Sunday, November 30

A date for your diary

The pre-Christmas period is set to be a busy time for United's foreign efforts, what with the World Club Championships semi final taking place on December 18 and, fingers crossed, the final three days later.

Another festive pick-me-up for reds will be the Champions League last 16 draw, which takes place at 11am* on December 19. It'll be live on Sky Sports News.

*UEFA build these draws up more than Ali versus Frazer, so expect it to start at about 11.30am.

Reds travel south for cup

United have been drawn away to Southampton in the FA Cup Third Round.

The match will be played on either January 3 or 4 and, out of a stadium holding 32,689, the reds will probably get a 5,000 allocation.

Ticket information will be announced tomorrow and a detailed travel guide and drinking guide will be put on here in the next few weeks.

Friday, November 21


Villareal Club de Futbol
Tuesday, November 25, kick off 20:45
UEFA Champions League group stages match five


The match will be played at the Estadio El Madrigal, which has a capacity of 25,000. United have been given 2,800 tickets. All have been sold, though there are quite a lot of spares up for grabs if needed.


Important note - Spanish trains
There are six or more different types of trains in Spain. The regional ones are dirt cheap, the other kinds are only slightly faster and are much more expensive.
If you've got time to spare it's worth planning your journey using this website around the regional trains to save loads of money.

Getting to Villareal from the airports

Alicante Airport
If you're not staying in, or wanting to visit Alicante itself, get the coach direct from the airport to Castellon.
But there's only three a day - at 13:00, 21:00 and 23:00. It takes six hours, 20 minutes and costs e24.26 single or e46.86 return.

Otherwise, you need to go: Airport -> Alicante -> Castellon -> Villareal

Travel to Alicante centre, which is about seven miles south east of the city.
The bus goes from stop 30 at the airport to Calle Portugal 17 in the city. It takes 40 minutes, costs e1.20 each way and runs from 06:30 to 23:10.
The taxi takes about 20 minutes, costs e13 in the day and e16 at night.

Once in the city, take the coach or the train north to Castellon.

The coach from Calle Portugal 17 to Avenida Perez Galdos, takes three hours and 20 minutes and costs e19.11 one way and e36.31 return.

The train goes from Alacant Terminal, takes about two-and-a-half hours and costs about e30 one way. There are no Regional Express trains on this route.

To get from the coach stop to the train station, a taxi takes 10 minutes. Walking would take half an hour, though it’s pretty much a straight walk down Calle de Bono Guaner.

Castellon is five miles north west of Villareal. See the guide below about how to get there.

Alicante Airport via Benidorm
The Stretford End Bar in Benidorm is running coaches on the day of the game to and from the stadium. Email for details.

Airport -> Benidorm -> Castellon -> Villareal
The bus goes from stop 30 outside the airport to the Avenida Comunidad Europa 8 stop in Benidorm.
It takes an hour, costs e8 each way and runs hourly from 11am until 23:00.
The taxi takes about an hour, costs e68.

If you book in advance, you can get a shared shuttle bus with Shuttle Direct for £6.47 pp or a private one for £28.03 pp.

Once in Benidorm, you can only really get a coach to Castellon as, by my reckoning, there isn't a train service that far north.

The coach leaves from Avenida Comunidad Europa to Avenida Perez Glados takes three-and-a-half hours and costs e16.26 single and e30.89 return.

Castellon is five miles north west of Villareal. See the guide below about how to get there.

Valencia Manises Airport

Airport -> Valencia -> Villareal


Travel to Valencia centre, which is eight miles west of the city.
Take the bus from outside the departures entrance to EstaciĆ³n del Norte Train Station in the city centre.
It takes 25 minutes, costs e2.50 each way and runs every 20 minutes from 08:00 to 22:00.
Make sure you get on this direct service rather than Line 150 which goes all around the houses and takes forever.
Get the metro from inside the airport. Use the Red Line to get the train station stop, Turia, or the Green Line to get to Turia - the stop nearest to the bus stop. Services leave every 15 minutes.
Here’s a map of the metro.

The taxi takes about 20 minutes, costs e16.

If you book in advance, you can get a private shuttle bus with Shuttle Direct for £24.88 pp.

Or you can get a private shuttle bus direct to Castellon, which is five miles north of Villareal, for £49 pp. Again, you have to book in advance.

If you're booking a hotel in Valencia, make sure you take note of the location as the Valencia beaches are 40 minutes east of the city centre.
That could prove a problem if you have to go from the airport to the city, to the resort, to the city, to the stadium and then back.

Once in the city, take the coach or the train north to Villareal De Los Infantes or to Castellon.

The train from Valencia Cabanyal takes about two-and-a-half hours and costs about e30 one way. It takes about 50 minutes and costs e17 on normal trains and e4.40 on Regional Express.

