MANCHESTER UNITED boosted their chances of finishing in a Champions League qualification spot by beating Aston Villa – but the odds are still stacked against them.
Goals from Rasmus Hojlund and Scott McTominay helped United complete the double over Villa, their closes Champions League rivals.
GettyManchester United boosted their top five chances by beating Aston Villa[/caption]
But Unai Emery’s side are still in control when it comes to qualifying for Europe’s elite competition.
They sit five points ahead of United and will be pushing to finish in the top four, having slipped behind Tottenham at the weekend.
The Red Devils will also be aiming to finish in the top four but have been given just a five per cent chance of doing so by Opta’s supercomputer.
However this season the Premier League is likely to be allocated an additional Champions League qualification spot for the team that finishes fifth.
That means United actually have a 21.3 per cent chance of qualifying for the tournament.
But the Red Devils still fall considerably short of Villa and the rest of the teams above them in the table.
The top three – Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal – will almost certainly be playing Champions League football next season, while Tottenham have been given an 87 per cent chance of qualifying.
Villa rank closely behind on 76.4 per cent, so it is unlikely Erik ten Hag will repeat his success of last year when United finished fourth.
United have an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League
His side are only just beginning to turn their form around after losing nine Prem games this season.
The likes of Newcastle, West Ham and Brighton all have a very slim chance of finishing in the top five, with Chelsea set to miss out again after being given a 0.5 per cent chance.