Why is Gary Lineker not hosting Match of the Day tonight? MOTD absence explained

Gary Lineker has hosted Match of the Day since 1999 (PA Wire)
Gary Lineker has hosted Match of the Day since 1999 (PA Wire)

Gary Lineker is not hosting Match of the Day tonight.

Match of the Day 2 host Mark Chapman is instead deputising for the England football legend on the BBC’s signature Premier League highlights programme on Saturday.

Lineker took to social media earlier in the day to announce that he was unable to present the show on this occasion due to a lingering cold.

On X, formerly known as Twitter, the former Leicester, Tottenham, Everton and Barcelona striker, who has hosted Match of the Day since 1999, wrote: “Some good news for some: I’ve been silenced….with a rotten cold that seems to be lasting forever. Hate missing hosting @BBCMOTD but I’ll be watching.”

Lineker will return to Match of the Day hosting duties as normal next weekend.

Instead, tonight Chapman will join pundits Alan Shearer and Martin Keown in analysing another hectic day of Premier League action, with MOTD beginning at 10:30pm GMT on BBC One.

Manchester City kicked off the action with a 2-0 lunchtime win over Everton, with Erling Haaland netting a late double at the Etihad Stadium to temporarily take Pep Guardiola’s defending champions top of the table.

Liverpool had a chance to mount a swift response at home to Burnley, while Tottenham clashed with Brighton, Fulham hosted Bournemouth, Wolves entertained Brentford and Luton battled Sheffield United, before Newcastle made the trip to Nottingham Forest in the day’s late kick-off.

On Sunday, Match of the Day 2 will look back on a huge London derby between West Ham and Arsenal, plus Aston Villa and Manchester United going head to head at Villa Park for the first time since their Old Trafford Boxing Day epic.

The latest Premier League gameweek rounds off with another all-capital clash on Monday night, when Chelsea go to face struggling Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.