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Thursday's Sport: Championship takes centre stage

Eight Championship fixtures take place on Thursday evening, while La Liga springs into action after its break for the World Cup, with Atletico Madrid among the teams in action.

League One and League Two also feature prominently, with 10 games being played in both of those divisions, while in France there are four matches in Ligue 1 on the schedule.

Away from football, the World Darts Championship continues at the Ally Pally, there are two matches in the Big Bash League in Australia and five race meetings from across the UK and Ireland which can be followed on our Sports Live Streaming platform.

Championship: Blades aim to draw level with Burnley

What: Blackpool v Sheffield United
Where: Bloomfield Road, Blackpool
When: 20:15, Thursday 29th December 2022
How to watch: Sky Sports Football
Odds: Blackpool 16/5, Draw 11/4, Sheffield United 5/6

Sheffield United have an opportunity to go level on points with Championship leaders Burnley when they head to Bloomfield Road to take on Blackpool on Thursday evening.

The Blades have responded superbly to a six-match winless run in October by winning seven of their next eight games to roar back into contention for automatic promotion back to the Premier League.

Paul Heckingbottom's side have won their last four in the Championship, although their 3-1 victory at home to Coventry City last time out came at the expense of a red card for John Egan.

The Bramall Lane outfit are unbeaten in their last six meetings with the Seasiders, although the last two clashes at Bloomfield Road have ended goalless.

Another draw on Thursday evening is priced at 11/4, while a 0-0 final scoreline can be backed at 10/1.

La Liga: Atletico aim to get back on track

What: Atletico Madrid v Elche
Where: Civitas Metropolitano, Madrid
When: 20:30, Thursday 29th December 2022
How to watch: Viaplay, LaLigaTV
Odds: Atletico Madrid 3/4, Draw 19/4, Elche 12/1

Atletico Madrid picked up just one point from their final three La Liga games before the break for the World Cup, but will expect to get back to winning ways when rock-bottom Elche are their visitors on Thursday evening.

Los Franjiverdes have yet to win a game in La Liga this season and have lost every league meeting with Atleti since returning to the Spanish top-flight in 2013/14.

Los Colchoneros are set to have a number of key players available again after World Cup duty, while the visitors have both Jony Alamo and John Donald ruled out due to injury.

Atleti have won the last three meetings of these two sides to nil and are 5/6 to stretch that record to four, with the hosts 4/6 to keep a clean sheet.

Darts: Welsh wonders hit the oche

What: World Darts Championship
When: 15th December 2022 - 3rd January 2023
Where: Alexandra Palace, London
How to watch: Sky Sports
Odds: Michael van Gerwen 9/4, Gerwyn Price 5/1, Michael Smith 11/2, Josh Rock 15/2, Jonny Clayton 11/1

Wales' best head the agenda on Day 12 of the World Darts Championship at the Ally Pally, with both Gerwyn Price and Jonny Clayton in action in the evening session.

2021 champion and top seed Price takes on Jose de Sousa in round four, with the Portuguese having won final-set deciders against both Simon Whitlock and Ryan Searle.

Price coasted into the fourth round with a 4-0 drubbing of Raymond van Barneveld and is 3/10 to see off De Sousa, while the Iceman is 5/1 to prevail in a seven-set thriller.

The final match of the day is an intriguing one as Price's compatriot, Jonny Clayton, faces the rising star of darts, Northern Ireland's Josh Rock.

Rock is 8/11 to continue his Ally Pally run by defeating Clayton, who has never been past the fourth round of the World Championship in six previous attempts.

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