Who Will Replace Ian Wright On Match Of The Day?

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Who Will Replace Ian Wright On Match Of The Day?
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Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright announced in December he would step back from Match of the Day at the end of last season.  

The star was best known for his goalscoring during his playing days, but he has been a regular fixture on the football highlights show ever since making his debut while still a player in 1997.  

Those who have tuned in to ITV's Euro 2024 coverage will have no doubt seen Wright offering his views throughout the tournament, along with some snazzy shirts and a bit of banter thrown in for good measure.   

While he opted against having the summer off, the star won't be a regular on Saturday nights anymore, which has sparked speculation on betting sites about who might take his place.  

Wright has said he will "always be watching" Match of the Day, but which pundit will fill his seat?  

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Richards Hot Favourite  

Wright has built up a firm friendship with Match of the Day host Gary Lineker and fellow regular pundit Alan Shearer over the years, so BBC bosses are likely to replace him with someone who has a similar relationship.  

If so, Micah Richards, who is 4/6 favourite on football betting sites to take Wright's place, could be a shoo-in for the job.  

Richards already appears as a pundit on Match of the Day and has been working for the BBC as part of their Euro 2024 coverage this summer.  

What's more, he has a strong bond with Lineker and Shearer, his co-hosts on the podcast The Rest Is Football.  

Who Will Replace Ian Wright On Match Of The Day Odds?

Pundit

Odds

Probability

Micah Richards

4/6

60%

Alex Scott

Evens

50%

Jermaine Jenas

2/1

33.3%

Rio Ferdinand

3/1

25%

Danny Murphy

4/1

20%

Didier Drogba

5/1

16.7%

Martin Keown

6/1

14.3%

Fara Williams

8/1

11.1%

Shaun Wright-Phillips

9/1

10%

Jermain Defoe

10/1

9.1%

Fellow former footballer Alex Scott is another pundit who appears to be well in favour at the BBC.  

She stood in as Match of the Day host when Lineker was unavailable and is a regular pundit on the channel.  

If bosses are looking for a woman to take Wright's place, then Evens chance Scott appears to be the person for the job, or her former Lioness team-mate Fara Williams (8/1) could also be in consideration.  

Jermaine Man For The Job 

However, Football Focus presenter Scott may be holding out for the main job - replacing Lineker.  

So too could former Spurs and Newcastle star Jermaine Jenas. 

He has also been a regular fixture of the BBC's Euros coverage, and since retiring from the beautiful game he has done plenty of TV work.  

Jenas, who is 2/1 on specials betting sites to replace Wright, is clearly liked by BBC bosses, as he is also a presenter on TV magazine programme The One Show.  

Other former England stars-turned-pundits who could be in line to replace Wright include 3/1 shot Rio Ferdinand, who adds defensive experience to the attacking insight of Shearer and Lineker when he works alongside them, as does Martin Keown (6/1).  

But if the BBC want to pair Lineker and Shearer up with another big-name striker then how about Didier Drogba?  

The ex-Chelsea star is 5/1, and also has experience as a BBC pundit after working for the corporation during the 2022 Qatar World Cup.  

Keep It In The Family 

Just days after revealing in December he was quitting MOTD, Wright admitted the reason was because he wants to watch even more football. 

That includes going to see his granddaughter, Arsenal youngster Raphaella Wright-Phillips - who is the daughter of Wright's son, former Manchester City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips - in action.  

Speaking on his Wrighty’s House podcast in December, the ex-England star said: "I’m going to actually watch more football. I’m going to watch my granddaughter. I’m going to watch a lot more women’s games. 

"I’m going to watch a lot more Arsenal games, just to be there with fans. Go with my son and his missus, be amongst it, just to celebrate when we win or when we lose. 

"It’s been a bit of a realisation that I want to give quality time to them. So that’s what I want. To watch games, spend time with people." 

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Could the BBC even keep Wright's former role in the family?  

Ex-City star Wright-Phillips is a 9/1 outsider on betting apps to replace his dad on the show.  

It looks unlikely, but the pair have already made history on the BBC programme after they became the first father and son punditry team to appear on the show in May 2023.  

Whoever lands the job, they will have big boots to fill.  

* Reminder: These are hypothetical odds provided by industry experts.

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