Best Sports on TV and Stream this Weekend (December 1-4, 2023)
Another week, another cracking lineup of sport to watch. After the end of the Formula 1 and tennis seasons last weekend, you could be forgiven for assuming this week would be a bit of a lull. However, there are plenty of rivalries and important clashes to watch, from basketball to hockey and even an intriguing matchup in the UFC.
Let’s take a look at what we have coming up this weekend.
NBA: 76ers at Celtics (December 1st)
This Friday’s NBA matchup between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers is going to be an absolute belter. The Celtics, with the best record in the NBA and coming off a strong performance against the Atlanta Hawks, have shown resilience and a renewed focus on rebounding. Their recent game saw them grab a season-high 18 offensive rebounds, contributing to a total of 58 rebounds and a 113-103 victory.
Al Horford and Neemias Queta were particularly impressive, with Horford leading the team with 15 rebounds and Queta making a significant impact off the bench. This rebounding strength will be crucial against the 76ers.
On the other side, the Philadelphia 76ers are riding high after a dominant 138-94 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers which lifted them to 4th place in the Eastern Conference. Joel Embiid was the star of the show, achieving his first triple-double of the season before the end of the third period, with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Tyrese Maxey also shone brightly, scoring 31 points and providing 8 assists. The 76ers' ability to shoot from long range and their overall offensive prowess were on full display, which will pose a significant challenge for the Celtics' defense.
Both teams are entering the game with momentum and key players in top form. The Celtics' rebounding and physicality against the 76ers' offensive firepower and star performances from Embiid and Maxey set the stage for an exciting and competitive game. Fans can expect a clash of styles and strategies as both teams vie for a crucial win in their respective campaigns.
Premier League: Manchester United at Newcastle United (December 2nd)
Next, we go to the big Premier League clash at St James' Park as Newcastle United host Manchester United. Both teams are riding high on confidence, with Newcastle coming off a resounding 4-1 victory over Chelsea and Manchester United securing a 3-0 win against Everton.
Newcastle, currently 7th in the table, just a point behind Manchester United, will be looking to capitalize on their recent form. Eddie Howe's side has been impressive, particularly in their last match against Chelsea. Young midfielder Lewis Miley, only 17, has been a standout performer for Newcastle, showcasing maturity beyond his years and playing a pivotal role in their recent successes.
Manchester United, under Erik ten Hag, have also been in fine form. The spotlight will be on Alejandro Garnacho following his spectacular overhead kick against Everton. Ten Hag has emphasized the need for consistency from the young winger, who has shown flashes of brilliance reminiscent of United greats but needs to maintain a high level of performance.
As both teams have significant European fixtures in the days leading up to this match, with Newcastle facing Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United playing Galatasaray, fitness and squad rotation could play a crucial role in the outcome.
This match is not just about the three points; it's a battle for a stronger position in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification.
UFC Fight Night: Darius vs. Tsarukyan (December 2nd)
This weekend's UFC Fight Night is set to captivate fans with a highly anticipated lightweight showdown between Beneil Dariush and Arman Tsarukyan in Austin, Texas. Dariush, a seasoned contender in the lightweight division, faces a formidable challenge in Tsarukyan, a rising star with a versatile skill set.
Dariush, currently ranked #4, is eager to bounce back from his recent defeat to Charles Oliveira in June at UFC 289. This setback interrupted his impressive eight-fight winning streak, but Dariush remains determined to reestablish himself as a title contender. His upcoming bout against Tsarukyan offers a perfect opportunity for redemption.
Tsarukyan, known for his well-rounded fighting style, has shown his prowess in previous victories over notable fighters like Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Damir Ismagulov. Despite suffering losses to Mateusz Gamrot and Islam Makhachev, Tsarukyan's ability to blend striking with wrestling makes him a complex opponent. Dariush acknowledges this, noting Tsarukyan's superior striking skills compared to past opponents, which effectively complements his wrestling tactics.
The event, beyond the headliners, features other notable names like Kelvin Gastelum, Bobby Green, Miesha Tate, Rob Font, Deiveson Figueiredo, and Clay Guida, ensuring a thrilling night for MMA enthusiasts.
As Dariush and Tsarukyan prepare to face off in the Moody Center, fans can expect a compelling clash of styles and strategies, with high stakes for both fighters in the lightweight division.
NHL: Rangers at Predators (December 2nd)
Finally, the NHL matchup between the Nashville Predators and the New York Rangers is shaping up to be a match to remember.
The Predators, riding a wave of success, owe much of their recent triumphs to Filip Forsberg. Forsberg has been a pivotal figure, tying the record for the most points in the first 20 games of a season in Predators history. His remarkable performance, especially after returning from a concussion, has been a key factor in Nashville's five-game winning streak, taking them up to 5th place in the Central Division.
Forsberg's contribution is not just in scoring but also in facilitating the offense, proving to be a balanced offensive playmaker. His efforts have been instrumental in the team's current form, and his partnership with Ryan O’Reilly has been particularly beneficial.
On the other side, the New York Rangers have recently faced a setback, losing 5-1 to the Buffalo Sabres. This loss highlighted some of the challenges the Rangers are currently facing, including turnovers and defensive zone mishaps, but they do still hold the best record in the NHL despite recent struggles.
The injury of Kaapo Kakko, who had to leave the game after a collision, adds to the team's concerns. Despite these challenges, the Rangers have shown resilience in the past and will be looking to bounce back in their upcoming game against the Predators.
The upcoming game promises to be a test of character for the Rangers, while the Predators will aim to continue their winning momentum. With Forsberg's exceptional form for Nashville and the Rangers seeking to overcome their recent defeat, this game is poised to be an exciting and competitive clash.
Author: Dan Anderson