The coach from Avenida Menendez Pidal 13 to Avenida Perez Glados takes an hour and costs e8 single and e16 return.
Castellon is five miles north west of Villareal. See the guide below about how to get there.

Barcelona Girona

Airport -> Barcelona -> Castellon -> Villareal

Take the Segales coach from outside the airport to Barcelona Estacio Del Nord. Services leave in sync with the landing of flights - approximately 20 minutes after the plane lands. It takes 45 minutes and costs e e12 single or e21 return.

Once in the city, get the Metro from Arc de Triomf six stops south on the Red Line, get off at Espanya and then take two stops west on the Green Line and then get off at Sants Estacio. Here’s a map of the Metro.

Barcelona International

Airport -> Barcelona -> Castellon -> Villareal

This airport is only six miles out of the city, so it’s easy to get there on the RENFE train, which takes 25 minutes and runs every half hour. Get off at Sants station. A one-way ticket costs e2.60.

A taxi costs about e25 for a 25-minute journey.

From Barcelona centre onwards
The train goes from Sants station and takes two-and-a-half hours to three hours and costs e30 for a normal train and e17 on Regional Express.

There is only one bus a day. It takes four-and-a-half hours and costs e40 return, so the train makes much more sense.

Castellon is five miles north west of Villareal. See the guide below about how to get there.

Barcelona Reus Airport

Airport -> Reus --> Tarragona -> Castellon -> Villareal

Reus is 66 miles south west of Barcelona, but don't head to Barcelona. Instead, head to Reus train station.

To get there, take a taxi from outside the terminal. It's six miles, but due to busy traffic, will take about half an hour and cost about e16. Or get the bus direct to the train station from outside the terminal.

Then get the train to Tarragona. The service leaves every 20 minutes and takes 15 minutes, costing e1.40 on Regional Express.

From Tarragona, you can get the train to Castellon. It takes just short of three hours on the Regional Express service, which costs e12.25 each way, or one hour 20 minutes on the Euromed, which costs e27.90 each way.

Getting from Castellon to Villareal

The coach will drop you off in Castellon at Avenida Perez Galdos. Walking to the train station would take more than an hour, so it's easier to jump in a taxi, which will take about 10 minutes and cost e15.

Villareal is about four miles south east of Castellon.

The train takes four minutes and services run at short intervals through the day. It is anticipated that there will be trains put on after the game back to Castellon as they were last time United played there.

It takes 20 minutes in a taxi from Castellon to Villareal and costs about e30.

In Villareal

The train station is on Calle Estacion. Walk straight ahead and keep going up and you'll reach the main square, Plaza Mayor, which is most likely to be the meeting point for reds.
Bars are spread evenly around the city and there is another square with a few bars just in front of the stadium, which is a 15-minute walk from the centre.
To get there, go north – away from the train station – up Calle de Trullenc, turn right onto Av de Italia and then left onto Calle de Miral Camp.

Aston Villa travel guide

Aston Villa
Villa Park, Witton
Saturday, November 22, kick off 5.30pm


Villa Park holds 42,640 and United have got 2,800 tickets priced at £35 for adults and £21 for under 16s and over 65s.
All away-end tickets have been sold and everyone who applied will have been informed here. Home-end tickets are on sale, but only to people who have previously bought tickets for Villa games. They won't go on general sale.
Internet touts are selling away-end tickets for £179.40.


The match will be shown live on Setanta Sports 1. The programme starts at 5pm.
Or you can watch it for free online here. The best stream will probably be Star Sports 3, through the Sopcast player, but there'll be many to choose from.

If there's a Chubb Club screening in Manchester, we'll let you know.


Car - £20.40

If you're using a sat nav or a route planner, use the postcode B6 6HE.
The journey takes 99 minutes, is 94 miles and costs £10.20 each way in petrol.
There is loads of free street parking within a five-minute walk of the stadium on any side of the ground.

Club coach - £20

United are running coaches to Villa priced at £20. They leave the Old Trafford N2 car park at 11.30am. To book, go here.

Public coach - £15.20

National Express has lots of coaches from Chorlton Street to Birmingham but only two on the way home after the game. All these returns cost £15.20.

From the coach station, it's a 15-minute walk to Birmingham New Street Station, from where you can catch a local service to Witton.

See the train section for more information.

To get from the coach station, turn left from Oxford Street onto Coventry Street, right onto Allison Street, left onto Shaw's Passage, left at Park Street, right at Moor Street Ringway, left onto St Martin's Circus Queensway, right onto Queens Drive and then into the Parasades Shopping Centre to the station, which is beneath.

