What do United still need for a top-four spot?

Monday 15 May 2023 11:06

Following Manchester United's 2-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, the Reds still require six points to make certain of a top-four place in the Premier League.

Erik ten Hag's side are fully focused on the goal of reaching next season's Champions League and need at least two wins from our final three fixtures in order to guarantee a spot.

The weekend victory, secured with goals by Anthony Martial and substitute Alejandro Garnacho, was a crucial one, and applies pressure on Liverpool ahead of their trip to Leicester City tonight (Monday).

The Merseysiders must stretch their winning run to seven matches to close the gap on United back to a point, although we will then have a game in hand.

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Jurgen Klopp's men may be strong favourites with the bookmakers to collect all three points but the Foxes are deep in relegation trouble and know a surprise victory would catapult them out of the drop zone.

If Liverpool were to draw, we would be left needing four points to seal a top-four place, while a defeat for the Anfield outfit would reduce that figure to three points from our last three outings.

Brighton & Hove Albion's impressive 3-0 success at Arsenal means they are still in the hunt too. The Seagulls have a game in hand on United and can still reach 70 points, although their tough run-in continues with a journey to third-placed Newcastle United on Thursday night.

Tottenham, beaten by Aston Villa on Saturday, are definitely out of the running.

The Reds are currently level on points with Newcastle, but behind due to our inferior goal difference, which is the lowest in the top six.

Ten Hag has been at pains to point out the focus must remain on ourselves, with the fixtures against Bournemouth, Chelsea and Fulham still to come.

Saturday's 15:00 BST kick-off on the south coast is next on the agenda and we will need to improve on our away record when taking on a team that is now mathematically safe from relegation but aiming to put on a show in front of their fans in their last home outing of the season.

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As Liverpool can still hit 71 points, the fact United need six to make sure does keep the pressure on to win at least two of our remaining fixtures, as, for example, one victory and two draws would obviously not be enough if the Merseysiders keep winning.

Hence there will an eye on developments at the King Power Stadium this evening, in the hope Leicester can derail our fiercest rivals, while Brighton versus Newcastle later in the week has the added interest of seeing if we can overhaul the Magpies and finish in third spot.


3rd: Newcastle 35/66
4th: UNITED 35/66
5th: Liverpool 35/62
6th: Brighton 34/58

(Matches played/points)


15 May: Leicester City v LIVERPOOL (20:00 BST)
20 May: Bournemouth v UNITED, LIVERPOOL v Aston Villa (both 15:00 BST)
21 May: BRIGHTON v Southampton (14:00 BST)
22 May: NEWCASTLE v Leicester City (20:00 BST)
24 May: BRIGHTON v Manchester City (20:00 BST)
25 May: UNITED v Chelsea (20:00 BST)
28 May: Aston Villa v BRIGHTON, Chelsea v NEWCASTLE, UNITED v Fulham, Southampton v LIVERPOOL (all 16:30 BST)