Countdown host Rachel Riley has been signed up by Sky to co-present coverage leading up to live games on Friday in a move the broadcaster hopes will appeal to pubs.

As part of the 126 live Premier League games on Sky Sports this season, 10 will be kick off at 8pm on Fridays.

The first, on August 19, sees Manchester United host Southampton. Then on September 16 Liverpool travel to Chelsea.

Rachel will co-host Friday Night football from 6.30pm with her former Countdown colleague Jeff Stelling. They will be joined by pundits, celebrity fans and football fans from other sports.

 

 

At a pre-season briefing both of the hosts told Inapub they believe the new show will work well in in the on trade.

Rachel said: "The aim is to make it a bit lighter. It's a Friday night so it will be up against typical Friday night shows and after a long hard week people will want to have a glass of wine and watch some football.

"There will still be the pundits providing all the knowledge but with a bit of fun as well."

Jeff added: "I can't think of a better way to start the weekend than watching a Premier League match in the pub – it's just perfect."

Both pointed to 4-3 games as the most memorable ones they had ever seen in a pub. Manchester United fan Rachel highlighting Michael Owen's winner against local rivals City and Jeff recalling being in a pub in Liverpool when they famously beat Newcastle 4-3.

Rachel also revealed interesting tastes when it came to food and drink matching.

"I quite like an Aperol Spritz and a shepherd's pie. I'll go by myself or take my other half, I love going to the pub. There's always more atmosphere and you get different opinions as well."

Sky, which broadcasts the first game of the season on Saturday lunchtime with champions Leicester travelling to Hull, have also re-signed Gary Neville following his stint in management with Valencia.