Manchester United’s do-or-die Champions League game against Galatasaray is in danger of being called off due to the unrelenting rain in Istanbul.
As per ESPN journalist Rob Dawson, UEFA officials have conducted a review of the pitch and have deemed it appropriate for the game to go ahead.
UEFA saying, as things stand, the game is going ahead. But there are big patches of standing water in front of the benches and the officials who have been out rolling a ball on the surface didn’t seem too impressed.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) November 29, 2023
However, they are not too impressed with the current condition of the ground at RAMS Park with standing puddles of water in front of the benches.
Poor pitch conditions
In a video shared by Turkish outlet Fanatik, an official, who was checking the turf, threw a football high into the night sky for the ball to drop and not bounce due to the water accumulated on the pitch.
The Champions League logo has since been placed out on the middle of the pitch with home fans cheering the development.
🚨🚨| Heavy rain in Istanbul, the match between Galatasaray and Manchester United is currently set to go head but UEFA officials are continuously checking pitch conditions.
— CentreGoals. (@centregoals) November 29, 2023
The game is expected to be played in front of fiery home support, who will try and make it as intimidating as possible for United.
These are risky conditions for a game of high-quality football and can lead to injuries. While there is still more than two hours to go for the game, more rain is forecast for the night.
This means conditions could get even worse and that could lead to a farcical contest with the ball constantly getting caught in puddles with players hoofing the ball at all times.
The UEFA Youth League contest between United’s U-19 team against Galatasaray’s age group side was played under similar conditions and the second half was difficult to watch.
Difficult conditions for United to produce a win
The torrential downpour will add to the pressure on Erik ten Hag’s side who know only a victory can keep their hopes of progressing to the knockout rounds alive.
United’s return to Europe’s premier competition has not gone according to plan with United losing three of their four games so far in the group stages.
The Red Devils lost their opener away to Bayern Munich before suffering a humiliating home defeat at the hands of the Turkish giants.
They manager to overcome Copenhagen at home but lost the away encounter, results which have heaped pressure on the United boss.