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Supercomputer predicts Manchester United’s final Premier League finish after Chelsea win

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Man United are locked in a competitive battle to secure Champions League qualification for next season.

Manchester United have been given a 5.2 per cent chance of clinching fourth place in the Premier League this season as the race for European football intensifies.

After an action-packed midweek, just six points now separate Manchester City in third and West Ham United in ninth. The Reds are currently sixth in the table, just three points behind City, who were beaten 1-0 by Aston Villa on Wednesday night.

Though United’s start to the season has been underwhelming, their position remains both competitive and encouraging. A win against Bournemouth at Old Trafford on Saturday would move them level on points with City, who don’t play until Sunday this weekend.

Despite Erik ten Hag’s side winning four of their last five Premier League outings, however, data provided by statistical specialists Opta does not give them an overwhelmingly positive chance of finishing inside the top four and securing Champions League football for next season via that method. Their data claims they have just a 5.2 per chance of grabbing fourth.

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Furthermore, their data has given them a 1.3 per cent of clinching third, a 0.2 per cent chance of finishing in second and a 0.1 per cent chance of winning the title. United are nine points behind current leaders Arsenal.

According to Opta’s data, the position United are most likely to finish in is seventh – one place beneath their current position. They have given the Reds a 19.1 per cent chance of taking that spot, which would be four places lower than they finished last term.

United had ambitions of kicking-on this season after finishing third in Ten Hag’s debut campaign at the club last term. Following the end of the 2022/23 Premier League campaign, the Dutchman set a target of building on their achievement of taking third and challenging for second this time around.

Speaking at the club’s end-of-season awards ceremony in May, he said: “My hope is that we have to do better. We always have to do better.

“We have a foundation, we have a good base and we have to do better. We still have one game to go this season and it is a great opportunity to make a next step.

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“After that we then have the summer and we have to increase our standards to do even better. The competition is tough and our competitors also reach higher levels, so we have to do at least the same.

“But I don’t think it is good enough. We don’t want to stay here; we want to go higher up, we want to increase our levels and compete for the top two.

“We have to demand more and increase our levels.”

To paint an overall picture of Opta’s data, they have given United a stronger chance of finishing in 11th than third, claiming that an 11th-placed finish is four per cent possible. Percentage likelihoods significantly decrease from 12th downwards.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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