Leave Chorlton Street: 07:15 09:05 10:10 11:40 12:50
Arrive Birmingham Oxford Street: 10:10 11:45 13:00 14:15 12:50
Journey time: 2:55 2:40 2:50 2:35 2:55

Leave Birmingham Oxford Street: 20:10 22:30
Arrive Chorlton Street: 21:50 01:10
Journey time: 1:40 2:40

Megabus do a coach there, but not one back after the game. It leaves Chorlton Street at 12:00 and arrives Birmingham The Priory Bus Station at 14:00, costing £6 (and 50p online booking fee).

On arrival, walk south west down Corporation Street for five minutes to Birmingham New Street station. Get the local service to Witton. See the train section for more information.

Train - £14

I've seperated the Piccadilly to Birmingham New Street services from the New Street to Witton services because it's cheaper to book the two routes seperately and many reds prefer to stop off in the city centre for a pint, rather than continue right through to the ground.

(There's a pub right outside New Street that opens from 10am - more of that in next week's pub guide).

A return ticket from Piccadilly to Witton bought on the day costs £30.30.

Two one-way tickets from Piccadilly to New Street cost from £14 and a return ticket from New Street to Witton costs £1.60, so that comes to £15.60 and a saving of £14.40

Leave Piccadilly: 08:25 09:15 09:24 10:15 10:24 11:15 11:24 12:15 12:24
Arrive Birmingham New Street: 09:48 10:56 10.58 11:56 11:58 12:56 12:58 13:36 13:58
One-way price: £9:00 £11.50 £12:50 £10.50 £9 £8.50 £24.50 £8.50 £9

Trains from New Street to Witton leave every hour at 27 minutes and 57 minutes past the hour and the journey takes nine minutes.
The timetable goes out of the window for the journey back to New Street after the game. Police organise services to leave as quickly as possible, though there is often a queue to get onto the platform at Witton.

Once you arrive at New Street, it's highly likely the police will have a Manchester-bound train waiting for you.

Leave Birmingham New Street: 20:13 20:20 21:13 21:20 22:20
Arrive Piccadilly: 21:51 22:02 22:45 23:05 00:02
One-way price: £11.50 £10.50 £8.50 £25.50 £5.50

Wednesday, November 19

And what have we got for Villareal?

So, the forecast is in and it's good news for those travelling early and not so good news for those getting straight in and out.

It's not going to rain, but the really warm weather will die off after this weekend, so it'll be chilly on the evening of the game...though a damn sight warmer than Villa on Saturday teatime.

Saturday November 22
Sunny to partly cloudy and windy.
High: 21°C
Low: 8°C

Sunday November 23
Breezy and cooler with brilliant sunshine.
High: 12°C
Low: 3°C

Monday November 24
A full day of sunshine.
High: 12°C
Low: 3°C

Tuesday November 25
Sunshine. Clearly or slightly cloudy in the evening.
High: 13°C
Low: 4°C

Wednesday November 26
Sunshine and patchy clouds
High: 17°C
Low: 5°C

Tuesday, November 18

Readers' questions

Q. How do we get from Salou to Castellon on the day of the Villareal game and how do we make the return trip to Reus Airport in time for the 10.25 flight to Birmingham for 9am the next day? Chris

A. Salou has its own train station at the east of the town. It’s very easy to find, as Salou is quite small.
On the day of the game, you can get the following trains:

Leave Salou: 10:51 12:04 16:06 18:07
Arrive Castellon: 13:18 13:37 17:25 19:40
Journey time: 2:27 1:33 1:19 1:33

As a rule of thumb, the slower the train is, the cheaper the fare.
Search for more trains here

On the way back, you need to get to the airport at least an hour before the flight.

It would help you a lot if you check in online, print out your boarding passes and only have to go through security when you arrive.

You can only do so if you have one piece of hand luggage to take on the plane with you and nothing to put in the hold.

On Wednesday morning, get the train from Castellon to Tarragona.

Catch either:
the 06:06 train that will get you in at 07:53 or
the 07:17 train that will get you in at 08:34.

Miss those and you’re screwed.

From there, get the 08:00 or 08:39 train from Tarragona to Reus train station. It’s a 14-minute journey and then you can get a taxi to the airport, which takes about half an hour depending on traffic.

So that should get you to the airport by 9.10am at the latest, but I’d go for the early option just to be safe.

Saturday, November 15

We're not ones to say we told you so, but...

United have been drawn to play Blackburn at Old Trafford in the Carling Cup 5th round and it's likely to take place on Tuesday December 2.

Can we have an away match please?!!!

