The likely dates for Leeds United’s Forest and Man Utd fixtures as King approves Bank Holiday

The Premier League decided to postpone all of this weekend’s fixtures as a mark of respect to Her Majesty The Queen, Elizabeth II following her sad passing at Balmoral on Thursday afternoon.

The 2022-23 Premier League season is finishing later than usual due to this winter’s World Cup which has led to the top-flight campaign ending over the last weekend in May.

The top-flight campaign will pause for six weeks following the games over the second weekend of November with league action resuming on Boxing Day after the World Cup.

MIDWEEK NIGHT MATCH? Leeds United’s Premier League hosting of Nottingham Forest needs re-arranging and a midweek evening game under the lights looks likely, as was the case in the Carabao Cup clash against Barnsley, above. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

There is also a two-week international break at the end of this month and another fortnight off for internationals at the end of March for the first World Cup qualifiers.

Free weekends are scarce as the free slot over the first full weekend in January is set aside for fixtures in the FA Cup third round, the stage at which the full range of Premier League clubs enter the competition.

The last weekend of January is then set aside for FA Cup fourth round games.

The Forest clash will therefore almost certainly be re-arranged as a midweek clash and it would seem likely that the Premier League would be keen to get this weekend’s postponed games slotted in as soon as possible.

Leeds already have a midweek fixture at Leicester City on Thursday, October 20 as part of a full programme of midweek league games but there are free midweek slots over the rest of the month for sides not involved in European competition.

One of those slots would appear the logical choice for the rescheduling of the Forest game – with Wednesday, October 5 appearing the nearest opportunity – in between Sunday clashes at home to Aston Villa and away at Crystal Palace.

But that would not be possible if the Premier League insisted on rearranging this weekend’s postponed fixtures in one full block given that all of the midweeks in October involve either European competition or a round of already arranged top-flight games.

For Leeds, the home clash against Villa on Sunday, October 2 could well be their next game as next Sunday’s fixture at Manchester United falls within the period of National Mourning for Her Majesty The Queen which is expected to last for ten days after her passing.

There is also a strong chance that next weekend’s game will fall very close to the date of Her Majesty’s State Funeral which King Charles III approved as a Bank Holiday this morning.

A date has yet to be confirmed for the State Funeral which will require an enormous police operation.

The Premier League have said that further updates regarding fixtures during the period of mourning will be provided in due course.

The Red Devils are competing in this season’s Europa League which adds complications in terms of rearranging the contest should it be postponed.

The chances are that the fixture at Old Trafford would have to be rearranged to take place instead at some point in the early new year as Manchester United are already in action in every midweek slot up until the World Cup.

There are no European games over the first full midweek in November but both Leeds and the Red Devils are in action in the EFL Cup.

There are also no Europa League games over the penultimate full midweek in October but Manchester United are at home to Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday, October 19.

European competition starts up again on February 16 which would suggest that a midweek slot in early January or February might be the most likely outcome for the Manchester United against Leeds fixture although there will be the FA Cup and EFL Cup to contend with too.

The EFL Cup quarter finals will take over the week commencing January 9 – after the FA Cup third round games.

Should either club still be in the EFL Cup then the following mid week would seem to present the best opportunity – Tuesday, January 17 or Wednesday, January 18.

The Forest game might even be played then if the Premier League keeps the full round of this weekend’s postponed fixtures together.

The EFL Cup semi-finals take place the following weekend.

There is also the possibility, although an unlikely one, that a new fixture could be slotted in either during the Christmas schedule or before it as the EFL Cup fourth round games precede the return to Premier League action over the midweek before Boxing Day.

FA Cup fourth round weekend at the end of January is another possibility but only if both clubs are out of the competition.

Source link

You May Also Like