Manchester United’s six April fixtures will define the complexion of their season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer needs a strong finish to his second full-campaign in charge to validate his progress as United boss.
That validation would come from a Europa League triumph, with the second-rate European competition United’s last realistic hope of claiming their first piece of silverware under the Norwegian.
The FA Cup exit to Leicester City before the international break was a real blow as lacklustre United missed the chance of a favourable Wembley semi-final against Southampton.
But United must now prioritise consolidating second place in the Premier League behind runaway leaders Manchester City and they can all but secure Champions League football for next season through a top four finish if they have a successful month.
Four league fixtures await, with very winnable home games against struggling Brighton and Burnley sandwiched between tricky away fixtures against Jose Mourinho’s Spurs and old rivals Leeds.
It is imperative United come through their Europa League quarter-final against La Liga’s eighth-placed side Granada unscathed, with Ajax or Roma set to face the winner in the semi-finals.
United’s April fixtures:
April 4: Manchester United vs Brighton – Premier League
April 8: Granada CF vs Manchester United – Europa League quarter-final first leg
April 11: Tottenham Hotspur vs Manchester United – Premier League
April 15: Manchester United vs Granada CF – Europa League quarter-final second leg
April 18: Manchester United vs Burnley – Premier League
April 25: Leeds United vs Manchester United – Premier League
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 1, 2021