00:18 GMT +318 October 2019
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    FC Rostov Fans Look Forward to Warm Welcome in Manchester for Europa League Tie

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    Manchester United is working hard to give FC Rostov fans a warm welcome ahead of Thursday's UEFA Europa League match at Old Trafford, after fans of the English club were pleasantly surprised by the good reception they received in Rostov last week.

    Rostov fans are confident that Manchester United will return their warm hospitality during last week's UEFA Europa League tie in Rostov-on-Don

    Greeted warmly by locals when they arrived in the town, Manchester United fans were also pleasantly surprised by how well they were treated at the stadium. The visiting supporters received complementary blankets, and home fans wanted to take selfies with them, fans told Manutd.com.

    Their good reception was in contrast to dark warnings in the British media about "Russia's hooligan army."

    Marcus Papadopoulos, editor of Politics First magazine, told Sputnik that events in Rostov belied the British media's habitual fear-mongering about Russia and its fans.

    "The British press is always against Russia no matter what the occasion, they always try and portray it in a negative light. But when English fans visit Russia, have a good time there and return with positive impressions about the country, you will never read that in the British press or hear it on the BBC News or Sky News channels," Papadopoulos said.

    Manchester United is keen to repay the hospitality Rostov gave its fans. It has prepared travel guides showing how to get from the airport to Old Trafford, with information about entry to the stadium and its facilities.

    FC Rostov spokesman Ivan Bodilevsky told Sputnik that the club has helped about 100 fans to make the journey to Manchester. He expects the club's fans to receive a similarly warm welcome in Manchester.

    "We collected applications, checked for visas. That is, we also helped those fans who turned to the club to get invitations from Manchester United. Tickets cost them £43, about 100 people have gone on the journey. They have made their way on their own, with transfers," he explained.

    "We have a good relationship, we gave our guests a good reception and I think Manchester United fans will also welcome us warmly. Everything will be fine," Bodilevsky said.

    There is all to play for in Thursday's match, after last week's first leg in Rostov ended in a hard-fought 1-1 draw, with goals from Rostov's Aleksandr Bukharov and Manchester United's Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The winner of the game will enter the Europa League's quarter-final draw on Friday.

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