As we enter the final four games of the Premier League season, Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s Manchester United will be hoping that the likes of Chelsea and Leicester City drop points whilst they take maximum points from their remaining fixtures in order to finish in one of the top four positions.
The Red Devils had a really poor period when looking at the side’s results from the first half of the campaign, given that they were sitting in eight-place and four points behind fourth-place Chelsea, whilst key man Paul Pogba was expected to be on the sidelines for majority of the season leaving everything to be done by the likes of Anthony Martial, Daniel James, Fred and Marcus Rashford.
Even then, United were still not good enough, as they had only won seven league games at the half-mark of the campaign, as well as scoring just 30 goals and conceding 23 goals in 19 games. However, they were in luck, as the teams above and below them were unable to remain consistent and dominant, to allow them to have a gap of a couple of points or more ahead of Manchester United.
On the other hand, the club’s fortune has fully turnaround following the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in the January transfer window, who has managed to be an instant impact and has helped Solskjaer’s men to go on to be unbeaten from his first appearance for United up until now. And because of his contributions, the side are a point away from fourth-place Leicester City, in the FA Cup Semi-finals and are in the Europa League, which can be used as a backup option for Champions League football.
Before looking into United’s remaining fixtures of the season, it’s time to have a quite look at Chelsea and Leicester City and who they have left, as the Blues are yet to face Norwich, Liverpool and Wolves. On the other hand, the Foxes, have the likes of Sheffield United, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to play, teams that are still looking to finish high up the league table.
With no further ado, it’s time to predict the results of United’s final four league fixtures…
Arguably the toughest game of United’s remaining fixtures, Southampton will certainly be no pushovers when they come to Old Trafford on Monday night, as they have the fifth best away form in the league, achieving eight victories and collecting 27 points out of a potential 51. With how they are playing under Ralph Hasenhuttl and his pressing system, the side have been able to reap their rewards, from creating chances due to the opposition’s mistakes to conceding as less as possible.
If Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men are to successfully accomplish the full three points, they will have to be on top of their game and the opposition, who will not be afraid to play with a narrow high line and attempt to force United’s defence and midfield to lose the ball and push them into making errors. In the end, United’s home form has been more than consistent, and the quality of Bruno Fernandes, Mason Greenwood and Paul Pogba will be too much for the Saints to handle.
Prediction: 2-1 victory to Manchester United.
Crystal Palace (A)
Although the match against struggling Crystal Palace should be straightforward, it will take place two days ahead of United’s FA Cup semi final fixture against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium, which will leave Solskjaer in a mixture of thoughts on whether to rest the key players and rotate around or not. Roy Hodgson’s side have had a poor run of results since the Premier League season has restated, as they have only won one of their last six fixtures in the league, scoring four goals and conceding 13.
Nevertheless, even if the likes of Daniel James, Fred and Scott McTominay were to start ahead of United’s key players in the starting line-up, the team would still have enough individual quality and key moments within the side to overcome the Eagles. If the Red Devils are able to complete the victory over Crystal Palace, the team would look dead on to finish in the top four positions.
Prediction: 2-0 victory to Manchester United.
West Ham (H)
As David Moyes’ West Ham sit just above the relegation zone by three points, the side will certainly consider the final three games of the season as three monumental finals, given that it would be seen as a huge surprise if they were to get relegated with the amount of quality they have midfield and attack. And when looking at their away form, the Hammers have been growing quietly into picking up the much needed points, following their dominant win over Norwich and draw at Newcastle.
However, they will have to come up with something special in order to walk away from Old Trafford with something, as the Red Devils have the fourth best home record and second best defence in the league as things currently stand. With the work ethic and mentality being at an all-time high for Solskjaer and his men, we should expect a ruthless and complete performance and result from them.
Prediction: 3-0 victory to Manchester United.
Leicester City (A)
With Ricardo Pereira still on the sidelines, Caglar Soyuncu suspended for Leicester City’s final three games of the season as well as Ben Chilwell and James Maddison missing a few of the side’s crucial games in recent weeks, Brendan Rodgers’ men are in deep trouble of losing their spot in next year’s Champions League football after being in the top four positions for majority of the current season.
On the other hand, the results from the fixtures ahead of this game could complete the table on who will finish in the top four and who will not, as United’s remaining games look to be straightforward when comparing it to both Chelsea and Leicester City. In the end, both teams will be at each other and it could be seen as a match that will be end-to-end, depending on the potential circumstances.
Prediction: 2-2 draw between Leicester City and Manchester United.