Kick off with Soccer Aid for UNICEF

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Sunday: Soccer Aid for UNICEF (ITV1, 6.30pm)

With another football season done and dusted, it’s time for the celebrities and legends to dust off their boots again.

Originally the brainchild of Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes in 2006, Soccer Aid has now raised more than £75million for the humanitarian children’s charity, including a record-breaking £15million as a result of last year’s match at West Ham United’s London Stadium.

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This year, the event is returning to it’s original home, as Manchester’s Old Trafford hosts the star-studded football match for the first time since the 2020 behind-closed-doors edition.

Dermot O’Leary and Alex ScottDermot O’Leary and Alex Scott
Dermot O’Leary and Alex Scott

Meanwhile, for the first time in the event’s history, one of the sides will be captained by a female player, as former Lioness legend Jill Scott leads out England as they take on Soccer Aid World XI, skippered by Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt.

Scott, who also won I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! last year, said: “The Euros, the Jungle and now Soccer Aid for UNICEF – it’s the holy trinity! I’ve won two of them, so just need Soccer Aid now to complete the treble.

“I think of all three, this might be the one I’m most nervous about, though – just look at the names involved!”

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And she isn’t exaggerating about the quality of the two line-ups.

The England squad consists of Tom Hiddleston, Danny Dyer, Gary Neville, Gary Cahill, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Jack Wilshere, Jermain Defoe, Eni Aluko, Karen Carney, Scarlette Douglas, Alex Brooker, Chunkz, Tom Grennan, Mo Farah, Bugzy Malone, Joel Corry, Asa Butterfield, Liam Payne.

David James is the professional goalkeeper, with Paddy McGuinness as the celebrity stopper.

Meanwhile, in the hosts’ dugout, rapper Stormzy is joined by former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes, Line of Duty actress Vicky McCure and former England keeper David Seaman.

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On the opposing side, are Wrexham’s former England goalkeeper Ben Foster, alongside Gabriel Batistuta, Nani, Maisie Adam, Kaylyn Kyle, Heather O’Reilly, Mo Gilligan, Lee Mack, Steven Bartlett, Kem Cetinay, Noah Beck, Roberto Carlos, Francesco Totti, Leon Edwards and Tommy Fury.

Incoming Chelsea manager Maurico Pochettino, McCure’s Line of Duty co-star Martin Compston and former Premier League striker Robbie Keane form the World XI management team.

Dermot O’Leary and Alex Scott will be fronting the action live as it happens, with Love Island voiceover Iain Stirling joining Sam Matterface in the commentary box.

Soccer Aid Extra Time (ITV4, 9.55pm) follows the ITV1 coverage, with Jermaine Jenas and Joelah Noble hosting more exclusive content, focusing on the drama, fallout, analysis and celebrations.

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The World XI emerged victorious in last year’s match to lift the trophy for the fourth straight year.

The match finished 2-2, with Mark Wright and Grennan getting on the scoresheet for England, and Beck and Cetinay the goalscorers for the World XI.

In the penalty shootout, Grennan and Russell Howard missed for England, while the World XI scored all four of their attempts, with Mack scoring the winning spot kick to lift the trophy once again.

The ROW/World XI team also leads the head-to-head, with six wins to the England team’s five – but could 2023 be the year that Soccer Aid comes home?