- Manchester United are in Istanbul for crucial meeting with Galatasaray
- But torrential rain and thunderstorms have left the match in the balance
Manchester United will have to deal with a saturated pitch as well as a fearsome atmosphere if their must-not-lose Champions League clash with Galatasaray on Wednesday night goes ahead.
Istanbul has been hit by torrential rain and thunderstorms on matchday, leaving the playing surface at RAMS Park covered with enormous puddles.
UEFA officials have already inspected the pitch and are satisfied the match, which kicks off at 5.45pm UK time and 8.45pm local time, can proceed as scheduled.
However, the pitch will have to absorb a good deal more water yet before the start with the weather forecast showing more heavy rain and storms to come.
A photograph posted on X by ESPN reporter Rob Dawson showed the state of the sodden surface at the 52,600 capacity stadium, with officials wielding umbrellas as they inspected the pitch.
The official Galatasaray X account posted a picture of the torrential rain at RAMS Park which could put Wednesday evening’s clash with Manchester United in doubt
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A further video posted by Turkish newspaper Fanatik showed a worrying lack of bounce and movement when a ball was thrown onto the wet pitch.
Even Galatasaray’s official English language account acknowledged the ‘rain continues to lash down’ in the hours ahead of kick-off.
United’s under-19 team got a foretaste of the soggy conditions as they lost 1-0 to their Galatasaray counterparts in the UEFA Youth League earlier on Wednesday.
Their game, played across town at the Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium in Kasimpasa, took place in pouring rain.
Any postponement would wreak havoc with both teams’ schedules. Erik ten Hag’s side are due to play Newcastle United at St James’ Park in the Premier League on Saturday night.
Article 27.01 of the UEFA regulations states any postponed game should ideally be played the following day, meaning United would have a very short turnaround before their trip to Tyneside.
Galatasaray travel away to Pendikspor in the Turkish Super Lig on Saturday evening.
Updates to follow.
Post source: Daily mail