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Here's How Man Utd Can Still Finish 8th With No European Football At All Next Season

Here's How Man Utd Can Still Finish 8th With No European Football At All Next Season
By Mikey Traynor Updated

Despite the obvious lack of direction, questionable talent in vital areas of the pitch, and the many low-points of Manchester United's 2015/16 season under Louis Van Gaal, the club still found itself in a position where they could finish in the top four and win the FA Cup.

Usually, that sort of finish to a season would be unacceptable, but given the circumstances - that is, how shite the team has been for the vast majority of the season - it would have been quite remarkable.

But then they let a 2-1 lead slip and offered no fight-back as West Ham was allowed to enjoy an extremely sappy goodbye to Upton Park with three points in their back pockets, killing a Champions League dream that lasted all of two days.

And it could get worse.

The Champions League is all but gone, and the Europa League - the consolation prize that every big English club thinks they are better than but can't seem to do well in very often, Liverpool's path to Basel aside - is not guaranteed either. No, there is actually a scenario where Manchester United could finish 8th in the Premier League and find themselves competing only domestically next season.

But it depends on the fortunes of others. Here are how things stand going into the final day of the season.

And here's what needs to happen for Manchester United to record - both statistically and well, obviously - their worst season in Premier League history.

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Liverpool Vs Chelsea

Liverpool need maximum points from their final two matches in order to sink the final dagger in Louis Van Gaal's reign and add the ultimate insult to injury by finishing above United, and that starts at home to Chelsea.

It's a fixture that tends to offer a lot of drama, and riding the wave of optimism that came from following up a Europa League semi-final with a comfortable win over Watford, Klopp's men will fancy themselves.

Man Utd Vs Bournemouth

Should Manchester United lose against the Cherries at Old Trafford they will finish with their lowest points total in Premier League history, and the fans would then be forced to endure the most ridiculously unenthusiastic lap of honour ever seen at Old Trafford.

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Bournemouth are on their holidays already, so it would take a truly desperate performance to lose that one, although judging by the form at home this season, that is not beyond this United team.

Southampton Vs Crystal Palace

Southampton are in sensational form and you would have to fancy them to ease past a Palace side that will be (wisely) reconsidering every challenge they attempt with the cup final looming large.

The focus for Palace is on fitness levels and avoiding injury, expect Long, Mané, and Tadic to continue their form and put pressure on the teams above them to get a result.

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The Saints could finish in 5th if Man Utd and West Ham lose.

Stoke Vs West Ham

How different things could have been for the Hammers had they not been turned over by Swansea last weekend. Had they won that, like they absolutely should have, they would be looking at a win away to Stoke being all they need to qualify for the Champions League.

Instead, they now must fight to get back into the Europa League, a competition where they failed to progress past the qualifiers at the start of the season.

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West Ham would finish in 5th if they win and Man United lose.

West Brom Vs Liverpool

Should they beat Chelsea, then a win at the Hawthorns could see Jurgen Klopp's men finish in a respectable league position considering how bleak things looked when the German took over.

Final days away to West Brom can be absolutely mental affairs, and a win - on the back of a win at Stamford Bridge, of course - would see the Reds finish above United should they lose to Bournemouth.

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The FA Cup Final

All of these results matter nothing if David De Gea and Anthony Martial Manchester United win the FA Cup.

Doing so would guarantee a Europa League group-stage place without the need to travel to Belarus for the qualifiers. But if they were to lose to Crystal Palace..

Basically, if United lose to Bournemouth and Palace, and Liverpool win twice with West Ham and Southampton also winning on the last day, the unthinkable will happen for Manchester United fans.

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Could you imagine the reaction?

SEE ALSO: Watch: LVG Visibly Pissed Off By BBC Reporter's Question Regarding United's Bus Delay

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