Defeat to Liverpool at the weekend left a bitter taste in the mouths of Manchester United’s players and fans and it seems the Old Trafford board was similarly unimpressed.
Wayne Rooney described the match as the darkest moment in his professional career but reports suggest it is manager David Moyes who will take the flak, with the Scot said to have just three games to save his United career.
What is not clear is what the former Preston and Everton boss is expected to achieve over these games so here we look at the most likely outcomes.
Getting the Red Devils through looks a big ask for Moyes after the abject performance his side mustered in the first leg left them with a two-goal deficit to overcome.
The three-game stay of execution Moyes has been extended seems to hinge around United’s faint hopes of sneaking into next year’s Champions League by doing a Chelsea and wining this one with an underperforming side.
United are favourites to win at 1/2 but, with the Greeks failing to score just once in their last 10 games, qualification looks beyond a United side with just two cleans sheets in eight outings.
Verdict: United win but bow out
With Champions league qualification and a league win over Manchester City looking highly unlikely, a positive display and all three points against the Hammers is a must for Moyes.
However, United have struggled to overcome the Hammers in recent trips to east London, winning just three of their last eight as visitors to Upton Park.
The Irons are also on a good run at home, winning their last three in front of their own fans, and will be confident of making the most of a lacklustre United side.
Defeat here and Moyes may not even get all three games to save his skin.
Verdict : Score draw (priced at 10/3)
Manchester United v Manchester City
The game that could well represent Moyes’ last time in the Old Trafford dugout.
Should the champions qualify for the next round of the Champions League and beat West Ham then a narrow loss to the “noisy neighbours” might just be allowed.
However, fail to do that or lose in a manner similar to the 4-1 thrashing City handed out last time the sides met and Moyes could find himself on the managerial scrap heap for some time.
City are on course for a third consecutive win over United and with the Red Devils losing their last two home matches against the Citizens, the omens are not looking good for the Scot.
Verdict – City win and Moyes gets the boot
Given these likely outcomes it is hard to see anything but a prolonged stint of daytime TV viewing and occasional pundit outings in Moyes’ future.
And, with the Scot seemingly on his way out, it could pay to get on Jurgen Klopp to be his replacement, before the 7/1 about the Borussia Dortmund boss falls over the coming days.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £50 in free bets.