Manchester United begin a brutal run of fixtures that will not only decide their season, they might well determine how long Louis van Gaal keeps his job. There are already rumors in Spain that United have reached out to under pressure Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti to gauge his interest on returning to the Premier League next season.
This is what United’s last 10 fixtures look like:
- March 15: Tottenham (home)
- March 22: Liverpool (away)
- April 4: Aston Villa (home)
- April 12: Man City (home)
- April 18: Chelsea (away)
- April 26: Everton (away)
- May 2: West Brom (home)
- May 9: Crystal Palace (away)
- May 16: Arsenal (home)
- May 24: Hull (away)
It is those next five matches that grab your attention where United face Tottenham (h), Liverpool (A), Aston Villa (H), Manchester City (H) and Chelsea (A).
Normally Van Gaal probably needs at least 10 points from those five games. Wins against Spurs and Vila, plus a win, loss and draw against Liverpool, City and Chelsea.
But that might not be enough for United. Heading into the weekend, United have 53 points, Arsenal, came fourth last season with 79. Assuming that it takes something close to that to finish fourth this season, and United take 10 points from their next 5 games, then they would have to run the table from Everton onwards to end up with 78 points.
Seventy eight should be enough to finish in the top four, but in order to do that, United and van Gaal need to pick up at least 10 points from their next five games, and that means anything less than three points against Spurs will be a disaster.
Do you think United will finish in the top four this season?