We wouldn’t expect Manchester United and Leicester to have to face off in a Champions League play-off once the Premier League season comes to an end this weekend.
But stranger things have happened.
As the end of the Premier League approaches, there remains a scenario – although highly unlikely – which will require United and Leicester to meet in a play-off to decide who gets the final Champions League spot.
Chelsea look good value to seal third spot and if the Blues take three points from their final two Premier League matches, then two very specific results in United’s final two games will lead to a play-off.
For the play-off scenario to take place, United will have to first beat West Ham by a scoreline of 5-3 when they meet on Wednesday evening.
That would leave United in fourth and Leicester in fifth going into the final game of the season, which happens to pit the two against each other at the King Power Stadium.
To require a play-off, Leicester would have to beat United by 1-0, meaning the sides would finish level on points, goal difference, goals scored and goals conceded. It would also see the teams’ head-to-head record finish dead even as United won 1-0 in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford in September.
So, to sum up. Manchester United and Leicester will require a play-off for the final Champions League position if:
Chelsea get three points from final two fixtures.
Manchester United beat West Ham 5-3 on Wednesday evening.
Leicester beat Manchester United 1-0 on Sunday.
The odds of this very specific run of results taking place are predictably minuscule but don’t rule anything out when it comes to football.