Leeds United clash postponement helps Manchester United recover from food poisoning outbreak
Manchester United have been hit by an outbreak of suspected food poisoning over the weekend where they would have faced Leeds United, according to The Sun.
Erik Ten Hag’s side returned from the Europa League trip to Moldova with members of the squad then feeling unwell on Friday, before more on Saturday.
A total of 12 within the club have reportedly been affected, with different players missing training across the two days, and staff also ill.
The Whites trip to Old Trafford to face their old rivals was scheduled for Sunday (18 September) but was called off due to police shortages with so many in London to provide security around the Queen’s funeral on Monday 19 September.
According to The Sun report it is “not clear how badly the squad would have been affected” had the game gone ahead, while international call-ups have still gone ahead.
The first of the international slate is on Wednesday (21 September) with the majority not in action until Thursday or Friday.
Leeds would have liked a game this weekend either way but it is a quirk of how the calendar has fallen after the events of the past fortnight that this issue would have been relevant to a big game but isn’t.
The two clubs’ respective seasons look to be working in opposite directions currently, with Jesse Marsch’s men flying high in the early weeks before a downturn in results that culminated with the 5-2 collapse at Brentford last time out.
Conversely, Ten Hag’s start to life in Manchester went about as badly as it could have done, with a home loss to Brighton on the opening day compounded by his own thrashing at the hands of the Bees a week later.
While the Whites’ 3-0 win over Chelsea was the high point on 21 August, after which just a single point has been gained in the top flight, the Red Devils’ victory over Liverpool set them on four-game winning streak.
In that context Marsch would have taken any helping hand that was available to him heading into this clash, and as the 2006 Tottenham side will know all too well from “Lasagna-gate” [Mirror], food poisoning within the squad can be a major boost to the opposition.
Depending on when the rearranged fixture is eventually squeezed in down the line it may turn out to be a better time to make the trip to Old Trafford, but with Leeds currently in the middle of a 29-day break from first-team action they would surely have loved to have a crack at their rivals who would have been coming in off the back of a Thursday trip to eastern Europe and with disruption in the camp.