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The first round of the FA Cup continues on Saturday
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January Sport Preview

January is another packed month of sport, with the third and fourth rounds of the FA Cup allowing the smaller sides to dream.

The first month of the year also always hosts tennis' Australian Open, the final of the Darts World Championship, as well as the first big fight of the year and a trip to Dubai on the DP World Tour.

Tuesday 3rd January

Darts: Ally Pally champion to be crowned

What: World Darts Championship Final
Where: Alexandra Palace, London
When: Tuesday 3rd January 2023
How to watch: Sky Sports Darts
Odds: Michael van Gerwen 21/20, Michael Smith 10/3, Gerwyn Price 9/2, Jonny Clayton 10/1, Dimitri van den Bergh 18/1

The 2023 World Darts Championship concludes on Tuesday, with eight players still battling it out for global supremacy at the Alexandra Palace.

Michael van Gerwen leads the betting at 21/20 To Win Outright as he eyes a fourth world title and will face Chris Dobey in the quarter-finals on Sunday.

Gerwyn Price, who conquered the Ally Pally in 2021, is 9/2 To Win Outright ahead of his quarter-final meeting with Gabriel Clemens, while two-time runner-up Michael Smith may feel it is finally his time at 10/3 To Win Outright.

Friday 6th January

FA Cup: Big boys join the magic

What: FA Cup, third round
Where: Various
When: Friday 6th January - Monday 9th January
How to watch: ITV. Selected games on bet 365's Sports Live Streaming
Odds: Man City 3/1, Liverpool 6/1, Arsenal 7/1, Tottenham 8/1, Man Utd 10/1

The most famous domestic cup competition in the world moves up a gear on the first weekend of January as teams from the Premier League and Championship make their first appearances in this season’s FA Cup.

Reigning champions Liverpool are 6/1 To Win Outright, while Arsenal are 7/1 to claim their record-extending 15th title.

They kick off their campaign on Monday 9th January when they take on League One Oxford but the tie of the round comes on Sunday 8th January as Man City host Chelsea.

The fourth round of the FA Cup is also on the agenda on the final weekend of January.

Monday 16th January

Australian Open: Djokovic and Nadal eye history in Melbourne

What: Australian Open
Where: Melbourne Park, Melbourne
When: Monday 16th January - Sunday 29th January
How to watch: Amazon Prime

The first Grand Slam of the season begins on Monday 16th January as the best tennis players in the world head to Melbourne Park for the Australian Open.

In the men's tournament, history is at stake as defending champion Rafael Nadal, 12/1 To Win Outright, looks to win a record-extending 23rd major.

However, Novak Djokovic is back at the event after missing out in 2022 and will be looking to win his 10th Melbourne crown. He is 11/10 to Win Outright and in the process move level with Nadal on 22 Slams.

In the women's event, there will be a new champion with 2022 hero Ashleigh Barty having retired last March after winning her home tournament.

World number one Iga Swiatek, a beaten semi-finalist on her last trip to Melbourne, is 13/8 to win her fourth Grand Slam and is clearly one to watch, having claimed both the French and US Opens in 2022.

The Pole will not have it all her own way, though, with Caroline Garcia, reigning Wimbledon champion Aryna Sabalenka and SW19 beaten finalist Ons Jabeur all 12/1 To Win Outright.

Saturday 21st January

Boxing: All-British bout in Manchester

What: Chris Eubank Jr v Liam Smith
Where: Ovo Arena, Manchester
When: 22:00, Saturday 21st January
How to watch: Sky Sports Box Office
Odds: Chris Eubank Jr 2/5, Liam Smith 7/4

The first big fight of the year takes place on Saturday 21st January when Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Smith meet in Manchester.

Eubank has the size and weight advantage but Smith says he has taken his time to ensure he is “100 per cent ready”.

After beating Jessie Vargas at Madison Square Garden in 2022, the Liverpool fighter is now looking to fulfil another childhood dream.

Smith has revealed that if he beats Eubank, he will use a rematch clause to take him on at Anfield.

It promises to be a magnificent match-up in Manchester.

Thursday 26th January

DP World Tour: A date for the big names in Dubai

What: Dubai Desert Classic
Where: Emirates Golf Club, Dubai
When: Thursday 26th January - Sunday 29th January
How to watch: Sky Sports Golf and bet365’s Live Golf Tracker

The DP World Tour may have lost some of its lustre over recent years but one event that always attracts a stellar field is the Dubai Desert Classic.

One of the jewels of the early-season calendar, the tournament’s list of former winners includes Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie.

More recent champions include 2022 hero Viktor Hovland and Rory McIlory, both of whom are expected to tee it up for another duel in the desert.

The tournament also carries plenty of both world ranking and Ryder Cup qualification points and is almost always a low-scoring affair.

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