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Old Trafford could set a new Premiership attendance record on Sunday as around 1,000 extra seats in the north-west quadrant have been made available for the first time.

United set the current record in February 2005 when 67,989 watched the Reds beat Portsmouth 2-1. However, if the record is beaten at the weekend it is unlikely to last long; more seats should be made available for the Arsenal game on April 9 as work on increasing the ground’s capacity to 76,000 is ahead of schedule.

One United members can now apply for tickets in the north-west quadrant by calling 0870 442 1994. They are available on a first come first served basis.

"We're delighted to allow more of our supporters into Old Trafford," says director of communications Phil Townsend.

"There is a practical element, too. It's something we have to undertake as a requirement for our safety certificate and allows us to carry out a dry run of admitting fans to these areas.

"We've done this with all of our major developments and is a sign of how advanced work is on the stadium expansion."

United’s highest ever gate – an 86-year-old record – is likely to fall before the end of the season. There were 70,504 fans at the match with Aston Villa on 27 December 1920, but that record could also be broken.

Report by Ben Hibbs.
 
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