Manchester United’s difficult season looks to be ending in complete disappointment unless they can salvage a top-four finish in their remaining games.
With Jose Mourinho sacked and now predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer under mounting pressure, the Red Devils have endured a frustrating and trophyless campaign.
They are currently sixth in the table having lost three of their last four in the top flight.
Solskjaer’s side face Chelsea, Huddersfield and Cardiff in the remaining weeks of the term and need some help if they are to end the year on a high by securing Europe for next year.
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How Man United can qualify for Champions League
United need a top-four finish in the Premier League this season to gain qualification for the Champions League.
They will likely have to win their remaining three fixtures and then hope their rivals slip up. A win over Chelsea on Sunday is all but essential to their hopes.
But as the English sides have impressed in Europe this term, coming in fourth may not be enough for the Red Devils.
For example, if United finish fourth behind Chelsea in third but then Tottenham win the Champions League and Arsenal win the Europa League, Solskjaer’s side would be bumped out as the European champions would take priority.
United, again only if they finish fourth, will be hoping Spurs end the season in third because then their potential Champions League triumph would not affect them.
The Premier League can have a maximum of five teams in the Champions League.
If the final three fixtures throw up some major surprises and United finish third, they would be assured of Champions League football next season.