Man Utd face Champions League headache thanks to Premier League fixtures

Erik ten Hag wants Man Utd to use FA Cup final defeat as motivation

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag faces a potential headache after the Premier League fixtures were announced on Thursday morning. The Red Devils are back in the Champions League next season, but that comes with a new challenge Ten Hag must manage to improve recent woes in the competition.

United secured their return to Europe’s elite competition after a year away by finishing third in the Dutchman’s first season in the Old Trafford hot seat.

And he is tasked with ensuring the club’s recent Champions League misery doesn’t continue, having reached the quarter-finals just twice in eight attempts since reaching the final in 2011.

But Ten Hag must also ensure United don’t regress in the Premier League after such a positive start to his reign.

That has been made more difficult with how United’s Premier League fixtures have fallen around their Champions League group stage games.

The M16 giants’ fixtures around MD1 are favourable, hosting Brighton and Hove Albion at Old Trafford before travelling to newly-promoted Burnley.

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There should also be no problems picking up six points from games on either side of MD2, both at home against Crystal Palace and Brentford.

However, the first derby of the season against Manchester City follows MD3, with a visit to Sheffield United preceding it.

It then takes another favourable turn as Fulham at Craven Cottage and Luton Town’s trip to Old Trafford fall on either side of MD4.

But MD5 falls in between tricky away tests against Everton at Goodison Park and Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

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