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The start of the World Cup headlines Sunday's sporting action
  1. Football

Wednesday’s Sport: Premier League takes centre stage

There are four intriguing Premier League encounters to look forward to on Wednesday as well as a full Serie A programme, including Napoli's trip to Inter Milan.

In rugby union, London Irish face Bath in the Premiership Rugby Cup, while horse racing is scheduled to take place at Newcastle, Hereford, Dundalk and Kempton, and can be followed on our Sports Live Streaming platform.

Premier League: Relegation six-pointer at St Mary's

WhatSouthampton v Nottingham Forest
WhereSt Mary's Stadium, Southampton
When19.30 Wednesday, 4th January
OddsSouthampton 1/1, Draw 5/2, Nottingham Forest 11/4

A win for either Southampton or Nottingham Forest on Wednesday could be crucial in their battle to avoid the drop.

Both sides begin the match in the bottom three, with Southampton's decision to axe Ralph Hasenhuttl and replace him with Nathan Jones yet to have the desired effect.

Saints have lost their last five Premier League games and have slipped to the foot of the table after suffering defeats to Brighton and Fulham since Christmas.

Forest have been showing signs of life recently after making a disastrous start to the campaign and have suffered just one defeat in their last four league matches.

Steve Cooper's side are poor travellers though - they have taken only two points from eight away outings - but will have been buoyed by Sunday's excellent 1-1 draw with Chelsea at The City Ground.

Premier League: In-form Villa to add to Wolves' woes

WhatAston Villa v Wolves
WhereVilla Park, Birmingham
When20.00 Wednesday, 4th January
OddsAston Villa 19/20, Draw 13/5, Wolves 3/1

Aston Villa have been transformed since Unai Emery succeeded Steven Gerrard and a run of four victories in their last six top-flight encounters has catapulted them up the table.

Sunday’s 2-0 victory at Tottenham was particularly impressive and they now seem more than capable of clinching a top-half finish this season.

A lack of goals seems certain to mean Wolves are embroiled in a battle to avoid relegation in the last five months of the season.

They have managed to score just 10 goals in 17 Premier League matches to date and have failed to find the net in nine of those encounters.

In the evening’s other matches Leeds United are 31/20 to beat struggling West Ham and Spurs are 6/5 to triumph against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Serie A: High-flying Napoli seek San Siro success

WhatInter Milan v Napoli
WhereSan Siro, Milan, Italy
When19:45 Wednesday, 4th January
How to watchBT Sport 1
OddsInter Milan 13/10, Draw 12/5, Napoli 21/10

Napoli are eight points clear of second-placed AC Milan heading into Wednesday’s fixtures after winning 13 and drawing two of their opening 15 Serie A fixtures this season.

Luciano Spalletti's side will find it tough to beat Inter though, particularly as Romelu Lukaku is fit again and looks set to start at centre-forward for the hosts.

Inter have won 10 and lost five of their 15 Serie A matches and Simone Inzaghi's side emerged victorious in their last two league games before domestic action was halted for the World Cup.

Inter have won their last three home Serie A games against Napoli, who are 4/9 To Win Serie A Outright this season.

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