Manchester United had to find a hotel in Liverpool ahead of their FA Cup clash with Tranmere – because their usual haunt The Lowry was booked up by Strictly Come Dancing stars.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under pressure heading into Sunday’s game at Prenton Park, having overseen just two wins in United’s last seven games in all competitions.
But they had to quickstep to find an alternative as the plush hotel was already booked up, with Strictly presenter Stacey Dooley and the show’s dancing pairs among the guests.
Documentary maker and show host Dooley was all smiles as she was snapped leaving The Lowry as Strictly’s 2020 tour hit the city for two nights at Manchester Arena on Saturday and Sunday.
Former Arsenal star Alex Scott also made an appearance, as well as judge Shirley Ballass, YouTuber Saffron Barker and professional dancer Katya Jones.
United, meanwhile, will hope their preparations aren’t hit too hard by the change in their pre-match routine.
FA Cup glory this season could go some way towards keeping Solskjaer in the job for next term – just as it did for his former mentor Sir Alex Ferguson when United beat Crystal Palace in a replay to lift the trophy.
However, a poor result against League One opposition on a treacherous Prenton Park pitch will pile the pressure on the Red Devils boss.
United are still competing on four fronts, and after Sunday their next game is a trip to the Etihad for the second leg of their EFL Cup semi-final against local rivals Manchester City.
However, City lead 3-1 from the first leg at Old Trafford, and Solskjaer’s side will have their work cut out to overturn the deficit.