Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has complained about what their progress into the EFL Cup final will mean for their chances of finishing in the top-4 but the Special One should be relishing their run of upcoming fixtures as they look to close the gap on the teams above them.
United will come out of the FA Cup weekend, four points out of the final Champions League qualification spot, and six points behind second place Arsenal.
United missed the chance to move closer to the top four after only managing a 1-1 draw with Stoke last weekend but with their rivals playing each other in the coming weeks, this is the time for Jose Mourinho’s side to take advantage of the easiest run of fixtures out of any of their title rivals and break into the top four.
Mourinho’s side play three sides battling against relegation before their EFL Cup final date with Southampton on February 26. United will play against Hull for the second time in a week before traveling away to reigning Premier League champions Leicester and then finally hosting Watford prior to their day at Wembley.
United will then play at home to Bournemouth before travelling away to their EFL Cup final opponents to complete their run of fixtures, which, when calculated using WhoScored.com’s team ratings, means the difficult level of those next five league games is only 6.68.
By contrast, Liverpool have the hardest run of fixtures to come in their next six league matches where they face three of the top six (Tottenham, Chelsea, Arsenal) between kinder fixtures against Hull, Leicester and Burnley. A WhoScored rating of 6.85 suggest they will have a harder time getting maximum points than United.