This is why Manchester United are playing their Europa League second leg this evening 6 years ago

This is why Manchester United are playing their Europa League second leg this evening

We'd imagine some Manchester United supporters will have missed this little quirk in the fixture list.

Manchester United will play the second leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie with Saint-Etienne on Wednesday evening, having claimed a comprehensive 3-0 victory over their French opponents last Thursday night.


Europa League fixtures typically take place on Thursdays so as not to interfere with Champions League games, which take priority among broadcasters, and are usually scheduled for Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

But United will meet Saint-Etienne on Wednesday, not Thursday, for this very good reason.

Saint-Etienne's local rivals Lyon have a home second leg scheduled for Thursday night and because both sides' grounds are situated just 31 miles away from one another, regulations dictate that the clubs cannot play home games on the same day.


Lyon host Dutch side AZ Alkmaar at 8.05pm tomorrow night which meant that United's trip to Saint-Etienne had to be moved forward to Wednesday at 5pm, with the earlier kick-off time in place so as not to interfere with the pair of Champions League fixtures taking place at 7.45pm - Porto vs. Juventus and Sevilla vs. Leicester.

The reason that Lyon were allowed to get home advantage on the Thursday was due to the fact that they are the higher-ranked club by Uefa, having finished last season's Ligue 1 campaign four places above Saint-Etienne.

United's 3-0 victory at Old Trafford last week came courtesy of a Zlatan Ibrahimovic hat-trick and the Red Devils have one foot in the draw for the Round of 16, which is scheduled for Friday at noon.