Manchester United’s fixtures for the month of October have been changed and this could have a huge impact on a marquee fixture against Manchester City.
United’s official site reports that the date and timing of three fixtures in that month have been changed, with further modifications in the pipeline contingent on United’s game in the UEFA Champions League.
The biggest one is the Manchester Derby. The marquee fixture will now take place near the end of the month, on October 29.
An unusual kickoff time of 3.30 PM GMT has been decided after “consultation with the clubs, broadcasters, and local authorities”.
Games against City are always sensitive affairs logistically and from a personnel point-of-view due to the large amount of security needed in that small area.
The other two fixtures which have seen changes to them are the games against Brentford and Sheffield United.
The fixture against the Bees will be a 3 PM GMT kickoff at Old Trafford, making it a run of four straight home games for United in that period.
The final change has been made to the game against Sheffield United. It is scheduled to be played right after the international break, on October 22, at 2 PM BST.
However, the game will be preponed by a day in case United are scheduled to play in the Champions League that week on a Tuesday.
In that scenario, the game will be played at 8 PM BST on Saturday to avoid a fixture logjam later in the year.
Ultimately, this will likely become a planning nightmare for match-going fans as they will be the most affected in the league’s fight to please the broadcasters.
Still, in comparison to last season, this is less upheaval as there is no Winter World Cup to plan around this year.