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Why Manchester United vs Aston Villa has been moved to a 12.30 kick off

Why Manchester United vs Aston Villa has been moved to a 12.30 kick off

The English fixture list

Traditionally, the English top flight fixture list has consisted of one game at 12.30pm on Saturdays, several at 3pm, and followed by a game at 5.30pm. Last season an 8pm kick-off was also added into the mix for optimal television coverage, but has been scrapped this season.

However, something of an anomaly is occurring today as there are two games at 12.30pm. The headline bill, and televised game, is of course Chelsea playing host to Manchester City.

However, Cristiano Ronaldo is also returning to Old Trafford for the second time (and second time untelevised) as Manchester United host Aston Villa in the same time slot.

Why is the game at 12.30?

Originally, the Chelsea fixture was selected as the early fixture by the TV companies (BT in this instance, who cover every 12.30 fixture), hence why it is currently top billing.

The fixture pits the Premier League champions against the Champions League winners and is a re-run of the 2021 Champions League final from May, and promises to be an enthralling contest.

By contrast, the Manchester United fixture was due to be a 3pm spectacle at the Theatre of Dreams. However, it was moved forward due to a clash with a music event.

The event in question? The Courteeners, supported by the Blossoms, playing at Old Trafford Cricket ground (a 10-minute walk from the football ground).

With the event due to attract 50,000 spectators, and the Trafford council felt that the crossover of football and concert fans would prove too much for public transport (The game was originally due to end around 15 minutes before the concert started).

In a statement, Manchester United said:

“Our home match against Aston Villa on 25 September has been brought forward to a 12:30 BST kick-off, following a request from Trafford Council Safety Advisory Group to move the game due to the Courteeners concert at Lancashire Cricket Club, Emirates Old Trafford, on the same day.

“This request was supported by Greater Manchester Police and TfGM [Transport for Greater Manchester] to avoid significant crowd, traffic and operational issues locally,” 

“We regret any disruption that this may cause around our supporters’ plans for the day.”

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Chelsea FC 7 12 16
2 Liverpool FC 7 11 15
3 Manchester City 7 11 14
4 Manchester United 7 8 14
5 Everton FC 7 5 14
6 Brighton & Hove Albion 7 3 14
7 Brentford FC 7 4 12
8 Tottenham Hotspur 7 -4 12
9 West Ham United 7 4 11
10 Aston Villa 7 1 10
11 Arsenal FC 7 -5 10
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 7 -1 9
13 Leicester City 7 -3 8
14 Crystal Palace 7 -3 7
15 Watford FC 7 -3 7
16 Leeds United 7 -7 6
17 Southampton FC 7 -5 4
18 Burnley FC 7 -6 3
19 Newcastle United 7 -8 3
20 Norwich City 7 -14 1

Premier League 21/22

Topscorers
Disciplinary
Assists
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 7
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 7
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 5
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 5
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 4
Firmino, Roberto Liverpool FC 4
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 4
Sarr, Ismaila Watford FC 4
Greenwood, Mason Manchester United 4
Townsend, Andros Everton FC 3
Ings, Danny Aston Villa 3
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 3
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 3
Gray, Demarai Everton FC 3
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 3
Lukaku, Romelu Chelsea FC 3
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 3
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 3
Hwang, Hee-chan Wolverhampton Wanderers 3
Raphinha Leeds United 3