Sunday 18 February 2018

Fatigue fear for United's globetrotters

Jamie Holland

MANCHESTER UNITED are to undertake a mammoth 24,500-mile pre-season programme after it was confirmed that they'll play AIK in Stockholm on August 6.

The game at the newly built Friends Arena will come just seven days after United return from their sell-out, five-country tour of the Far East and Australia.

It means their overall travel schedule is just 500 miles short of an entire trip around the world's circumference.

There are sure to be eyebrows raised at the physical strain it will leave on players, with many of them also having an international commitment to fulfil on August 14 ahead of the new campaign, which starts the following weekend.

The club are intending to use planes with beds to allow the players to maximise sleeping times, but jet-lag is still bound to be a factor, with many players experiencing severe problems when they went to Japan for the Club World Cup in 2008.

United's pre-season schedule

July 13: Singha All Stars XI (Bangkok) – 5,961 miles

July 20: A League All Stars (Sydney) – 4,675

July 23: Yokohama F Marinos (Yokohama) – 4,849

July 26: Cerezo Osaka (Osaka) – 241

July 29: Kitchee FC (Hong Kong) – 5,978

August 6: AIK (Stockholm) – 1,734

August 9: Sevilla (Old Trafford)

August 11: Wigan (Wembley) – 390

August 14: Swansea – 450

August 17: New season begins

Irish Independent

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