HESTER rivals City and United face a fresh dent to their pride with the grim prospect of having their home Europa League fixtures shunted to a Tuesday afternoon a distinct possibility.
Uefa regulations prevent teams from the same city playing on the same day and with both teams guaranteed a home second leg by virtue of being seeded ahead of next Friday’s draw, a clash is unavoidable.
The pair have the option of reversing their ties and foregoing the advantage of playing the second leg at home. The complication over kick-offs arises because Uefa are reluctant to sanction any non-Champions League game for the same time as matches in their premier club competition.
As two last-16 first-leg ties will be scheduled for both 21 February and 22 in the week when those Europa League second-leg encounters are scheduled, it means any switched game would probably have to take place earlier in the evening.
It is the same fate that befell Everton two years ago when they had a clash with Liverpool and were eventually ordered to play Sporting Lisbon on the Tuesday, with a 5.45pm kick-off.