Man Utd to be cheered on by 40,000 virtual fans in Old Trafford mosaic

Manchester United will have 40,000 fans cheering them on at Old Trafford on Wednesday night – albeit in mosaic form.

Their clash with Sheffield United is their second game back since the Premier League's restart, but their first on home turf.

A host of sporting events around the globe have allowed fans a chance to be present in spirit.

And Old Trafford will be full of photos, submitted by the club's worldwide fan base.

United's last home game was their memorable 2-0 win over rivals Manchester City.

They returned to action with a 1-1 draw at Tottenham on Friday night at an empty stadium in north London.

The only people allowed into Old Trafford on Wednesday night will be players, coaching and medical staff, directors and media.

And executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward penned some notes in the matchday programme expressing his regret that fans couldn't be present.

He wrote: "Emotions are mixed as we welcome Sheffield United to Old Trafford this evening.

"While everyone at Manchester United is excited to be getting back to playing football, we regret that our fans cannot be in the stadium, and recognise these are difficult times for many people around the world.

"We mourn all those who lost their lives to coronavirus and honour the legions of frontline heroes – from nurses, to supermarket workers, to neighbourhood volunteers – who have helped our communities through this most challenging of periods.

"We have done what we can, through the club and the fantastic Manchester United Foundation, to support those efforts.

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"I’m especially proud of the many club staff who volunteered to take part in initiatives such as foodbank deliveries, welfare calls to elderly fans, and the provision of over 60,000 meals for NHS staff cooked in our Old Trafford kitchens.

"I’m also proud of
our players and their own individual work that has made a difference during the pandemic.

"As a club, we say ‘thank you’ tonight through the ‘United for the Heroes’ banner displayed in the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, as well as the NHS logo on the players’ shirts."

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