The old cliche always went “but could he do it on a wet and windy night in Bolton?”. It was suggested that the midweek trip to The Reebok as it was called at the time, was the toughest that football had to offer.
We may have a new pretender to that crown, could they do it on a freezing Thursday night in Kazakhstan? Man United will face the trip to play Astana next week and it doesn’t sound like conditions will be friendly.
According to a report from ESPN, the players have been they shouldn’t go outside for longer than ten minutes due to the freezing temperatures. That advice will also extend to the fans, as temperatures are expected to go as low as minus 20 degrees.
Fortunately the game will be played under a closed roof on artificial grass. While that may not be ideal compared to most grounds, it sure beats playing on a rock solid frozen pitch while you struggle to breathe due to the cold.
They don’t directly indicate it in the report, but you have to think that the stadium will also have some sort of heating system inside so the fans and players can enjoy the game at a relatively enjoyable temperature.
They do indicate that key players like Harry Maguire, David de Gea and Marcus Rashford may be rested for this game due to a grueling Premier League schedule over the next few weeks, so the fans should expect a line up of fringe and youth players to take to the field.
If ever the club needed something to motivate them to ensure they get themselves back into the Champions League, this trip may provide it.