We know Friday night games will become commonplace in the Premier League for the 2016-17 season and beyond, but in the first few weeks of the 2015-16 campaign we will get an unexpected taster of what Friday night football will feel like.
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Aston Villa’s match against Manchester United has been moved to Friday, August 14 due to extraordinary circumstances.
First up there is a planned march by an anti-Islamist group, named the English Defence League, in the Birmingham area surrounding Aston Villa’s Villa Park home planned for Saturday August 15. That means police resources will be focusing on that event and couldn’t attend the game at Villa Park. Sunday wasn’t an option either, as Manchester United have a potential UEFA Champions League playoff game on Tuesday August 18 so they would have two games in three days. Again, not an option. So Friday it is.
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With the UK TV schedule released by the Premier League for the opening two months of the season, the league office gave the following statement on the decision for Villa to host United on a Friday night:
“The second match-round of the 2015-16 season includes Aston Villa v Manchester United scheduled for live broadcast on Sky Sports at 7:45 p.m. on Friday 14 August 2015. A Saturday 5:30 p.m. kick-off was initially suggested for this match and West Midlands police confirmed that, under normal circumstances, that would be acceptable.
“However, due to a planned English Defence League march that will take place in the region on Saturday 15 August, and will require police resource, they requested that the Premier League consider avoiding scheduling the match on that date. Manchester United’s participation in the Champions League, and a potential European match the following Tuesday, means that a Sunday slot could not be scheduled with any certainty.”
With many fans still unsure if Friday night games in the PL are a good or a bad thing ahead of the 2016-17 season, we will now get a chance to see how PL action on a Friday night works for everyone involved.
For you guys in the U.S. Friday night games in the UK will become the perfect excuse to either knock off from work early on a Friday (games will kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET) or stream the game live online at the office.
Not a bad way to end the working week and kick-start the weekend. Am I right?
Don’t forget, you can stream every single Premier League game during the 2015-16 season live online or via the app with the help of Live Extra. Hit the link above for all the latest streaming info.
It is worth noting that, at this point, no other Friday night games have been scheduled by the PL for the 2015-16 season.