The Reds will look to seal their spot in Europe’s premier competition next season, as they make the trip to east Midlands to face Leicester City in the penultimate weekend of the Premier League.
On Sunday afternoon, when referee Martin Atkinson blows his whistle, it will essentially be a play-off between both these teams for a place in next season’s Champions League – a race that has gone back and forth on recent matchdays.
Of course, Chelsea will have a say too as they currently occupy the fourth and final spot in the standings.
The hosts dropped out of the top four for the first time since September in midweek, and will be out to cause Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side some bother.
The Reds have impressively, especially since the restart, eaten up ground on their opponents and now sit in third place with a slight advantage.
Ahead of the crunch clash, here’s all the information you need to know!
James Maddison, who has strongly been linked with United all season, will definitely not play in this fixture after undergoing a minor operation in his hip. He has not played since July 1.
Meanwhile, Brendan Rodgers will also be unable to call on the services of some of his key defenders.
England international Ben Chilwell is set to miss out with a thigh problem, while centre-half Caglar Soyuncu will be absent through suspension. Left-back Christian Fuchs has suffered a season-ending groin injury, meaning rookie Luke Thomas will mostly likely continue to deputise on the left side of defence.
Right-back Ricardo Pereira is also set to be missing for the Foxes along with midfielder Daniel Amartey.
Eric Bailly was forced to miss the underwhelming draw with West Ham United after sustaining a head injury. It happened in the Emirates FA Cup semi-final loss to Chelsea, joining long-term absentees Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe on the sidelines.
However, he has returned to training and could possibly be an option if Ole decides to play five at the back.
Luke Shaw is a doubt, but he will be given every chance of making the squad. If not, Brandon Williams will be in line to make his third successive start in what has personally been an impressive season for him.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka seems to have recovered from a light knock after he replaced Timothy Fosu-Mensah at the interval on Monday night.
Manchester United 1 Leicester City 0
An early Marcus Rashford penalty decided a close contest between both teams.
A hard fought battle at Old Trafford ended with only one goal separating the two teams. Rashford converted from the spot very early in the first half as we managed to defend our one goal lead till full time to secure all three points.
With three sides still vying for the final two Champions League spots, there are plenty of permutations ahead of Sunday.
The Reds will guarantee a spot at Europe’s top table for 2020/21 with a win or a draw at the King Power. And even a defeat will see us home, if Wolves win at Stamford Bridge.
Should the Reds win, we’ll almost certainly guarantee a third-placed finish given our significantly superior goal difference over Chelsea. Who themselves would finish fourth regardless of their score against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
In this scenario, Leicester would end the season in fifth. A draw at the King Power is also likely to mean the Foxes miss out. Although three points for Leicester’s Midland rivals in west London would see United and Leicester taking the two spots, ahead of Frank Lampard’s men.
So, from a United perspective, avoid defeat and top four is our’s. We won’t be having to rely on Wolves pulling off a result against Chelsea.
Before the season was suspended, Leicester looked a certainty to finish in the top four. But their form since the resumption has been scratchy. As a result, they could only manage nine points from a possible 24.
They have sorely missed the services of some of their influential players who have gone down with season-ending injuries and suspensions.
The red side of Manchester also appear to be stuttering at the wrong time. Just when they were receiving plaudits for their free-flowing style of attacking football after the break.
Fatigue and a lack of quality depth has proven to be the downfall in recent games.
The hosts were convincingly beaten 3-0 by Tottenham Hotspur last time out which dropped them out to fifth position.
They were also beaten 4-1 by a struggling AFC Bournemouth side not too long before that. The wheels couldn’t be coming off at a worse time.
The visitors are looking to get back to winning ways after going winless in their last three.
The Red Devils are aware that a share of the spoils is all they need on Sunday but with Leicester likely to be pushing for the win, there should be gaps for United to expose and claim all three points.
A win will be a good way to end the league season and head into the Europa League.
United are unbeaten in their last 11 meetings against the Foxes in all competitions. And we expect them to extend that to 12. They should have enough quality to chalk up the win, if only just.
Will United complete the job and play Champions League football next season? Share your thoughts!
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