Ian Wright to make Match of the Day history next to Gary Lineker

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Ian Wright is poised to make broadcasting history by forming part of the only father-and-son punditry team to have ever appeared on Match of the Day this weekend. The former Arsenal and Crystal Palace striker is a regular on the show alongside Gary Lineker but will be joined by his son and fellow ex-player Shaun Wright-Phillips for the very first time on Saturday night.

The pair will be tasked with running the rule over the day’s Premier League fixtures, with Manchester United and Chelsea among the sides that will be covered on the BBC’s flagship football programme. The Red Devils will face Wolves at Old Trafford as they continue to hunt down a top-four finish at the end of the season, while Chelsea will be in search of back-to-back victories when they welcome Nottingham Forest to Stamford Bridge.

Leeds United will also be in action against Newcastle on Saturday afternoon, with Aston Villa due to face Tottenham and Southampton poised to entertain Fulham alongside Palace’s meeting with Bournemouth at Selhurst Park.

Wright and Wright-Phillips will join usual host Lineker on Match of the Day to round up all of the day’s top-flight action on BBC Two, with the show having been moved over from BBC One due to Eurovision taking place in Liverpool at the same time. The pair will be the first father-and-son punditry duo in the programme’s long and storied history, with Wright-Phillips having already worked as an analyst for the likes of BT Sport, Sky Sports and Premier League Productions.

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The latter, who made over 60 appearances for Manchester City during his playing career, recently poked fun at his father in the aftermath of their crucial victory over Arsenal last month by posting a tweet which read: “Hi @IanWright how’s things? Just checking… Hope you’re okay, dad.” Lineker made sure to show the message to Wright on that night’s Match of the Day and there is every chance that the same topic could be discussed again in the presence of both parties in the studio on Saturday evening.

Wright, meanwhile, was one of several pundits to boycott the show earlier this year when Lineker was suspended over a tweet in which he criticised the language used by the UK government in setting out their new policy on asylum seekers. He later slammed the BBC for their handling of the situation by accusing channel bosses of blowing things entirely out of proportion over a simple post on social media.

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“I said on the podcast before it all kicked off, it’s a perfect distraction,” said Wright on the Wrighty’s House podcast. “It’s a perfect distraction from what really matters, and for me they made a hot mess I’m telling you.

“This is all from high up. I can’t blame my man Philip Bernie [the head of BBC TV sport], the BBC Sport team. All of this is over a tweet. At some stage, surely, heads have got to roll. The mismanagement levels of this is, I can’t even tell you, but it’s done. Everybody knows how I feel about it. I’m just pleased that it’s kind of come to something.”

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