Two scenarios have been put forward which would see Manchester United clinch a Champions League place without playing another game this season.
The Times reports talks are ongoing which would see the Premier League called off, with a league insider telling the paper it would be ‘chaos’ if the season is extended beyond July 1.
The campaign would not necessarily be ‘voided’, which could be good news, as otherwise United would automatically revert to Europa League football.
In total, there are three scenarios to complete the campaign based on calculations – two of which put United in the Champions League.
How it would work
Points per game: This would be enough for Manchester United to seize a Champions League place. Sheffield United have a game in hand, but on a points per game method, this would calculate at 1.53, compared to our 1.55, meaning they would not leapfrog us into fifth.
First half of the season: Another way is to only use point totals from the first 19 matches. While this would wipe out our recent impressive form, it would still be enough to get us into fifth, remarkably, and clinch a Champions League place.
Expected points: More controversially, statisticians would predict results based on strength of schedule. This model, The Times reports, would see Sheffield United overtake us, and leave Manchester United with a Europa League place.
- All models are based on Manchester City’s upcoming Champions League ban being upheld, and fifth place being enough to secure a spot.
Manchester United have a bright future. That appears clear. But it will get so much better if we can secure Champions League football next season.
It will mean more money, and a better shot of signing top level transfer targets. United still have the pull, but it gets easier.
There are still scenarios to complete the season, which could see United qualify through results earned over the final nine games, or by winning the Europa League.
The delay to this season poses questions as to what the Champions League may look like next season too.
Could it be a condensed version? Will it even go ahead? These are more unanswered questions which won’t have resolutions for a while. The first step is getting there.
And it’s intriguing to consider that there may be two ways United have already qualified, without kicking another ball this season.
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