Premier League

Man Utd vs Aston Villa friendly to go ahead after pitch inspection amid heavy rain

Jamie Spencer
Ground staff at Optus Stadium in Perth have cleared some of the water from the playing surface
Ground staff at Optus Stadium in Perth have cleared some of the water from the playing surface / Will Russell/GettyImages
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The pre-season friendly between Manchester United and Aston Villa in Perth is set to go ahead following a pitch inspection after heavy rainfall in the Australian city.

There had been concerns in the build up to the game over whether the pitch was too waterlogged for it to be considered safe for the players. But a pitch inspection just over two hours before the scheduled kick-off was passed.

A particular area of the pitch at Optus Stadium appeared to be the most badly affected, drawing most attention from staff and officials.

But even after the inspection, BBC journalist Simon Stone still reported someone at pitch level had described the surface as ‘barely playable’.

For United, now under the leadership of Erik ten Hag, this is a fourth game in the space of nine days during their tour of south east Asia and Australia. The Red Devils thrashed Liverpool in Bangkok, before adding further wins against Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace down under.

They will head back to Europe after the Villa game for a friendly against Atletico Madrid in Norway.

Villa have also been in Australia for a little bit of time already. Steven Gerrard’s side have put together successive 1-0 wins over Leeds and Brisbane Roar in the last few days and will also be travelling back to Europe after Saturday’s match.

Their final pre-season game is against Rennes in France next weekend.


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