Rangnick surprised by run-in fixture change

Tuesday 19 April 2022 07:00

Ralf Rangnick admits the late shake-up to Manchester United's April and May schedule was not something he was expecting, after learning the new date for our crucial Premier League game against Chelsea.

The West London club were due to visit Old Trafford on Sunday 15 May, in what would have been our penultimate match of the 2021/22 campaign and final home fixture.

But Thomas Tuchel's team have now booked another engagement that weekend, a return to Wembley on Saturday 14 May for the Emirates FA Cup final against our league opponents this evening, Liverpool. The two clubs also faced each other in this season's Carabao Cup final, with the Merseysiders prevailing on penalties.

The Premier League have therefore moved Chelsea's meeting with United to Thursday next week, 28 April, for live coverage on Sky Sports. Kick-off at the Theatre of Dreams will be at 19:45 BST.

Reds learn Premier League schedule


After Chelsea's FA Cup semi-final against Crystal Palace, our fixture against the Blues has now been confirmed.

“The fact that the Chelsea game was changed from the original fixture is something I didn’t think could happen,” said Rangnick, in our exclusive interview to discuss tonight's clash with Liverpool.

“Normally in Germany, the last two games of the season have to be played on the very same day and with the same kick-off time. Obviously it’s different here.

“For us it’s not good because we have a number of injured players so it would have been better for the Chelsea game to be played two weeks later when it was originally planned. But anyway we have to deal with it and hopefully by then we have two or three of those injured players available again.”

A stipulation for simultaneous kick-offs only applies to the concluding weekend in England. All ten last-day fixtures in the Premier League will start at 16:00 BST on Sunday 22 May, with United travelling to Crystal Palace - the side Chelsea beat 2-0 in Sunday's semi-final to reach the FA Cup final.

Whether the Reds are still able to finish fourth by then will depend on the results of the preceding five games, of course, with Chelsea at home now slotting into the schedule directly after this evening's encounter at Anfield and our away clash with Arsenal this coming Saturday, 23 April.

“We have to play at our very best possible level with those three games and we need to try to win as many of them as possible,” our interim manager added.

“We have to take it game by game. We know the importance of the Liverpool game, not only for us to stay in the race for [position] number four, but also for the fans, knowing that the team lost the first fixture this season 5-0 at Old Trafford. We are fully aware about the importance of this game.”

Ralf issues team news for Liverpool match


Rangnick confirms five players will miss the game at Anfield, although there is positive news regarding Bruno Fernandes.


Tuesday 19 April, 20:00 BST: Liverpool away
Saturday 23 April, 12:30 BST: Arsenal away
Thursday 28 April, 19:45 BST: Chelsea home
Monday 2 May, 20:00 BST: Brentford home
Saturday 7 May, 17:30 BST: Brighton away
Sunday 22 May, 16:00 BST: Crystal Palace away