Opta Analytics has released their supercomputer’s prediction of the Premier League table at the end of the season, and United’s chances of Champions League football are slim.
This was Erik ten Hag‘s first away win against a top-nine opposition in the Premier League this season, which sees the club just six points adrift of Spurs, who currently hold the coveted fourth place spot – this guarantees a place in Europe’s top competition for next campaign, which is Ten Hag’s main ambition for the remainder of 2023/24.
Many ex-players are optimistic that the Red Devils can book their place in the Champions League, as the money and the attraction that it brings to Old Trafford is of the utmost importance.
Speaking to Premier League Productions after United’s victory at Villa Park, Class of 92 member Paul Scholes concentrated on the importance of returning key players to climb the league table.
“They can win a lot of games. It’s important they are in the Champions League,” Explained Scholes. “I’ve felt in the last two or three weeks, especially with all the players back, I still think they’ve got a chance of top four.
“I think they will get into it because they’ve got a little bit of experience coming back into the team. It’s important.
“They’ve got a lot of young players, we know that, and we’ll talk about the three young players especially, but when you’ve got a Casemiro next to them, when you’ve got a Varane coming in with them as well.
“It makes a big difference to your team. It adds a little bit of quality. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how they play. Sometimes, it’s just having their names around.”
Scholes isn’t the only one with high hopes of European football as former captain Roy Keane also fancies their chances.
“I still believe they can get fifth. They’re still in the FA Cup,” he said. “I think they’ve got one or two important players back. The balance of the team is better,” Keane said to Sky Sports.
However, if United finish fifth, then their fate is not in their hands as it would be through the “European Performance Spots” – this is where two of the nations who had the best collective performances from their clubs in the previous season’s European competitions will be granted an extra space each.
This, of course, is not yet confirmed, and with Newcastle and United both crashing out of Europe in the group stages, the club would have to rely on others still in Europe, such as Manchester City, to perform well in the competition.
The numbers seem to be going against the legends’ gracious opinions as according to Opta’s supercomputer, United’s chances of finishing fourth and guaranteeing a place in the Champions League next season is at a mere 6.1%.
There’s still a slim chance of Ten Hag’s men playing against Europe’s elite season, as the supercomputer predicts that they are three times more likely (18.9%) to finish fifth.
Sadly, the computer does not back any progression as United’s highest percentage probability is 34.8% in sixth where they currently are.
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