With no fans inside the stadium, Premier League clubs have been given license to be a little bit creative about how their ground looks during matches.
We’ve seen big screens on the side of the pitch showing fans, we’ve seen pictures of supporters in the seats and there’s been plenty of giant flags on display.
They all intend to give the home side some sort of familiarly in their own stadium.
Tonight, Manchester United return to Old Trafford for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic halted the Premier League season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side host Sheffield United in an important clash as both teams battle for European qualification.
And United fans have had a glimpse of what they can expect from a supporter-less Theatre of Dreams.
And it looks spectacular.
In the top tiers are images of 40,000 fans from around the world.
In the bottom tier of the Stratford End are three banners which read:
– ‘Thank you for your incredible support’
– Football is nothing without fans’
– We can’t wait to welcome you home to Old Trafford’
Meanwhile, in the lower tier of the Sir Alex Ferguson stand – which will be seen on the TV – a large banner says ‘United for the heroes.’
A new banner is also dedicated to former club hero Tony Dunne, who will be remembered ahead of the match in the first home match since he sadly passed away.
Solskjaer was asked about the prospect of playing in front of 76,000 empty seats and the Norwegian admitted that it will be strange.
“We love walking out at Old Trafford,” Solskjaer said. “It’s a different experience but we have the urge to get back and start winning games. Hopefully, we can put our best performance on.
“It’s a different way of playing and is a different mental challenge. It might be more relaxing for some but it’s very different. Maybe, when you’re at home and you’re struggling, you struggle with the home fans on your back. But we’ll miss out on the fans because I’ve never heard more supportive fans.
“It’s more difficult to play at Old Trafford without fans than with them.”
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