After traveling to Turkiye, Manchester United have been hit with bad news ahead of their league match, as their flight has been canceled and they will have to travel three hours by bus.
“Manchester United’s flight ahead of their Premier League match against Newcastle United has been canceled due to weather and technical issues,” the Manchester Evening News reported on Wednesday (Feb. 2).
The Red Devils are scheduled to host Newcastle United in the 14th round of the 2023/24 Premier League at St. James’ Park in Newcastle, England, at 5:00 a.m. on March 3.
Heading into the match, United and Newcastle are separated by just one point on goal difference. United sits in sixth place in the league with 24 points (8 wins, 5 draws), while Newcastle, with 23 points (7 wins, 2 draws, 4 losses), sits just below United in seventh place.
The two sides were in a tight top-four battle last season, and this Round 14 result could change that. United’s objective, naturally, is to take three points against Newcastle to stave off the chasing pack and leapfrog them in the standings.
Initially, United had planned to fly out of Manchester Airport at 11:00 am local time and arrive before 8:00 pm to prepare for the game against Newcastle.
However, United’s plans were hastily revised due to bad weather. “The team was informed shortly before the flight time that the flight had been canceled due to weather and technical issues,” the media outlet said, explaining that the team will now have to make a three-hour bus journey to Tyneside (a city in northern England) before kickoff.
“With the Met Office predicting heavy snowfall and the possibility of temperatures dropping below freezing, the Man Utd-Newcastle clash looks set to take place on a bitterly cold night.”
With a big game on the horizon and the prospect of player fatigue from traveling long distances, United fans were nervous. To make matters worse, United’s players had traveled to Turku in midweek.
The Red Devils returned to England on March 30 to face Galatasaray in a UEFA Champions League group stage match in Turkiye. The match ended in a 3-3 draw after United scored three goals to take a 3-1 lead, but were unable to hold on to the lead.
Newcastle also traveled to Paris, France, on Nov. 29 for a Champions League group stage match against Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), but their rest period was one day longer than United’s and they were playing at home, so their players were expected to be slightly less tired.
The Red Devils kept clean sheets in all three of their league games in November to move up to fifth place in the standings, but a draw at Galatasaray in the Champions League immediately put a damper on their hopes of advancing to the round of 16. The Red Devils need three points against Newcastle to turn things around and stay in the hunt, but all eyes will be on how the flight cancellations affect United’s performance.
Meanwhile, it wasn’t just the UK that had to deal with the weather. Bayern Munich, home to South Korean defender Kim Min-jae, also had to postpone a league game due to heavy snowfall.
The Bavarians were scheduled to host Union Berlin in the 13th round of the 2023/24 Bundesliga at home at 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 at the Allianz Arena, but due to the massive amounts of snow that paralyzed roads and traffic in the Munich area, it was decided to reschedule the game for a later date to ensure the safety of fans.