Has a poor ref decision put a dampener on your festive cheer recently? Perhaps it’s worth trying to see it from their angle, and the good news is you get the chance to do just that this weekend.
The Rugby Football Union is trialling ‘RefCam’ in this Sunday’s Championship match between Newcastle Falcons and London Scottish (Sky Sports 3, k/o 3.15pm). A small high def camera will be attached to referee Matt Carley’s shirt and viewers will be able to watch (and hear) all the action from close quarters. Expect close up shots of stud stamping and underhand tactics at scrum time. Depending on how the experiment goes next year could see the same thing rolled out at Premiership matches like Wasps v Sale Sharks this Sunday (ESPN, k/o 2pm).
We haven’t needed a ref’s eye view to spot some of the dubious dives in the Premier League this season. Arsenal’s Santi Cazorla’s was the most recent target of vitriol when his collapse in the penalty box robbed West Brom of a chance at a draw. Arsenal travel to Wigan this Saturday (SS3, 12.45pm) – with both teams capable of some nifty play on their day, here’s hoping Lineker and Hansen don’t have to spend the whole of Match of The Day talking about a dodgy fall in the box.
Even though he will be pitchside at Wigan, Arsene Wenger may find his thoughts straying back to London, where 20 year old Wilfried Zaha will be lining up for Crystal Palace against Huddersfield (SS2, k/o 5.20pm). Arsene’s made no secret of wanting to sign the England international new boy in January, and he’s not the only one. If Palace’s manager Ian Holloway had his way, he’d have every Premier League scout stuck in the stadium car park.
Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Steven Finn may have nabbed themselves an early flight home after their Test cricket exploits, but there’s no such luck for the rest of the T20 side as they play their second match against India this Saturday (SS1, 1pm).
Swansea play Manchester United on Sunday (SS1, k/o 1.30pm). The Welsh side showed with their convincing win away to Arsenal that they’ve very much made themselves at home in the Premier League during what can all too easily turn into a difficult second season. United however won’t want give up their very comfy six point cushion at the top of the table. Robin Van Persie’s crafted finish at Sunderland has already taken him to 12 goals in the league this season. He’ll be sniffing around the Swansea back line for more.
Later in the day Chelsea play Aston Villa (SS1, k/o 4pm) with Rafael Benitez hoping for some Christmas cheer from Stamford Bridge. Chelsea’s season is still far from over, especially after Torres managed to get himself on the score sheet again during their 5-1 rout of Leeds in the League Cup.