Aston Villa vs Manchester United on Friday: How the EDL is inadvertently helping United's Champions League bid

The match has been moved because of EDL march on Saturday

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Manchester United's bid for Champions League qualification has been inadvertently helped by the English Defence League.

Their next Premier League fixture against Aston Villa this coming Friday night has been moved forward a day because of a planned EDL match in Walsall on Saturday, meaning that Louis van Gaal's charges have an extra day to recover before their Champions League play-off first-leg against Club Brugge on Tuesday.

Vila vs United had been originally billed as Sky’s Saturday Night Football 5.30pm fixture, but was rescheduled because of policing concerns due to the march in Walsall city centre the same day.

The game could not be played on Sunday because of the play-off against Brugge at Old Trafford.

A Premier League statement said: “The second match-round of the 2015-16 season includes Aston Villa v Manchester United scheduled for live broadcast on Sky Sports at 7.45pm on Friday 14 August 2015. A Saturday 5.30pm kick-off was initially suggested for this match and West Midlands police confirmed that, under normal circumstances, that would be acceptable.


“However, due to a planned English Defence League march that will take place in the region on Saturday 15 August, and will require police resource, they requested that the Premier League consider avoiding scheduling the match on that date. Manchester United’s participation in the Champions League, and a potential European match the following Tuesday, means that a Sunday slot could not be scheduled with any certainty.”