With four games left to play in the EPL, Manchester United has already snagged the crown and is assured entry into Europe’s elite competition when the season begins anew. However, United have been handed the unique opportunity of also deciding which teams are allowed to follow them into the Champions League and which team falls into the Europa League. With their next two games coming against Arsenal and Chelsea, the simple truth is that United or these teams going forward.
Manchester City is the only other team that is definitely getting into the CL, although I am sure that United wish they had control over City’s destiny. Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, and Everton all head into the final four games with a very valid chance of entering into Europe’s greatest club tournament. Only two of the four actually will make it in, with the other two left to dream about the possibility of ‘what could have been.’
If United play a weakened squad against either Chelsea or Arsenal, the rest of the teams that are playing to get into the CL will be up in arms. The simple truth is that United have the opportunity to actually play the remainder of their games with their reserves. Sir Alex and United will not want to risk injuring Wayne Rooney, RVP, or any of their other stars in games that are relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things. However, the nature of these two fixtures demands that United field a relatively strong eleven and that they do not give Chelsea or Arsenal an easy victory.
Will United take advantage of this opportunity and try and put the two teams that they choose into the Champions League? United have a harder time against Tottenham and Everton than against Chelsea and Arsenal, so I wonder whether they will attempt to tank their two upcoming fixtures so that it will possibly prevent Everton and Spurs from making it into the Champions League. The future is definitely in United’s hands, but the route that they choose could result in the angering of several different teams and could even cause the FA to fine the club. No matter what happens, the end will certainly be worth watching.