Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce has criticized the English Premier League management for not aiding Manchester United’s Europa League trophy chase.
United will play in the final of the Europa League in Stockholm on Wednesday, just 3 days after facing Crystal Palace in the league.
United manager Jose Mourinho had previously criticized the league for not moving the match backwards to Saturday, saying other countries would have done that for their teams.
“In any country in the world the match would be Saturday, because Sunday we are sixth, doesn’t matter what, and Crystal Palace are safe,” Mourinho said after United’s 0-0 draw with Southampton.
Allardyce echoed Mourinho’s sentiments, saying the Premier League should do more to help its teams.
“There’s no doubt about that (that the game should have been moved),” he said.
“They could easily have changed it last week and said ‘We will give you the best chance to try to win the Europa League’.
“It’s a great shame that we are not like other countries, who will bend over in fixture terms to help their teams win European competitions. We’ve all been moaning about the fact we’re not getting anywhere near the Champions League or we’re not getting anyone winning the Europa League.
“When you look at Jose’s fixture list, this will be his 63rd game on Sunday. It’s a tremendous effort but no help unfortunately from the Premier League to give him the best chance of winning a trophy that Manchester United haven’t won. That would happen abroad. They would change the fixtures for you.
“Because there is nothing on our fixture it is easy to change it. We’re not going to influence anything one way or the other in terms of results for ourselves, and it would have been a good gesture by the Premier League to have done it to give them the best chance.”
With nothing to lose or gain in the match, Mourinho has already admitted that he’d field a very weakened side against Palace, and Allardyce agrees with that.
“No doubt about that. The XI that play at Stockholm would probably not feature at all in this last game,” he said.
“It would be wrong for me as a manager to jeopardise anybody that you want to pick for that football match. We all know that injuries happen more in competitive matches than they do in training.
“Having played 62 games, the rest period between now and playing in that game is massive for his team.
“We’re going to play the last game with the fittest team we’ve got. There will be some changes but my team want to play at Old Trafford. They don’t want me to leave them out.
“Whether Jose plays a weakened side or not, it will always be a difficult task because if there are younger players at Manchester United, they’re definitely talented.
“It’s a job we need to do and hopefully we can go there and do it. The players are looking forward with no pressure on them to go perform on one of the biggest stages in football.”