At 12.15pm today, on Sky Sports 1 show, Soccer Saturday, the draw for the 5th round of the Carling Cup takes place.
United are number 5 in the draw and could be playing Arsenal, Blackburn, Burnley Derby, Stoke, Spurs or Watford.
It used to be the case that every red and his dog was praying for an away draw just for the buzz of going somewhere new.
But now, with the automatic cup scheme plaguing the pockets of fans, they have another reason to hope for any opponents - at all - as long as it's not at Old Trafford.
The match will take place on either December 2 or December 3, so we'll bring you a travel guide as soon as possible after the draw.
The last time Glazer allowed United to get an away draw in the League Cup was in 1893 when Newton Heath played Accrington Stanley.

Thursday, November 13

Bargain of the day - fly to West Ham for £66

Alright, I know, the trip to Upton Park isn't until February 7 and there's trips to Villareal, Stoke, Bolton, City, West Brom and Bolton to come before then.

But for London away games, doesn't it annoy you being stuck on a train all morning, paying £65 for the privilege, only to have to do the repeat journey home?

These flights are on bmi, leaving Manchester on the day of the match at either 08:50 or 10:50 and returning at 20:50.

Or you can mix and match: You could get the Megabus down in the morning for £8 and fly back for £33 one way.

The flight to Heathrow takes an hour.

It's true that, once you get there you've still got to get onto the tube and travel for 45 minutes or so east to the ground, but you have to that no matter what route you take.

So we were right... (robbing bastards)

Last week, we predicted Villareal would charge United fans between £50 and £58 for the 2,800 away-end tickets for the Champions League match on December 25. And lo and behold! It's £58.

In fairness to United, they did try to persuade the Spaniards to sort it out but, unsurprisingly, they were having none of it.

Hiking up the prices for a top-draw opponent is nothing new to Spanish football.

When the likes of Espanyol or Malaga play Barcelona or Real Madrid they will raise all their prices by £20 without fail - even if it means a far-from-full stadium.

If you applied, you might be one of the lucky ones (!) who ends up with one of the £50 restricted view tickets (as it will be self-enforced unreserved seating anyway. There are also 'VIP' tickets (so basically 'tickets in the main stand) for £102.50.

Though United have fought these ridiculous prices, in my view, they are at fault for three things:

- they didn't give a date for when applications results would be out, leaving applicants with no chance to withdraw their application once they discovered the price
- a day after United published the price, they released the application results, giving applicants no chance to withdraw their application

- they added on £1.74 for admin and £4.45 for postage, taking the total ticket price to £64.19.

Of course, fans who have got tickets can return them (before November 20), but they know that means losing a credit and many fans have already booked flights.

The question must be asked: Why haven't Celtic, Aalborg and United reported Villareal to UEFA about these extortionate prices?

Meanwhile, MUTravel has released details of its three Villareal trips.

Day trip: A match ticket, flights from Manchester to Valencia returning after the game, coach transfers and a tour guide. Price: £357 plus £11 insurance.

Overnight trip: Flights from Manchester to Valencia leaving the day before the game and returning after the game, a night at the four-star NH Las Artes hotel (pictured left) in Valencia, coach transfers to the game and a tour guide.Price: from £449 plus £11 insurance. A match ticket is reserved but not included in the price.

Executive overnight trip: A match ticket, flights from Manchester to Valencia leaving the day before the game and returning after the game with dedicated check in at both airports, speedy boarding, food and drink throughout.

There is also one night at the five-star Melia Valencia Palace and a three-course meal. Price: from £722 plus £11 insurance. Click here to book any of these trips.

Readers' questions

Q. For those of us not lucky enough to be able to make it to Japan, who what TV coverage will there be and what times will kick off be in UK time? Earlydoors

A. The semi final - United's first game - on Thursday December 18 will kick off at 7.30pm local time, which is 10.30am here.

If they lose, they will play in the third-place play off three days later at 4.30pm local time, which is 7.30am our time.

If we make the final, on the same day as the play off, it will be at 7.30pm local time, which is again 10.30am here.It will be on TV, but we don't know where as yet.

Setanta showed the last one live and the BBC showed the last one in which United were involved in.

We've asked all the major broadcasters if they are showing it and will let you know when we do.
For a tournament guide, click here.

Monday, November 10

Bargain of the day - coach to Stoke for £17

When United travel to Stoke for a 12.45pm kick off on Boxing Day, there will be absolutely no public transport that can get you to this game on time.

So it's a choice between driving (or getting a lift off someone), renting a mini bus or getting one of the four or so coaches that will probably be going to this game.

The only one announced so far is the official club coach, provided by Eavesway. It will cost £17 per person.

While £17 would usually be a rip off, it's not bad considering the time of year and the fact that there are few alternatives. You can book it here.

However, this blog is considering taking a step into the unknown - providing its very own Blog Bus to this game at a more affordable price, with localised stops thrown in.

