Players, like fans, have plenty of pre-match rituals which they believe have the power to make the difference between winning or losing games.
I know someone who looks away for every kick-off, believing that will give their team the luck they need. Others have special pants or socks which apparently provide the players that extra boost on the pitch.
Speaking with the official site, Phil Jones has revealed a bizarre superstition involving his left and right, based on whether the game he is about to play is home or away.
“This sounds really stupid… but it depends on whether we’re home or away,” he said. “The fixtures list United on the left when we’re at home and on the right when we’re away. So this weekend I’ll put my right sock on first because it will be Swansea v United. Next week, if I play against Benfica at Old Trafford, I’ll put my left sock on. I also don’t like stepping on white lines on the pitch. And when I do cross a white line then I’ll take the first step with the foot that corresponds to whether we’re home or away. This will sound proper over-the-top, but you know when you go to a hotel room and there are two towels hanging down? When I was on international duty last week, I picked the towel on the left because we were at home against Spain. I know it’s weird but I can’t help myself. Nobody knows about it so nobody has ever noticed… although I guess the secret’s out now.”