Explained: Why Sunday’s Manchester Derby Has An Unusual Kickoff Time

After a week’s absence from the Premier League because of international fixtures, the Premier League is back but kick-off times look a bit different this weekend compared to usual, these unique kickoff times have even impacted the muchly anticipated Manchester derby between Manchester United v Manchester City.

This Sunday the European champions, Manchester City, travel to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby with United under intense scrutiny as they sit 8th in the table. The Manchester Derby is one of two televised games on Sunday that have had their kick-off times moved forward, here’s why:

Why has the Premier League Changed kick-off times this Sunday?

It has been standard practice for a long time that if there’s more than two Premier League matches on a Sunday, a pair of games are selected to be televised. These matches are normally on at 14:00 and 16:30.

What time is Manchester United vs Manchester City?

However this week with five matches on Sunday the two televised games on Sky Sports are being shown at 13:00 (West Ham v Everton) and 15:30 (Manchester United v Manchester City).

Why is Manchester United vs Manchester City kicking off an hour early?

There had been much speculation on social media as to the reason for schedule change. Many attributed to the fact that the clocks change on Saturday night but in actual fact the decision was made earlier in the season after consulation with both clubs and local police, as Manchester United explained on their club website,

The derby with Manchester City will be staged towards the end of the month, with the Old Trafford encounter being moved to 29 October, kicking off at 15:30 GMT. The fixture, which we won 2-1 last season with Marcus Rashford netting a memorable winner, is to be shown live on Sky Sports in the UK. The unusual start time was agreed following consultation between the clubs, the broadcaster and local authorities.

The West Ham v Everton fixture was then moved back to 1pm to align with the TV scheduling. While at 14:00 on Sunday the three matches which aren’t available on standard TV channels are Brighton v Fulham, Aston Villa v Luton Town and Liverpool v Nottingham Forest.