WEEK AHEAD: The final week of the year features exciting action from Ally Pally and the Premier League.

On Monday the third round of the Darts World Championships gets back underway after a three-day Christmas break, beginning at 12:30 on Sky Sports. For racing fans there is top class action from Kempton and Chepstow, which stages its annual Welsh National meeting, on ITV4 from 12:45. Harlequins host Northampton Saints at 16:15 on BT Sport, before Man United travel to St James’ Park to face Newcastle United for the only Premier League fixture of the day at 20:00 (Sky Sports). At 23:00 (BT Sport), the third Test will be halfway through when we join the Ashes action Down Under from the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In the NFL the New Orleans Saints are on the road to face the Miami Dolphins at 01:15 (Sky Sports).

Tuesday sees no let-up in the action. Catch darts from Alexandra Palace at 12:30. ITV Racing brings you coverage from across the Irish Sea, with Grade 1 action at Leopardstown to look forward to (ITV4, 12:55). Then there are three 15:00 kick-offs to choose from on Amazon Prime, including Crystal Palace v Norwich, Southampton v Tottenham and Watford v West Ham. Later, Liverpool travel to face Leicester at 20:00 (Amazon Prime Video). Finish the day in style with the Ashes (23:00, BT Sport) – can England stage a series fight back as the third Test nears its conclusion?

Darts continue to fly on Wednesday from 12:30. Chelsea will be hoping to rekindle their early season form as we head into the New Year against Brighton in a 19:30 kick-off on Amazon Prime. Man City have to avoid being stung when they face Brentford at 20:15, also on Amazon Prime. At 23:00, the third Test concludes and we will learn whether the Ashes are still within England’s grasp.

At 12:30 on Thursday the fourth round of the darts concludes. Rafa Benitez’s Everton side face his old club, Newcastle at 19:30, while Man United host Burnley at 20:15. Both games are live on Amazon Prime Video.

Friday is New Year’s Eve and sees a rare lull in the live action.

Saturday, January 1st 2022 begins with darts quarter-final coverage as the World Championship starts to hot up. There’s a brilliant looking clash in the Premier League to look forward to as a rejuvenated Arsenal face the ultimate challenge of their top four credentials against Man City, from 12:30 on BT Sport. Then switch over to Sky Sports at 17:30 for Crystal Palace against West Ham.

The 14:00 kick-off on Sunday sees Brentford take on Aston Villa, live on Sky Sports. The clash of the week has to be Chelsea v Liverpool (16:30, Sky Sports), a tie that has delivered 13 goals in their last four meetings. At the Ally Pally, darts fly at a later time of 19:30 (Sky Sports). NFL fans will have to wait up until 01:20 on Bank Holiday Monday for a colossal clash between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings, also live on Sky Sports.

Let’s hope the rest of 2022 can live up to this level of action!