By Saturday night Manchester United could find themselves in the top-four for the first time since match week 5.
With United’s recent league form, two 3-0 wins over Brighton and Sheffield United, they will be hoping to continue their run with a win over struggling Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday. With poor results the past week for Chelsea (a 3-2 loss away to West Ham) and Leicester, who lost 2-1 away to Everton – United will now be looking at third place, rather than fourth.
A win over Bournemouth will put United into the top-four, although it could be only for a few hours as Chelsea can retake fourth place with a win over Watford Saturday night. If Chelsea fail to win and United are to beat Bournemouth – fourth place will be the Red Devils for the weekend. United supporters will also be keeping a keen eye on the Leicester – Crystal Palace match which takes place at the same time as the United fixture.
Before the break United were 8 points off Leicester in third but now sit just 3 points behind. Leicester also have a +9 goal advantage on United, but with the free-scoring attacking play of late by United they’ll be hoping to cut that gap also.
Although United might be looking up the table, Wolves will also be doing the same. Sitting level on points with United they will be hoping to get the three points and keep the pressure on when they play Arsenal on Saturday. Champions League might be just too far away though as Wolves still have to play tough opposition in Sheffield United, Everton and Chelsea.
With United arguably having the easiest run-in they sit very much in the driving seat for Champions League qualification.
If United aren’t to find themselves in a top-four position come the end of the weekend, midweek fixtures will provide encouragement. United’s next two fixtures being Bournemouth and Aston Villa, two teams without a win since the restart – six points should be expected. In their midweek fixture Leicester have to travel to Arsenal away – a team in good spirits with two wins in the league as well as progression in the FA Cup recently. Many of the top four challengers will also be hoping for another slip up from Chelsea — after conceding last minute to lose 3-2 to West Ham — when they face Crystal Palace on Tuesday.