Friday, 31 March 2017

United set for testing times with nine matches in manic April

The Premier League returns after a two-week break as United host West Brom in the first of nine matches in April.

The Reds face a heavily congested fixture list that takes in crucial games both in the battle for the top four and our continued bid for a first ever Europa League title.

Along with the resumption of our European campaign, the crowded schedule this month sees high profile, mouthwatering meetings with Chelsea and local rivals City. 

The team will have a say at the 'other end' of the table, too, April also encompasses fixtures with relegation-threatened Sunderland and Swansea. 

Hot on the the heels of the visit of the Baggies, Ronald Koeman's in-form Everton arrive at Old Trafford on Tuesday for a key game in the race for Champions League qualification.

The Merseysiders face their own hugely important derby this weekend, and depending on that result, could remain well in the mix for a top four place ahead of their match with us. 

After two home games, we make the long trip to Wearside and a reunion with former boss David Moyes and his Sunderland struggling side.

Despite their lowly position, the Reds have endured mixed fortunes against the Black Cats in recent years, with two defeats to them in the last three seasons. 

That Old Trafford clash with Antonio Conte's champions-elect side (16th April) is sandwiched between the two legs of the Europa League quarter-final.

We make the trip to Belgium on the 13th with the return a week later on the 20th, which in turns comes three days before a testing encounter at Turf Moor.

Although Burnley are sitting comfortably in mid-table, the Clarets boast the third-best home record in the league having lost only twice there all season.

The Reds will be afforded a four-day breather before another monumental match-up and the third Manchester derby of the season.

Unusually for a league game, we play the mob from the Etihad on a Thursday (27th) in a hugely significant cross-town clash.

Only one of the sides are still in Europe, but the derby is the first of three potentially pivotal away matches for the Reds - with Arsenal and Spurs to come in the last week of the campaign. 

After five matches in 14 days, United's unrelenting run-in does not let up as Paul Clement's 17th-placed Swans provide the opposition, on Sunday 30th (midday kick-off).


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