Premier League top four race: What Manchester United need to seal Champions League football?

Let us look at how the Red Devils can confirm a top four finish from their remaining games.

File photo of Manchester United players; Credit: Twitter/ @EuropaLeague
By Karthik Raman | May 24, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester United are getting ever closer to confirming Champions League qualification for next season. The weekend results have gone massively in favour of Erik ten Hag’s side, meaning the equation has become a lot simpler for them to book a ticket to Europe’s elite competition for next campaign. With not many games left, every point counts at the moment. Fortunately for ten Hag and United, the destiny is their own hands.

At the weekend, Manchester United registered a hard-fought 1-0 victory away from home to Bournemouth. Add to it, their closest top four rival Liverpool dropping points against Aston Villa. In fact, for most parts of the game, Villa were in front. Had Liverpool lost that game, United would have already sealed a top four place. Either way, the late equaliser by Liverpool last Saturday has only extended the inevitable for Man United. Let us look at how the Red Devils can confirm a top four finish from their remaining games.

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Win against Chelsea

As things stand, Manchester United are placed fourth in the Premier League standings with 69 points from 36 games. Liverpool are sitting a place below with 66 points from 37 matches. In theory, a point is enough for Erik ten Hag’s side to guarantee a top four finish, since Liverpool can only get to a maximum of 69 points this season if they win their final game. On Thursday night, Man United welcome struggling Chelsea to Old Trafford. If United continue their stellar home run, then should be able to beat the Blues and seal a top four place.

Draw with Chelsea

Due to the weekend results, Man United only require one point from their final two games. Hence, they do not even need to win a game of football in the remaining matches to secure Champions League football for next campaign. A draw is enough for the Red Devils. Keeping in mind United’s impressive home record and Chelsea’s unprecedented struggles, Erik ten Hag’s side should be able to get at least a draw on Thursday night.

Fulham is a back-up option

On the unlikely event that Chelsea spring a surprise at Old Trafford and beat Manchester United, the Red Devils will still have another chance to qualify for Champions League. With Fulham already punching above their weights to guarantee a top half finish, they do not have much to play for in their final game. Hence, the equation will once again be the same on Sunday. Man United can guarantee a top four finish by securing – at the minimum – a draw against Fulham.

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