Dublin: 2°C Sunday 5 December 2021

Why are Man United and Aston Villa playing on a Friday night?

Wondering what the reason is behind the unusual fixture? Right this way.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Aston Villa - Old Trafford Managers Louis van Gaal and Tim Sherwood shake hands last season. Source: EMPICS Sport

When is this game on?

ASTON  VILLA HOST Manchester United at Villa Park on Friday night. Kick-off is 7.45pm.

Wait, why are they playing on a Friday?

The Premier League has taken the decision to move it from its original time, Saturday at 5.30pm, after a request from the West Midlands Police. The English Defence League, a far-right movement which opposes Islamism and Sharia Law in the UK, has organised a march in nearby Walsall on Saturday afternoon and that will require a strong police presence.

As Man United are playing Club Brugge in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier on Tuesday, changing the game to Sunday would not have been possible, so we’ve got  a rare Friday game to enjoy instead.

But I thought the Premier League was planning to introduce Friday night football anyway?

It is, but not until next season. Last year, it was revealed that England’s top flight would have Friday evening fixtures from August 2016 as part of the new TV deal.

Oh, okay. So where can I watch Villa v United?

Sky Sports 1. Coverage begins at 6pm.

Hertha Berlin, Yerevan and the best moments from Keith Fahey’s career

Dutch legend says ‘Roy Keane-like’ Jack Byrne will gain fantastic experience in Holland


Get closer to the stories that matter with exclusive analysis, insight and debate in The42 Membership.

Become a Member

About the author:

Ben Blake

Read next: