Manchester United will be bidding to give their top-four hopes a boost when they welcome Leicester City to Old Trafford in the Premier League on Saturday evening.
The Champions League elimination at the hands of Atletico Madrid prior to the international break means there are just nine top-flight games between now and the end of our 2021/22 campaign.
It’s still set to be a busy April, though, with five fixtures in the schedule during the month as we continue to battle with Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham for fourth place and a spot in next season’s Champions League.
United have not been in action since suffering a 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in the second leg of their last-16 Champions League on March 15, which saw them lose 2-1 on aggregate, but the Red Devils cannot afford to dwell on the disappointment, as they bid to salvage a top-four finish in the league.
Ralf Rangnick’s side recorded a 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur in their last league match on March 12, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting three times, but the 20-time English champions are playing catch up, currently sitting sixth in the table, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
The Gunners also have a match in hand, while Tottenham and West Ham United are also firmly in the picture, meaning that Man United face a serious scrap to secure Champions League football for next season.
Over the international break, the club have been working behind the scenes, interviewing Ajax’s Erik ten Hag over the managerial position, but missing out on the Champions League for next season would be a huge blow when it comes to their plans for the summer transfer window.
A busy April will see the Red Devils take on Leicester, Everton, Norwich City, Liverpool and Arsenal in the Premier League, but the absence of European football means that Rangnick should be able to keep his players fresh, and it will be fascinating to see how the campaign finishes for the club.
Manchester United Team News:
United will again be without the services of Mason Greenwood due to a club suspension, while Edinson Cavani is expected to miss out, having picked up a calf problem while representing Uruguay on Tuesday.
Fred and Alex Telles will need to be assessed after their international commitments for Brazil, but France duo Raphael Varane and Paul Pogba are both expected to be fit despite suffering small foot injuries during the recent international break.
Neither Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were involved for England during the international break but could start here, while Ronaldo is set to lead the line with support from Bruno Fernandes, with both players on a high, having helped Portugal qualify for the World Cup.
Luke Shaw, who represented England over the break, could also be back in the side at left-back, but Diogo Dalot should keep out Aaron Wan-Bissaka on the right.
Manchester United possible starting lineup:
De Gea; Dalot, Varane, Maguire, Shaw; McTominay, Fred; Rashford, Fernandes, Sancho; Ronaldo