Manchester United’s Premier League fixture against Newcastle disrupted with a flight cancelled due to ice weather
Erik ten Hag‘s team were due to fly to the north-east from Manchester Airport at 11am on Saturday morning.
But when the players arrived at the airport to drop their cars off at 10am, they were told their flight was cancelled due to the weather and technical difficulties.
They will now make a three-hour journey by coach to St James’ Park for the 8pm kick-off. The flight time would have been around 30 minutes.
Pictures showed Ten Hag and his players boarding the bus with ice visible on the ground.
Temperatures at Manchester Airport were barely above freezing on Saturday morning and are forecast to hover around -1C in Newcastle at kick-off as the United Kingdom is gripped by a cold snap.
Man United are looking to recover from the disappointment of Wednesday’s 3-3 draw with Galatasaray in Istanbul which left their Champions League last-16 hopes dangling by a thread.
But they are the form team in the Premier League, having won five of their last six matches to keep in touch with the top four.
Seventh-placed Newcastle are just a point behind Man United in sixth and have top four ambitions of their own.
They beat Ten Hag’s side 2-0 in the equivalent Premier League fixture last season and won 3-0 at Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup earlier in the current campaign.
The match is being played in the later Saturday slot because both teams were involved in Champions League action in midweek, with Newcastle drawing 1-1 away to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
Both teams have a number of players missing for Saturday night’s game.
Man United are without seven players. Namely, Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro, Lisandro Martinez, Jonny Evans, Christian Eriksen, Mason Mount and Amad Diallo – through injury. As for Jadon Sancho, he is still exiled from the first-team.
‘We have experienced (tough atmospheres) in the last two weeks with Copenhagen, Everton and Galatasaray,’ Ten Hag told his club’s website
‘We are looking forward again, because that’s the best thing about football that you have such experiences and such challenges.
‘That energises you as an individual and a team. We will be ready for that game.
‘We have to play our best to get the points there. Of course, that’s the objective and we are in a great position.
‘We are smelling the top four. We have to get there and (to do that) you have to win big games.’