It’s the eve of the FA Cup fourth round ties, one of the most important dates in the English football calendar.
Although the country almost always waits with baited breath for the third round, if there are still any giant killings to be had once the teams have been whittled down from 64 to 32, invariably more eyes are on them.
That will certainly be the case this weekend, as the lowest ranked team left in the competition, Kidderminster Harriers, take on Premier League West Ham United, in a repeat of their clash way back in 1994.
On that occasion a solitary Lee Chapman goal was enough to put the Hammers through against a dogged and determined Kidderminster side.
Manchester United’s game at home to Middlesbrough on Friday night kicks off proceedings before the Hammers look to avoid embarrassment on Saturday lunchtime, with the remainder of the other fixtures spread over the weekend.
Under normal circumstances, we could expect to hear the dulcet tones of Gary Lineker hosting Match of the Day Live, but that isn’t going to be possible this weekend.
The genial host has been forced off the airwaves and won’t be back for a little while yet.
That’s because, after coming back from South Africa, Lineker has managed to catch Covid and will, per the government’s protocols, now have to self-isolate.
Long time since I got between the lines. Arrived back from Cape Town early this morning. Started feeling a little unwell on the flight. Sorry to those sitting near, although I wore a mask for the entirety of the journey as didn’t eat. Hope I didn’t pass it on to anyone on BA42. pic.twitter.com/sWhQ1zVA7v
— Gary Lineker ? (@GaryLineker) February 3, 2022
With any luck, Lineker will make a speedy recovery from the virus and will be back in time to host the highlights from the Premier League games next weekend.