If you're interested, email though I don't expect people to do so until after the ballot has been sorted.

Saturday, November 8

Apply for Villareal tickets now

Reds wanting to make the trip to sunny Spain to see United play Villareal on November 25 can now apply, but it might be quite pricey.

There’s been no price announcement so far, but it is anticipated it will cost from £50 to £58 for away-end tickets.

United say ticket prices and the number of tickets they will get is still to be confirmed.

This is because they are trying to persuade Villareal to put the price down, though that’s unlikely.

MU Travel customers have been told they will have £57 added on to the cost of their trip if they wish to buy a ticket that way. But it's unclear if that's the whole price of the ticket.

Execs, season ticket holders and One United members can apply from now until 8pm on Tuesday by calling 0161 868 8000 and selecting option 1.

Priority will be given to those fans who applied for and went to this season’s away games at Aalborg and Celtic.

Those who are successful must pay a three-per-cent admin fee and £4.45 postage.

For a travel guide to this game, go here and for important flight and train information go here and here – especially if you’re flying to or from Valencia.

Friday, November 7

Bargain of the day - train it to Spurs for £44.30 (book now and save £20)

United travel to North London again on December 13 to face Tottenham in a 5.30pm kick off.

The annoying thing with this late kick off is that, if you leave it too late getting the train home, you're looking at three changes and a five-hour journey, so you won't make it back to Piccadilly before midnight.

That, is unless, you take the direct 20:01 service from Euston. Book now on Virgin Trains for £13 one way and choose one of the dozen or so trains from Manchester to Euston, all priced £26 one way.

Then you can buy a £5.30 two-zone off-peak one-day railcard from London Euston Tube to Seven Sisters on the day.

That comes to £44.30, which is £20 cheaper than if you buy an off-peak return from Piccadilly to Seven Sisters on the day.

Rail firm assures fans

Reds needing to get back to Valencia or Castellon by train after the November 25 clash with Villareal will have no problem getting back, Spanish rail authorities have said.

When United last played there, police laid on extra services to ensure supporters got back to their hotels after the game.

On November 25, the match is due to finish at 10.30pm local time.

According to Jose Antonia Gonzalez, press spokesman for Spanish train provider Renfe, fans can get the 23.28 arriving at 23.37.

He said those needing to go south to Valencia, won't make the last direct service, which leaves at 22.36, so instead, they should first go north to Castellon and then get the train south to Valencia at 23.59.

If there are delays which mean fans can't make the 23.59 train, both Renfe and Spanish police will do all they can to ensure everyone gets to Valencia on an alternative service.

Tokyo explained

FIFA World Club Championship

First round (December 11)

1. Adelaide United v Waitakere United

Quarter final

1. Winner of 1. v Gamba Osaka (December 14)
2. Al-Ahly v Pachuca (December 13)

Semi Final

1. Winner of QF1 v Manchester United (7.30pm local time, 10.30am UK time, December 18, Yokohama)
2. Winner of QF2 v LDU Quito (December 17)

Third-place play off (4.30pm local time, 7.30am UK time, December 21, Yokohama)

Final (7.30pm local time, 10.30am UK time, December 21, Yokohama)

United’s games
No matter what happens both United’s games will take place at the 72,327-capacity Nissan Stadium in Yokohama three days apart.

You can either tickets direct from the club’s ticket office for £46 for the semi final and £58 for the day of the final, which entitles you to watch both the third-place play off and the final.

United have 1,000 of these Category 4 seats for each fixture behind one of the goals and they aren't expected to sell out.
The club say people who haven't told them they are interested in going have to do so before 8pm on November 7 by calling 0161 868 8000 and choosing option 1.
Those that already have done this can buy tickets until 8pm Monday, November 10 on the same number.

Or, from 10am on November 15 to 11.59pm on November 30, you can buy tickets, up to four per person for any game, through the FIFA website, with the added advantage of knowing exactly where in the stadium you’ll be.

You will be sent a confirmation email with details of where to pick your tickets at the stadium on the day.

Semi final tickets cost:
Category 1: £115.61
Category 2: £89.96
Category 3: £57.83
Category 4: £44.96
Final tickets cost:
Category 1: £192.64
Category 2: £141.27
Category 3: £96.42
Category 4: £57.83
A three-per-cent booking fee will be added on to every order.

Buy tickets here.

Visiting Japan

You don’t need a visa, only a valid passport.

Having considered all direct London to Tokyo flight options and indrect flights via seven European cities, the best flight is expedia's offer of a £520 return via Paris, leaving December 17 and returning December 22 (though the price is pretty much the same on all dates).

