Manchester United’s preparation for the Premier League season took an odd turn on Tuesday.
The Red Devils were scheduled to face Championship side Stoke City in a friendly, but did not play the Potters on the pitch following a positive coronavirus test from the visitors.
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Stoke’s players arrived to United’s Carrington base on Tuesday but never got the chance to play after Potters boss Michael O’Neill, the former Northern Ireland boss, tested positive for COVID-19.
Stoke immediately informed United’s medical staff of the news who ensured that United’s star players were locked down in a ‘safe area’ well away from their Stoke counterparts, who were then rushed out of the training ground.
Premier League clubs are only allowed friends against clubs within a 90-minute drive of their ground.
While the missed opportunity hampers United, Stoke now has to prepare for the Championship campaign with its manager in isolation.
Fortunately, the Potters have the experience of working under a boss remotely given training during the coronavirus pause. Stoke is three points above the drop zone with nine matches to play.Follow @NicholasMendola