Manchester derby moved to a Thursday as United's fixture-list becomes even more congested

The Manchester derby will take place at the Etihad Stadium on April 27, the third time that Manchester United will have to play on a Thursday that month

Luke Brown
Monday 20 March 2017 12:29 GMT
The date of the Manchester derby has been rearranged
The date of the Manchester derby has been rearranged (AFP/Getty)

The Manchester derby has been rearranged for Thursday April 27, the Premier League has confirmed, meaning United are now scheduled to play nine matches that month.

The clash between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium was postponed in Feburary because of United's involvement in the EFL Cup final against Southampton, a game they won 3-1.

The rearrangement also sees City's league trip to Middlesbrough being put back a day, to Sunday April 30. City still have another game against West Brom to rearrange due to their progress to the FA Cup semi-finals, with a new date for that match set to be confirmed by next month.

The news isn’t likely to please United manager Jose Mourinho, who has already complained about the intense schedule his team face as they continue to fight in the Europa League as well as in the Premier League.

"We have two doors open for Champions League football, so we will try for the Europa League and for fourth place in the Premier League, and see what happens,” he commented after Sunday’s 2-1 win against Middlesbrough.

“Do I need a break? Yes, I need two days. The players need more. I would prefer the break for the players, not for me," he added when asked about United’s congested fixture list.

United’s cruel April fixture list sees them host in-form teams West Brom and Everton in quick succession, before travelling to Sunderland on the 9th.

A trip to Belgium then follows for the first-leg of their Europa League quarter-final against Anderlecht, before a home match against Chelsea and the second-leg of their European tie.

In the last week of the month United will travel to Burnley, host the rearranged Manchester derby and then entertain Swansea, on the 30th. In total they will play three matches on a Thursday in April.

Mourinho is not happy with United's fixture-list
Mourinho is not happy with United's fixture-list (Getty)

Four other outstanding fixtures have also been rearranged. Chelsea v Southampton will now take place on Tuesday, April 25 with Arsenal v Leicester, Middlesbrough v Sunderland and Crystal Palace v Tottenham all fixed for April 26.

If Mourinho has any reason for cheer it is that history is on his side. The last time a Manchester derby was played on a Thursday night, in November 1994, United beat City 5-0 with Andrei Kanchelskis scoring a hat-trick.

Manchester United's April fixture-list

1st April - West Brom (H) Premier League
4th April - Everton (H) Premier League
9th April - Sunderland (A) Premier League
13th April - Anderlecht (A) Europa League
16th April - Chelsea (H) Premier League
20th April - Anderlecht (H) Europa League
23rd April - Burnley (A) Premier League
27th April - Man City (A) Premier League
30th April - Swansea (H) Premier League

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