At the time of writing, MUTravel has two places left on its four-day trip, which leaves December 17 from Manchester Airport and goes via Paris on Air France. You also get coaches to and from both matches. The price is £1,799. Click here to book.

Champion Sports Tours is also running a five-day trip, leaving December 16, which is now sold out.

Guests will stay for four nights at the four-star Hyatt Regency in Tokyo
Getting to the stadium from Tokyo
It is 10-minutes walk from the stadium to Shin-Yokohama Station, which is in Yokohama city (pictured left).

From the station, take the high-speed Tokaido Shinkansen train from Platform 1 to Tokyo, which is 25.5km away.

Thursday, November 6

Arsenal travel guide

Emirates Stadium, North London
Saturday November 8, kick off 12.45pm.


Out of a capacity of 60,355, United have got 2,900 tickets priced at £48 for adults and £24 for over 65s and under 16s.. All have been sold.
If you applied, go here to find out if you got one, if you don't know already. Match programme costs £3.

For those who can't make it, Sky Sports 1, with the programme starting at noon.

Start the day off with a pint and good company by joining the MUST-organised Chubb Club revellers at the Walkabout. Tickets are £2 in advance or £3 on the door. Book here.

Car - £52.32

First a word about parking: Don't even attempt to park near the ground.
As the stadium is in such a heavily-populated residential area, there are severe parking restrictions and, in any case, the surrounding roads are closed to traffic from, in Saturday's case 11.45pm until 3.30pm.

It's far better to park for free outside one of the tube stations on the Piccadilly Line, like Wood Green, and then get the Tube four stops south to Arsenal station.

If you're using a sat-nav or routeplanner, use the postcode N22 6UX to get near Wood Green station.
The journey takes three hours and 29 minutes, is 207 miles and will cost £52.32 in petrol, unless you go on the M6 Toll roll, which is £4.50 either way.

Train - £57.30

Get a Virgin Trains service from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston, taking about three hours 20 minutes.
Then take the Tube north on the Victoria Line towards Walthamstow and get off at Finsbury Park, taking about 30 minutes.

On the way there, train times are:
Leave Manchester: 06:20 06:41 06:55 07:43 07:55
Arrive Finsbury Park: 10:08 10:27 10:38 11:12 11:40
Total journey time: 3:48 3:46 3:43 3:29 3:45

And on the way home, train times are:
Leave Finsbury Park: 15:22 15:38 16:22 16:38 17:22
Arrive Manchester: 18:47 19:28 19:46 20:28 20:50
Total journey time: 3:25 3:50 3:24 3:50 3:28

You can by an off-peak saver return on the day for £64.80.
But it's slightly cheaper to buy a £57.20 return (£52 if you leave at 6.20am) from Manchester to London. £57.20 via Virgin Trains and then a £5.30 two-zone off-peak one-day railcard from London Euston Tube to Finsbury Park on the day.

Official coach - £30

The club coach to the game costs £30 per person and leaves the N2 car park at Old Trafford at 8.30am, returning by 9.15pm. Call 0161 868 8000 to book.

Public Coach - £22

Megabus has one coach there and two coaches back on the day of the game, going from Chorlton Street to Victoria Coach Station.

On the way there, leave Chorlton Street at 06.30, arrive Victoria Coach Station at 11am, £12 one way.
On the way back, leave Victoria Coach Station at 16:30, or 18:30, arrive Chorlton Street at 21:10 or 22:55, £10 one way.

National Express has one coach there and four coaches back, but due to long waits, changes and inconvenience, there's only really one that you'd take.

On the way there, leave Chorlton Street at 06.45, arrive Victoria Coach Station at 11.35am, £12 one way.
On the way back, leave Victoria Coach Station at 15:30, arrive Chorlton Street at 20:50, £12 one way.

Once you've arrived at Victoria Coach Station, turn right and walk the short journey up Buckingham Palace Road to Victoria Tube. (see map above)

Then get the Victoria Line north to Finsbury Park, with a £5.30 two-zone off-peak one-day railcard.

Plane - £261.80

A non-starter. If you'd've booked flights three weeks ago, it would've been much, much cheaper, but you'd be mad to shell out this much now.

Bargain of the day - bus it to Villa for £3

When the reds play Villa on Saturday November 22, kick off 5.30pm, Megabus is offering a one-way ticket for £3.

It takes two hours and leaves Chorlton Street at noon, arriving Birmingham Queensway at 2pm, giving you plenty of time to get over to Birmingham New Street train station and catch a quick train to Witton station, where Villa Park is.

There's no Megabus back, but you can get a one-way train ticket from New Street to Manchester for £8.50 in advance from The Train Line - so you can get there and back for £11.50.

