Manchester United face a change in one of their venues in their Europa League group stage games next month.
The Daily Star have reported that United’s away fixture against Sheriff Tiraspol will not take place at Sheriff’s home stadium in the region of Transnistria but is likely to take place in the Moldovan capital, Chisinau.
Chisinau has the Zimbru Stadium, where the Moldovan national team play their home games.
The reason for the venue change is the because of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.
The Daily Mail have mentioned that Russia have around 1,500 troops in the region of Transnistria, and that several explosions have been heard since April, making it necessary for UEFA to shift to a brand new venue considering the safety of both teams involved.
0 – Manchester United have never previously faced a Moldovan opponent in European competition before. The only English club to do so, in fact, is Spurs, who faced Zimbru Chisinau in the 1999-00 UEFA Cup and Sheriff Tiraspol in the 2013-14 Europa League. Unknown.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 26, 2022
With the fixture still being held in the same country, it will not affect United’s travel plans too much but it is yet another issue for Erik ten Hag to contend with in the jam-packed autumn schedule.
This will be United’s first trip to Moldova, having never faced a team from the country in European competitions before.
Sheriff and United are joined in Group E by Cypriot side Omonia Nicosia and Spain’s Real Sociedad.
The group certainly looks a winnable one, with Sociedad expected to provide United with their sternest test.
However, Sheriff will look to ruffle some more feathers, having made their mark in Europe last season by pulling off one of the great Champion League upsets – beating eventual winners Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
Scottish manager Neil Lennon will look to make his Omonia side hard to beat, despite them being the lowest ranked side in the group.
Ten Hag’s side kick off their European campaign at home against Real Sociedad on September 8.
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