And I’m not alone in my excitement. In the last few days, I’ve had conversations with numerous fans who’ve all giddily conveyed similar emotions. Some were friends; some were people I just happened to bump into in town, or interviewed in a working capacity.
One is travelling back from France especially for the match. Another, a well-known Red, is part of the Carryduff branch, who will be taking in five different countries (Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, England, Wales and Scotland) in their round trip to Old Trafford.
I ran into one lad in Piccadilly Gardens last week, who told me that this is the first time every single one of his many United-supporting mates will all be attending the same game at Old Trafford for eight years. Since the 2013 Champions League last-16 tie with Real Madrid. Life normally intervenes in these situations; if you’ve a large group of friends who go to the match, then typically one or two will always be drawn away elsewhere with family or work commitments and various obligations.
But not this time. The thirst to step back into the grand old place is unquenchable.
“We’re all going to be down at Old Trafford for half past nine!” chuckled one home-and-away Red I spoke to on Monday. “It’s going to be like Christmas morning!”