As many reds will tell you, in previous years at Villa - especially with evening kick offs - British Transport Police have kindly kept a Manchester-bound train waiting for fans at New Street for the journey home once they arrive from Witton.

Aand there's usually no conductor checking for tickets back to Manchester. BUT it's your own risk.

Or, you can stay stick about, get a 10-minute train to Birmingham International and fly out to Reus on Ryanair at 6.30am on Sunday for £28.06 single in time for the following Tuesday's game at Villareal.

You can then fly back from Barcelona Girona to Manchester the day after the match for £8.09, again on Ryanair.

The flight prices do not include a booking fee (£4 per flight unless you use a Visa Electron) or baggage.

Wednesday, November 5

Bargain of the day - Villareal flights for £25

If you've not already booked flights for Villareal away on November 25, Ryanair's sale gives you the perfect chance to get there for less than the cost of a match ticket.

Fly Liverpool to Reus on Monday for £15 single, watch the game on Tuesday and then fly Girona to Manchester on Wednesday for £10 single.

There are downsides though:

Those prices don't take into account booking fees, which is £4 per flight unless you book with a Visa Electron

If you don't book it over the phone (0871 246 0000, 10p per minute), you'll have to buy them separately, and you can only book the return flight with a credit card (as you're paying in euros).

The prices don't include: insurance, priority boarding or baggage fees.

Click here for a full guide to getting to and from the Villareal game

Vying for Villa tickets

Anyone who applied for tickets for United's match at Aston Villa on Saturday November 22, kick off 5.30pm, can now find out if they were successful.

Call 0161 868 8000 or check you online booking history

Meanwhile, United are charging £20 for coach places to the game, Coaches leave Old Trafford N2 car park at 11.30am Book here.

Bitter blues application due

United travel to Eastlands for a derby match against massive rivals City on Sunday November 30, for a 1.30pm kick off.

The reds have been given 2,700 tickets, costing £36 adults, £22 for over 65s and £10 for under 16s.

Execs can apply for tickets now until 8pm on Friday.

Season-ticket holders who are in the automatic cup scheme can apply from 8am on Monday to 8am on Wednesday (November 12). Results will be out on Thursday, November 13.

Apply online or call 0161 868 8000 and choose option 1.

Monday, November 3

Readers' questions - Celtic

Q. We're going to be in Glasgow on the night of the Celtic game but can't get home after the match. Any advice on where to stay?

A. Here are options for three budgets.

Cheap as chips - £10 pp pn
The Bluesky Hostel (pictured) at 65 Berkeley Street, Charing Cross, Glasgow has beds available in a 10-bed dorm for £10 pp pn. Beware though, the dorms are called Trainspotting, though standards are pretty high there.

Or there's the Bunkum Hostel at 26 Hillhead St., Glasgow, which has beds available in a six-bed dorm for £12.50pp pn. The chances of each dorm being full are slim as it's not the tourist season.

Book both these hotels using Hostel Bookers DON'T book hostels via expedia, as they will add £79 on top in some cases. Arf!

Middle budget - £34.50 pp pn

Most Premier Travel Inn rooms are sold out. You won't get a room there for under £90 pr pn. Ibis and Travelodge have completely sold out.
The three-star Ewington City Hotel (pictured), at 132 Queens Drive might be three miles out of town to the south (a fiver in a taxi), but it's right next to the Scottish Football Museum and double rooms are £68.99 pr pn (so £34.50 each) and that includes breakfast. Book via expedia.

Champagne Charlie - £56.25pp pn

If you want a bit o' class, try the five-star Glasgow Hilton (pictured) at 1 William Street.

A two-person room costs £205 a night. Breakfast isn't included. It sounds a lot, but you can pay £10 extra per person to have an extra person staying.

So, in theory at least, you could have four people staying in it for £56.25pp pn.

Best to check exactly how this works by giving the expedia a call on 0871 226 7762. Again, book this via the expedia website.

Celtic travel guide (pub guide coming tomorrow)

Celtic Park, Parkhead
Wednesday November 5, kick off 7,45pm


Live on Sky Sports 2, programme begins at 6pm

MUST is running a Chubb Club screening of the match at Walkabout on Quay Street in Manchester city centre for those who can't make it up to Glasgow.


Parkhead holds 60,857. United have been given an allocation of 3,000 tickets, about 500 of which went to customers of MU Travel.
All tickets are sold and applicants should have by now found out if they were successful through the usual channels.
Internet touts are selling away-end tickets for £230.10.

Train - £51.50

Journey time is typically three hours 40 minutes.

There are three important things to consider:
1. There's no realistic way of getting back by train until Thursday morning.
2. Don't leave before 10am on a weekday, as train-ticket prices are extortionate.
3. You can't go direct from Manchester to Glasgow (and back) so you have to change at Prestion.

