The winter break has brought an end to a number of leagues, including La Liga, Bundesliga and Eredivisie action for the next month, allowing players the chance to spend some time with their families and recover from what has been a strenuous first half to the campaign.
However, the Scottish Premiership goes on, offering the perfect opportunity to get your football fix over the Christmas period.
Football fans are usually forced to wait until Boxing Day for football to return. However, Christmas Eve will see Scottish Premiership title-chasers Rangers go up against strugglers Inverness, as both sides look to go into Christmas in high spirits.
Saturday’s game should offer plenty of action for neutral fans, given the clear gap in quality between the two sides. Rangers go into the match in second place with 35 points on the board, while Inverness have recorded just three wins in their first 18 league matches, which has left them just a point off of bottom place going into Christmas.
A win for Inverness could see them climb as high as seventh in the table, which would see them move away from the automatic relegation spot that they will be keen to avoid. Yet, it has been seven long games without a win for Richie Foran’s side, and few will expect them to take anything from their visit to the Ibrox Stadium.
Thankfully for Inverness, there is little chance of them falling into last place, as 12th placed Partick Thistle travel to sixth placed Ross County in a game that they are likely to lose. Likewise, Dundee FC, Motherwell and Hamilton Academical face Hearts, Aberdeen and Celtic, the three teams occupying the top four spots alongside Rangers. With that in mind, another defeat is unlikely to be too costly for Inverness.
Rangers, on the other hand, go into the festive clash having claimed five wins in their last six league matches. An inconsistent start to the season allowed Celtic to push ahead in their pursuit of a sixth consecutive Scottish Premiership title. However, Rangers have since made second place their own, pulling seven points ahead of third and fourth placed Aberdeen and Hearts.
That lead could have been even greater, had they avoided a disappointing 2-0 loss to Hearts at the end of November. However, that defeat appeared to have kicked Mark Warburton’s side into gear, as they have since recorded three consecutive victories for the first time this season.
They will be confident of making it four in a row against Inverness, especially following Martyn Waghorn’s impressive double against Hamilton last time out, which secured all three points for the Scottish club. Goal scoring hasn’t been Rangers’ strongest asset this season - they rank fourth for goals scored among the top four, but they proved with last week’s victory that they can produce the goods when it matters and they are likely to do so again against Inverness.