Manchester United game could be called off

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Saturday's Barclays Premier League game between Blackpool and Manchester United was under threat today as the freezing temperatures led to concerns about the Bloomfield Road pitch.

As sporting fixtures around the country fell victim to the wintry weather, the Premier League programme has so far stayed intact.

But now Saturday's early-evening encounter between the Tangerines and Sir Alex Ferguson's Red Devils could be on the verge of becoming the first top-flight game to be postponed, despite the club's use of protective covers and "hot-air blowers".

A statement on the club's website,, read: "Following the heavy overnight frost, where temperatures dipped below minus eight, concerns surrounding areas of the Bloomfield Road surface have increased.

"The severe frost on Thursday night has meant that large areas of the playing surface have become frozen.

"The Seasiders groundstaff have worked throughout the night with large hot-air blowers in a bid to thaw out the problematic areas of the playing surface, however last night's frost has meant that the problematic areas have increased.

"The club has sourced additional hot-air blowers and these are expected to be on site Friday lunchtime and once again the Seasiders groundstaff will work throughout the night to ensure the eagerly-anticipated game with Manchester United takes place."

Leaders QPR's trip to Hull headed the list of postponements in the npower Championship.

The clash was cancelled on safety grounds by the Tigers, meaning the match went the same way as Nottingham Forest v Bristol City and Portsmouth v Burnley. The South Yorkshire derby between Doncaster and Barnsley fell on Thursday, as did Reading's trip to Sheffield United

The weather hit hard in the lower divisions, with only three League One matches - those at Swindon, Exeter and Bristol Rovers - surviving, and just two - at Northampton and Oxford - in League Two.

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