If you buy tickets online in advance, you save £8.
A standard off-peak return from Piccadilly to Glasgow Central bought on the day of travel costs £60 for an adult.
But if you get a single from Manchester to Preston from National Rail or on the day for £5.50 or £6 (depending on which train) and buy a Preston to Glasgow Central return online through Virgin Trains for £40, you save money.

Leave Piccadilly at: 10:11 11:45 13:11 13:45 15:11
Arrive Preston at: 11:03 12:27 14:04 14:27 16:04
Wait for: 16 mins 17 mins 15 mins 17mins 15mins
Leave Preston at: 11:19 12:44 14.19 14:43 16:19
Arrive Glasgow at: 13:46 14:54 16:55 17:21 18:46
Journey time: 3:35 3:09 3.44 3.36 3.35

Leave Glasgow at: 10:10 11:10 12:10 12:49 14:10
Arrive Preston at: 12:31 13:46 14:28 14:59 16:27
Wait for: 10 mins 22 mins 10mins 9 mins 11 mins
Leave Preston at: 12:41 14:08 14:38 15:08 16:38
Arrive Piccadilly at: 13:35 14:57 15:20 15:57 17:20
Journey time: 3:25 3:47 3:10 3:08 3:10

As well as normal services, MU Travel is running a first-class train service from Preston train station, which leaves on Wednesday and returns Thursday.

It costs £417 excluding travel insurance and the price of a room at the Adobe Hotel in Glasgow is included.

On this map, Glasgow Central is the station just to the left of where it says 'A8'. Bridgeton station is the one just right of where it says 'London Road' and the stadium is to right of that on the edge of this map.
Once at Glasgow Central, there a few ways to get to the stadium:

It takes 47 minutes and it’s one straight path east on Argyle Street and then London Road.

It will cost about £5 and take 13 minutes. Near to kick off, you’re likely to hit traffic at Bridgeton station so get out there.


Get a train east to Dalmarnock. Services leave every 10 minutes, journey time is seven minutes and it costs £1.45 for a single. This station is nearest the away end.

All services to the stadium will have ‘via Celtic Park’ on the front. Services 43, 61, 62 and 64 will get you there for about £1.20 single.

Car - £47.16

If you're using a Satnav or a routeplanner, use the podcode G40 3RE.
The journey from Manchester is 213 miles, takes three hours and 30 minutes and costs £47.16 in petrol in total.
There is a lot of free on-street car parking available on London Road, about a five-minute walk to the ground and a lot of paid-for car parks within a five-minute walking distance, priced about £5.

Official coach - £49
MU Travel is taking nine coaches to the match, which return right after the game and were £49 per person with a guaranteed match ticket not included in the price.

All are sold out and everyone on them will have, by now, got letters explaining departure times and their itinerary.

Other coach - £23.50

National Express runs regular coaches through the day from Chorlton Street to Killermont Street in Glasgow.

The best thing about the National Express service is that you CAN leave for home on the night of the game, though you won’t be back until 3.45am. It will set you back £32.50 for a return ticket, but that’s pretty reasonable.

Leave Chorlton Street: 09:00 11:15 12:40
Arrive Glasgow: 13:55 15:30 18:00
Journey time 04:55 04:15 05:20

Leave Glasgow 23:00 23:30
Arrive Manchester 03:55 03:45
Journey time 04:55 04:15

Megabus runs three coaches a day between Chorlton Street and Glasgow Buchanan Street bus station.
Like the train, you won’t be able to get back on the night of the game.

Leave Chorlton Street: 04:58 12:40
Arrive Glasgow: 08:58 17:15
Journey time 04:00 4:35
Cost £9* £13.50*

Leave Glasgow: 08:30 11:00
Arrive Manchester: 12:55 15:45
Journey time: 04:25 04:45
Cost: £14.50*£25*
* add a 50p booking fee

After arriving at Buchanan Street, walk round the corner to Glasgow Central train station via St Vincent Street and left onto Hope Street) and follow the instructions above to get to the ground.

View Larger Map

Fly - £174.98

Before we start, there are no flights back to Manchester on the night of the game and even if you do decide to go for the 6.50am flight home, you’re still looking at £174.98 return from Manchester to Glasgow International.

Flight time each way is 70 minutes. Look here for options if you’re loaded.

Flying from Leeds Bradford is the same situation and costs £374 return at cheapest. Liverpool doesn’t fly direct, so that’s not an option.

At the time of writing, there is one place left on the MU Travel flight trip, priced at £199 excluding insurance. It isn’t clear if you get a guaranteed match ticket when you buy it.

There is also an ‘executive’ first-class flight with four places left at £322 excluding insurance.

Go here for details of both.