Brighton 0-0 Wolves: While James Milner has the record for the PL in sight, he has a few others he is unlikely to catch. Peter Shilton made 1005 league appearances and Tony Ford, an outfield player, made 931. Dean Lewington, still playing for MK Dons, has made 773. Top-division appearances? Shilton on 848, and the late Chelsea and Arsenal midfielder John Hollins finished on 714. Martin Peters was ten years ahead of time on 688 occasions. So, a fair way for Milner to travel.
Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Jose Sa flaps at a James Milner free-kick. That was a wobbly moment from a usually very reliable goalie.
Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: It’s a game played at a Premier League tempo, and with PL archetypes like the goalie of both teams being good on the ball. Though Kayden Jackson almost seized on a mistake from Mads Hermansen in Leicester’s goal.
Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Neto goes close, coming in off the right and on to his left foot. Lewis Dunk didn’t seem to want to get involved in a chase down the wing. Neto is making his first start since doing his hamstring against Newcastle.
Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Edan Tal gets in touch: “I saw that Brighton signed a player and loaned him to Vitesse today. Do they now just assume all their players will wind up at Chelsea?”
Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: Leif Davis steps out from left back in his typical attacking style. Is he named after Leif Garrett? It seems unlikely even if it would be good if he was.
Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Welbeck chases down the ball and he and Jose Sa clash. The keeper looks hurt but not for long.
Leicester 0-0 Ipswich: We are go at the King Power. Ipswich, belying their reputation, hoik the ball to the corner. It’s the new thing. Crash smash crash ring.
Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Joao Pedro and Welbeck link, and the ball is deflected behind, Pervis Estupiñán swings a boot at the corner. Panic in the Wolves area but the ball is cleared.
The TV hype machine for Leicester and Ipswich is in full flow with some memories of Jamie Vardy, Marcus Stewart, Steve Lynex and Romeo Zondervan (some of this is true). Kasabian pumping out, and that means we’re soon to kick off at the King Power.
Brighton 0-0 Wolves: It’s all Brighton, Wolves looking to the counter with Neto and Nune their speed. Neto was so good in early season and hopefully is clear of his injury problems.
Brighton 0-0 Wolves: Early chance for Joao Pedro, with Gilmour and Gross backing him up. When they go forward, they absolutely swarm over their opponents.
Brighton 0-0 Wolves: We are go at the Amex, and Brighton almost immediately engae the high press. Gary O’Neil will have a plan; he always has a plan.
It was short but sweet, this live blogging stint. I’ll hand you over to John Brewin, who’s necked five cuppas and is ready to go again.
Before their meeting on Boxing Day, Leicester and Ipswich had not crossed swords since February 2014. The Foxes were triumphant that day, winning 3-0 with the opening goal scored by a certain Jamie Vardy. He’s on the bench this evening, a decade later, a little more drawn and grizzled but still a menace. It’ll be interesting to see whether he makes it on to the pitch, having just come back from a knee injury.
As John Brewin takes a well-deserved breather after his Afcon live blog, it’s me, Will Magee, who’ll be kicking things off. First up, Stephy Mavididi, the Leicester forward, has been speaking to club media about the significance of a fixture which pits the league leaders against their third-placed rivals.
“I’m looking forward to it, the whole team’s looking forward to it,” he said. “It’s a big game. We’ve prepared well, I’m just excited to get going. Obviously it helps that we’ve played them recently [in a 1-1 draw on Boxing Day] so we know what we need to do to get a result. We’ve got a game plan, we’ve got to stick with it and see what we can come away with at the end of the game.”
Wolverhampton: Sa, Kilman, Dawson, Gomes, Semedo, Doyle, Lemina, Doherty, Sarabia, Neto, Cunha. Subs: Mosquera, Griffiths, Santiago Bueno, Hugo Bueno, Bentley, Bellegarde, Hodge, Chirewa, Fraser.
Referee: Craig Pawson.
The Premier League’s rather odd winter break that isn’t actually a break draws to its close with a match between the always interesting Brighton and Gary O’Neil’s battling Wolves team. Just three points separate eighth from 11th as two clubs of the division’s middle classes try and stay close to the European positions and away from the stragglers.
Meanwhile, in the EFL, where there is no such thing as a rest, there’s a match of possibly greater consequence with a meeting of leaders Leicester and third-placed Ipswich. One team is playing fine football with the best funding in the division while the other is playing nice football with rather less funding. Ipswich need a win to climb into second spot, leapfrogging in-form Southampton.
So, kick-off in the PL is at 7.45pm and the EFL at 8.00pm. Join me.