Old Trafford turf has undersoil heating, but health and safety outside of the ground could prevent the game from going ahead. THIS weekend’s Manchester derby may be in jeopardy after the Met Office issued a warning, saying eight inches of snow is forecast in sub-zero temperatures on Sunday.
The Met Office has upgraded their warning from “yellow” to “amber”, with snow set to fall between 4am and 6pm in all of Greater Manchester and even Liverpool – with the Merseyside derby also in doubt.
With Manchester United and Manchester City set to kick-off at 4.30pm, by game-time the snow may have well and truly settled, with temperatures set to plummet to -1 degrees. And while the Old Trafford pitch does have undersoil heating, should the precipitation be too heavy – or the stands be too icy to be deemed safe – the game could well be postponed.
There are also health and safety issues outside of the ground that could prevent the game from going ahead, with fans unable to get in the ground. Arsenal’s Premier League clash with Bolton in 2010 was forced to be postponed due to snow in 2010, with Sheffield United’s clash with Scunthorpe rearranged in 2014 – at their Premier League-standard Bramall Lane.
One sliver of good news for United though is that should the game be rearranged, Paul Pogba would of course be available to play in the top-of-the-table clash. On Friday, Met Office spokesperson Oli Claydon said: “On Sunday, the warning has changed as the confidence level has gone up.
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“In terms of the hours it is from 4am until 6pm. It is a winter front moving in from the southwest. And in terms of depth it could 2-5cms within the yellow warning areas. “What we are looking like in that amber area is up to 10cms, 15-20cms in hilly areas.
“Make sure you take close note of local emergency services. If you do have to travel, make extra time for journeys. It could cause disruption to transport services. “Take extra care as there is the chance of ice being around as well.”
Man United go into the fierce local derby eight points adrift of neighbours City, knowing a win could trim the gap to just five points. However, a loss would open up a surely unassailable 11-point lead in the Premier League title race.