Manchester United

Villarreal vs Man Utd categorised as 'high risk' for violence

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
There was not any trouble the last time the pair met
There was not any trouble the last time the pair met / ALEX PANTLING/GettyImages
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Manchester United's visit to Villarreal in the Champions League has been declared 'high-risk' for supporter violence.

The game is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 23 November and it is an important one for the Red Devils. The two teams are currently joint top of Group F on seven points and a victory would see United take a huge step towards qualification to the knockout stages.

Tensions will therefore be running high in the stadium and the Spanish authorities are taking extra precautions to ensure there is no crowd trouble.

The country's anti-violence commission has categorised the fixture as higher risk, confirming their decision in a statement on Tuesday.

"The State Commission against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport has declared the Champions League match between Villarreal and Manchester United on Nov. 23 as high risk," it read.

As a result, security will be reinforced around the stadium while there will also be an increased police presence. The game is a sell out, meaning Villarreal's 23,500-capacity Estadio de la Cerámica will be filled to the brim - 2,000 tickets have been allocated to away fans.

When the sides met in the 2021 Europa League final, United supporters were targeted while drinking in a bar in the centre of Gdansk, Poland. However, eye-witness reports at the time blamed this on locally-based hooligans, not Villarreal fans.

In the reverse fixture in this season's Champions League group stage, United secured a 2-1 win - but it was far from a convincing performance.

They fell behind just after the break courtesy of a Paco Alcacer strike and required an Alex Telles goal and a last-second winner from Cristiano Ronaldo to save their skins. Under-pressure boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping for a more comfortable evening on this occasion.


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