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Dublin: 3 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019

Here's what needs to happen for Man United to seal a Champions League spot

We also look at the possible ramifications that would enable West Ham to gain an unlikely top-four place.


WITH THE PREMIER League season approaching its conclusion and Leicester having already wrapped up the title, the big question on most fans’ lips is who will seal the coveted top-four spots and thus, guarantee entry to next season’s Champions League.

Leicester and Tottenham have already guaranteed their place in next season’s competition, while Arsenal need just one more win to join them.

Consequently, the final spot appears to be between three teams: Man City, Man United and West Ham.

City are currently in pole position, as they sit four points and five points ahead of their nearest rivals.

However, both Man United and West Ham have a game in hand on Manuel Pellegrini’s side, and a win would reduce the gap between the teams to one and two points respectively.


Let’s take a closer at the remaining fixtures…

Man City: Arsenal (home), Swansea (away).

Man United: Norwich (away), West Ham (away), Bournemouth (home).

West Ham: Swansea (home), Man United (home), Stoke (away).


While Man City are in the best position currently, their league form hasn’t exactly been convincing of late, losing 4-2 against Southampton last weekend, and picking up just 10 points from their last five matches.

That said, West Ham and Man United haven’t been able to fully capitalise on City’s slip-ups, picking up nine and 10 points respectively from their last five Premier League games.

So what do United need to do to qualify for the Champions League?

Firstly, hope that Man City drop points. If the Eastlands outfit win their remaining two games, then the Red Devils have no hope of making the top four.

So here’s what United need to do if City drop points…

  • If City get four points, Man United need to win all three of their remaining fixtures.
  • If City get three points, Man United could technically get into the top four by winning two and drawing one of their remaining fixtures, but since Pellegrini’s men have a far superior goal difference, this won’t happen.
  • If City get two points, Man United need to win two and draw one of their remaining fixtures.
  • If City get one point, Man United need to win two of their remaining games.
  • If City don’t get any points, again Man United could technically get top four with one win and one draw, but this almost certainly won’t happen owing to Pellegrini’s side’s much better goal difference.

Similarly West Ham, at the very least, need Man United and City to slip up in at least one game.

And putting United aside altogether, they will need the following…

  • If City get four points, West Ham could technically qualify for the Champions League but would need to improve their goal difference considerably.
  • If City get three points, West Ham still need to win all their games.
  • If City get two points, West Ham would at least need to get two wins and a draw, but again, unless they win all their games, goal difference would come into play.
  • If City get one point, West Ham could qualify with just two wins on goal difference.
  • If City don’t get any points, West Ham could qualify with one win and two draws on goal difference.

Would Liverpool winning the Europa League have any impact on the Premier League race for fourth?

No, Uefa have confirmed that England can get a maximum of five Champions League spots, so Man City’s midweek Champions League exit means the fourth-place Premier League team will definitely gain a place in the competition.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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