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Revealed: Man United could face a two-legged PLAY-OFF tie to qualify for the Europa Conference League next season in further blow for Erik ten Hag and struggling Red Devils

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  • Manchester United are at risk of missing out on European football altogether 
  • But they may end up in the Europa Conference League depending on results 
  • Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the plot’ in ‘CAR-CRASH’ head coach role at Man United – Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off! podcast 

Manchester United may face a two-legged play-off tie just to qualify for the Europa Conference League next season, it has been revealed.

Erik ten Hag‘s side are a lowly eighth in the Premier League after their 1-0 defeat by Arsenal on Sunday and look at risk of missing out on European football altogether. 

Depending on results, however, they could still scrape into the Europa League or the Conference League – although Newcastle and Chelsea are in pole position.

With just two league games remaining this campaign, United will likely have to beat both Newcastle on Wednesday and Brighton on the final day of the campaign to have any chance of finishing in the top seven and scraping a European spot.

Liverpool‘s Carabao Cup triumph means that entry to the Conference League play-off round will fall to the highest-placed Premier League side not otherwise in Europe.

Manchester United could face a play-off tie to qualify for the Europa Conference League

Erik ten Hag's struggling Red Devils are at risk of missing out on European football altogether

Erik ten Hag’s struggling Red Devils are at risk of missing out on European football altogether

Therefore, should United lose the FA Cup final against Manchester City and finish seventh, they may well be forced to contest a testing two-legged play-off in mid-August to gain a spot in the new-look League Stage of the Conference League.

In the fresh format, no team will directly qualify for the 36-club League Stage. Several sides will first compete in a series of qualifier rounds beginning in July.

United’s fate, therefore, could hinge solely on their ability to navigate two legs against a mystery club – piling the pressure on the man in charge next season.

As the prospective English qualifier, United will be included on the ‘main path’ of qualifiers, although seeding for the play-offs is yet to be determined.

They should, however, avoid the six teams that will drop into Conference League qualifying after being knocked out of the Europa League third qualifying round. 

The revamped Europa Conference League will see 36 clubs contest the new 'League Stage'

The revamped Europa Conference League will see 36 clubs contest the new ‘League Stage’

The under-pressure Ten Hag has admitted missing out on Europe would be 'very damaging'

The under-pressure Ten Hag has admitted missing out on Europe would be ‘very damaging’

United have not failed to qualify for a European competition since 2014, when they finished their only season under David Moyes in seventh and without a trophy.

On the prospect of missing out again this year, Ten Hag said: ‘It is very damaging.

‘That is the situation we are in but still we can get there so we have the opportunities to we have to take them and fight, even when the problems are massive.

‘Everyone knows this, especially positions and lines.

‘We have to deserve it, especially the fans, they followed us on Monday (at Crystal Palace) and they understand the position we are in. Today they are behind us from the first whistle, they see the team needs backing and support so we are united.’



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