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United Prepare For Synthetic Pitch

United Prepare For Synthetic Pitch

Manchester United’s players will train later today on an artificial pitch in readiness for Thursday’s Europa League clash against AZ Alkmaar. The Red Devils are having to play at the Kyocera Stadium in the Hague – 70 miles away from the Dutch outfit’s regular home – after the roof of their own stadium collapsed.

And to make matters worse, the plastic surface is widely considered to be the worst in the country, laid in 2013 for the World Hockey Championships, with a rock-hard surface to suit their national sport.

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It is understood the pitch is being replaced with grass in the next few weeks – too late for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team to avoid the likely shortcomings and potential injury risk to his players.

For that reason, the Norwegian has scheduled his squad to play on the artificial pitches at United’s own Carrington training HQ later today and Wednesday morning in an effort to bring his men up to speed and compensate for the difficult bounce off the synthetic surface.

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Solskjaer’s goal-shy team are currently tenth in the Premier League table after Monday night’s forgettable 1-1 home draw with Arsenal.

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United’s medical conditioners are now concerned the pitch in the Netherlands could prove especially taxing for older stars such as Nemanja Matic and Ashley Young, so it will be interesting to see if Solskjaer starts with a more youthful line-up against AZ.

ADO Den Haag play their home matches at the Kyocera Stadium and skipper Aaron Meijers complained last week: “We all get aches after training and playing. We are so keen to return to real grass. We can’t wait to make a proper sliding tackle.”

Meanwhile, United defender Eric Bailly may have encountered a fresh setback in his recovery from the knee surgery he underwent at the start of August.

The Ivory Coast central defender, who was hoping to return before the busy festive programme of fixtures, has been spotted hobbling on crutches at Carrington in recent days.

Bailly suffered ligament damage during pre-season against Tottenham Hotspur in July and observers were surprised to see the former Villarreal man still needing the aid of his supports.

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