for LeBron’s Lakers

There are two NBA games on December 26. Utah Jazz face Portland Trail Blazers, but no doubt the bigger game takes place at the Oracle Arena.

It’s the defending champions Golden State Warriors against the LA Lakers, led of course by the legendary LeBron James (MoneyLine – Warriors 20/87, Lakers 59/20).

Steph Curry and LeBron went toe-to-toe in the NBA finals last year, with Curry winning out over LeBroon’s old side – Cleveland Cavaliers.

It might be more of this same this time, with the Warriors having home advantage and Golden State looking a strong side at present.

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