Mathematically speaking, Manchester United could still secure Champions League group stage football if they beat Hull at the KC Stadium, after Arsenal failed to seal the deal by drawing at home to Sunderland. In reality, Louis van Gaal should start preparing for qualifying in August.
With the Gunners three points ahead of Van Gaal’s team, and seven goals better off, United would have to hand the Tigers a hiding on their own patch, and hope West Brom can see off Arsene Wenger’s men at the Emirates.
That doesn’t seem at all likely, considering the Baggies haven’t beaten Arsenal for nine games, stretching back to September 2010, and didn’t manage a win against them in north London for 27 years prior to that 3-2 reverse.
Furthermore, Wenger’s side have only lost twice at home in the Premier League since the first game of last season.
A case can be made for West Brom on the grounds that Arsenal’s XI may be weakened ahead of the FA Cup final, but Wenger won’t want to let down his edgy Emirates faithful, especially with third place not quite secure.
In any case, United are far too short at 11/10 to claim only their seventh away win of the season on the banks of the Humber.
Hull gaffer Steve Bruce surely can’t believe his luck after Arsenal’s equaliser at Old Trafford last week turned this into practically a dead rubber for the Red Devils, while Newcastle’s continued fall under coach John Carver means victory for the hosts would be enough if the Geordies don’t win at West Ham.
United have lost two of their past three on the road, and dropped points at Leicester, Swansea, Burnley and Sunderland earlier on in the campaign, as well as going down 4-0 away to League One MK Dons in the second round of the Capital One Cup.
Hull have something to play for, Man Utd don’t. Back Hull to win at 9/4 with Ladbrokes.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
Fancy a flutter? Sign up today to claim up to £25 in free bets.