EPL Grapples With New Date For Man U Vs Liverpool Tie


BEVERLY HILLS, May 03, (THEWILL) – The forced postponement of the English Premier League fixture between second-placed Manchester United and defending champions Liverpool, that was originally scheduled to take place at the Old Trafford grounds of United but did not because of the anti-Glazer protests of Man U fans both outside the Lowry Hotel, where United’s players were lodged and the stadium, has put the Premier League in a crunch to find the most convenient slot to fix a new date.

This is because there are not that many open slots left in a league far on its final lap and only four Match Days left. Indeed, if the game had been played as scheduled and United failed to win, the league, as a contest could have been officially over and Manchester City could have gone from Champions-in-Waiting to the 2020/2021 EPL champions in fact.

However, the postponement left the League with no choice but to pore over the fixture schedules of both sides and find a suitable enough date that will accommodate football engagements of the United and Liverpool clubs without disrupting the scheduling and football games of the rest of the EPL.

As United remain in contention in Europe’s second tier League competition, the UEFA Europa League, the Red Devils are the busier side. This gives them the leverage of prior consideration in determining an appropriate slot for the fixture.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side has only one vacant slot in their calendar, which is May 15, and their priority status means the League will try to work around that opening to make the tie with Liverpool happen during that weekend.

What it amounts to is that the Premier League will move the Liverpool versus West Bromwich Albion game, which was initially booked for the May 15 date to another vacant calendar spot of May 12. This latter movement will put Sam Allardyce’s side in a tight corner as they will be coming from a trip to north London against Arsenal just three days before that.

But, it is tight all around and not enough time to stretch the season any more. The only other alternative is to tighten it all the more for both teams by rejigging some midweek fixtures to make Man U and Arsenal play three times a week on a Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday split.

It might sound appealing on paper but the real life strain it can put on players already being pushed to their physical limits, make it as unappealing an option as can be had.