THE winter break is almost here, bringing with it some welcome relief for Ladbrokes Premiership players but also a black hole in the viewing calendars of top-flight fans across Scotland.

After tomorrow’s round of games, there will be a three-week hiatus before the top 12 teams in the country return to action in the Scottish Cup fourth round on 20 January.

So what will keep you occupied in the meantime during those dark January days?

Here, we have put together a list of some of the best sporting events going on during the winter break to help make the time fly.

Football

Scotland

Although Premiership games will grind to a halt after New Year, there will still be full fixture cards on in the Championship, League One and League Two.

Championship clubs are even offering free entry to children under 12 for two weekends during the break, on January 6 and 13.

Games live on TV: Morton v St Mirren (2 January), Dunfermline v St Mirren (26 January)

Championship fixtures

2 January: Full round of fixtures

6 January: Full round of fixtures

9 January: Inverness CT v Falkirk

13 January: Full round of fixtures

England

The Premier League continues with games on New Year’s Day and a number of exciting fixtures taking place throughout the Scottish break, including Arsenal v Chelsea on 3 January and Liverpool v Manchester City on 14 January.

The FA Cup third round kicks off on 5 January as the top-tier teams enter the tournament, while Man City will face Bristol City and Chelsea take on Arsenal in the the Carabao Cup semi-final first legs over 9 and 10 January.

1-3 January: Premier League matchday 22

5-8 January: FA Cup third rounud

9-10 January: Carabao Cup semi-final first legs

13-15 January: Premier League matchday 23Evening Times:

Rugby

Glasgow and Edinburgh will be kept busy in January, with domestic and European duties to attend to.

5 January: Edinburgh vs Southern Kings (Pro14)

12 January: Edinburgh v Stade Francais (Challenge Cup)

6 January: Zebre v Glasgow Warriors (Pro14)

13 January: Leinster v Glasgow Warriors (Champions Cup)

Darts

There is plenty for darts fans to look forward to in the coming weeks, with the PDF World Championship culminating on New Year’s Day before the BDO World Darts Championship gets underway just five days later.

1 January: PDC World Championship final

6-14 January: BDO World Darts ChampionshipEvening Times:

Snooker

The 2018 Dafabet Masters at Alexandra Palace in London will see Ronnie O’Sullivan attempt to defend his crown as the number one seed.

14-21 January: Dafabet Masters

Tennis

The tennis season kicks off in style in Melbourne as Andy Murray attempts to bounce back from a disappointing year in the first grand slam event of 2018. With Novak Djokovic out injured and Rafa Nadal in doubt, can the Scot make an impact?

15-28 Jan: Australian Open

Cricket

England will be playing for pride in the fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney, with Australia already leading 3-0 with the Fourth Test ongoing.

4-8 Jan: Fifth Ashes Test