Premier League gets busy in December

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All I want for Christmas is a championship run. The EPL is traditionally one of the busiest leagues around the festive period/Vice Sports

By Ray Hamill

Fasten your seat belts, it’s gonna be a wild few weeks in the English Premier League.

While other leagues around Europe usually take it easy around Christmas, the EPL has traditionally taken the opposite approach and packed the schedule for the month of December.

Managers hate it, but fans love it, with as many games as they could wish for around the holiday.

To put it in perspective, think about it this way. The EPL season stretches from August to May, with games being played in 10 different months. But more than a quarter of that schedule (10 of the 38 rounds) occur in the five-and-a-half weeks between Nov. 25th and New Year’s Day.

That’s by far the busiest part of the schedule. A stretch that can decide championships, and a run that can go a long way toward deciding who gets into the Champions League for 2018 and who gets relegated.

Enjoy the ride.

Fantasy football has changed the way we watch

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Fantasy football playoffs begin in most leagues this week/fansfavorite

By Ray Hamill

It’s crunch time in the fantasy world, and for most leagues around the country the playoffs get under way this week.

It all comes down to this. An entire season of game planning, maneuvering, wire scanning and agonizing game-time decisions all leading up to this weekend.

Bragging rights are on the line.

Pride is on the line.

And more importantly, there’s money on the line.

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Few surprises so far in the EPL, but plenty to play for

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Liverpool and Everton will face off on Sunday in the first Merseyside derby of the season/ESPN

By Ray Hamill

There have not been too many surprises in the English Premier League so far this season.

At the top of the table, the list of contenders is pretty much as expected, with Manchester City leading the way, while the chasing pack has provided some early surprises but appears to be settling down.

At the bottom of the standings, Swansea City, West Ham, Crystal Palace and West Brom have all failed to impress and look likely to be mired in a relegation battle for the next few months, while newcomers Huddersfield Town got off to a nice start and for now at least remain clear of the relegation zone..

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The EPL’s version of rivalry week is here

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Manchester City will travel to Old Trafford to play cross-city rivals Manchester United in a top-of-the-table clash Sunday morning/Daily Mirror

By Ray Hamill

A busy December in the EPL continues this weekend with some crucial matchups, including a top-of-the-table clash that could go a long way toward deciding the title.

And if you’re into derby games, then Christmas is coming early for you, with three of them involving the frontrunners over the next 48 hours.

The action gets under way with an all-London affair at 7:30 EDT Saturday morning when West Ham hosts Chelsea, the latter of whom currently sits third in the standings and will be hoping to make up some room on the top two.

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The sport of shin kicking not what it used to be

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Two shin kicking contestants in action/BBC

By Ray Hamill

This year has been one to forget for the poor old shin kickers of the world. They’re hoping 2018 will be better.

This, of course, begs numerous questions, most notably what the hell is shin kicking?

Well, let me explain.

The sport of shin kicking – and we use the term “sport” loosely here – is pretty much just as it sounds, where two competitors literally try to kick the living daylights out of each other’s shins until one of them falls to the ground in submission, presumably in some degree of agony.

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