Get ready Man Utd fans for Thursday night football: new altered fixture list
The Champions League left a bitter taste in the mouth for the Manchester United fans when the final whistle blew with United a goal down against Wolfsburg. The 3-2 scoreline on the night meant that Louis van Gaal’s side was eliminated from the competition. When the draws were out, the fans would not have expected the team to not make it to the round of 16 and will now be disappointed with the team’s performances.
However, the Red Devils will still play in Europe as they will automatically find a place in the Europa League’s round of 32. The Europa League is not as decorated as the Champions League, but it provides enough incentives for clubs to take it seriously. The winner of the competition gets a place in the next year’s Champions League which will make the tournament more interesting.
But the schedule of the Europa League has always driven managers crazy as the Thursday night games are not really favorable. With Manchester United now taking part in this competition, they will play their European games on Thursday which will warrant a change in their domestic and cup schedules.
The first leg of the Round of 32 fixtures in the Europa league is scheduled to be played on Thursday the 18th of February with the return leg scheduled on Thursday the 25th of February. The Red Devils will now see a change in the schedule of the domestic games to be played at the weekend of these dates as they will be pushed to next Sunday. This trend will follow should United progress in the Europa League.
Here is how the fixtures of the Old Trafford club will change:
Round of 32:
February 18th, Thursday – Europa League round of 32 first leg
February 21st, Sunday – The FA Cup 5th round
February 25th, Thursday – Europa League round of 32-second leg
February 28th, Sunday – Arsenal (H) in the Premier League (previously scheduled on Saturday)
Round of 16:
March 10th, Thursday – Europa League round of 16 first leg
March 13th Sunday – Crystal Palace (H) in the Premier League/ Possible FA Cup quarter-final (previously scheduled on Saturday)
March 17th, Thursday – Europa League Round of 16-second leg
March 20th, Sunday – Manchester City (A) in the Premier League (previously scheduled on Saturday)
April 7th, Thursday – Europa League Quarter Final first leg
April 10th, Sunday – Tottenham (A) in the Premier League (previously scheduled on Saturday)
April 14th, Thursday – Europa League Quarter Final second leg
April 17th, Sunday – Aston Villa (H) in the Premier League (previously scheduled on Saturday)
April 28th, Thursday – Europa League Semi-Final first leg
May 1st, Sunday – Leicester City (H) in the Premier League (previously scheduled on Saturday)
May 5th, Thursday – Europa League Semi-Final second leg
May 8th, Sunday – Norwich (A) in the Premier League (previously scheduled on Saturday)
May 18th, Wednesday – Europa League Final
May 21st, Saturday – Possible FA Cup Final
The Europa League gives the manager more headaches as it gives teams less time to get ready for their weekend game. But Van Gaal will surely see this competition as an opportunity to lift his first trophy at the club.
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