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Is Top Four Still the Best Route into the Champions League for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United?

While there was perhaps more of a sense of optimism than there was expectation going into the Anfield clash, results elsewhere highlight that the defeat to Jurgen Klopp’s side was a missed opportunity. Having seen fourth-placed Chelsea lose to Newcastle the day before, United had the chance to move within two points of them with a win against the league leaders. However, following goals from Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team remain adrift of a Champions League spot.

As a result, we’re going to look at whether the Premier League represents the best route back into the top-tier of European football, as opposed to purely focussing on winning the Europa League.

Where do the Red Devils Go from Here?

At the time of writing, United have lost two of their last five Premier League fixtures and sit level on points with Wolves, while high-flying Sheffield United are only one point behind Solskjaer’s team. Although the gap to Chelsea isn’t insurmountable, the 20-time league winners will be hampered in their quest to close the gap, with their top scorer, Marcus Rashford, set to miss three months of football with a double back fracture, according to StrettyNews.com.

Having drawn Club Brugge in the Europa League’s round of 32, as reported by Uefa.com, United will fancy their chances of progressing to the latter stages of the competition. It’s well documented that the winner of the tournament is rewarded with a spot in next season’s Champions League, and that represents an intriguing opportunity for Solskjaer, who only saw his team lose once in the group stages of the competition.

The Importance of Playing on Europe’s Biggest Stage

For a club like Manchester United, who reportedly have a worldwide fanbase of 1.1 billion according to research conducted by Kantar, which was reported at ManchesterEveningNews.co.uk, the importance of getting back into, and then sustaining Champions League football, cannot be understated. In recent times, the competition has reached heightened levels of popularity within modern-day society, which outlines the unique greatness of the tournament.

Champions League” (CC BY-ND 2.0) by El Ronzo

Within the video game sector, both the FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer franchises have competed for the right to license the competition within their titles. Furthermore, many of the platforms within the iGaming sector at CasinoWings.com, which offer free spins, sign-up bonuses and other promotions across a wide array of different titles have centred several of their releases around the Champions League. For example, at PlayOJO, prospective players can play the Net Entertainment game, Football: Champions Cup, where you seek to win the cup through participating in immersive football-themed features including penalty shootouts.

There are Options to Consider

The project which is underway at Old Trafford clearly requires patience, but with numerous routes back into the top-tier of European football available to the 13-time Premier League winners, there is still much to play for during the remainder of the season. That said, whichever direction Solskjaer feels is best for Manchester United, it’s pivotal that the Red Devils aren’t absent from the Champions League for another year.

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