Sky Sports confirms Gary Neville will return to punditry role for 'biggest ever season' as Countdown's Rachel Riley joins the team

Neville will reprise his role as a commentator on Sky Sports / Sky Sports

Sky Sports has confirmed that Gary Neville will be returning to screens less than a year after he departed from the broadcaster to take up a managerial position with Valencia football club.

The former Manchester United defender's return comes as the channel gears up for what it says will be the "biggest ever" season of Premier League football in August.

To cover the tournament, Sky is rejigging its programming and presenter line up - with Countdown's Rachel Riley also poised to join the team.

For the first time, Sky Sports will show up to ten live matches on Friday evenings. Coverage of these fixtures will be presented by Jeff Stelling and Riley alongside guests from inside and outside the world of sport.

Neville left Sky Sports at the end of last year to lead Valencia but exited from the post in May, his re-appointment to Sky comes just over one month after he stepped down from his role as assistant England coach following the team's failed Euro 2016 campaign.

"I am delighted to be rejoining Sky Sports and can't wait for the start of the new football season, especially as there will be a variety of new programming on the channel," he said.

"It is important for me that my role will be slightly different, and I am looking forward to the challenge of working on some new, creative and exciting projects."

The Premier League kicks off on Saturday 13 August, with shock 2015 winners Leicester competing to defend their title against the newly-promoted Hull City.

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