Watford could seriously screw up Man United’s pre-season plans

Troy Deeney

Man United & Europa League

Manchester United fans now know they’ll only be playing Europa League football next season.

That’s certain following Sunday’s 1-1 draw away at relegated Huddersfield Town.

United’s failure to beat the Terriers ended all hope of a top four Premier League finish.

With a home match against Cardiff to come on the final day of the season, all that’s facing Man United is the possibility of finishing the year in fifth spot instead of sixth.

Arsenal are one point ahead of Man United heading into the final round of the campaign.

Watford & FA Cup

Man United, and Arsenal for that matter, will now have an extra interest in the FA Cup final.

Watford will come up against Man City in the showpiece.

Man City will no-doubt be the favourites to win. Should that happen, Wolves will gain entry into the Europa League by virtue of finishing seventh in the league.

But what happens if Watford win the FA Cup?

The implications could be chaotic for Man United.

Man United vs Tottenham

Man United and Tottenham have already announced a pre-season friendly in the International Champions Cup.

That match is scheduled for July 25th in Shanghai.

However, that match might need to be rescheduled/cancelled if Watford win the FA Cup.

Why? Because Man United would then start their Europa League campaign in the first round of the qualifiers.

The Times delve into the potential repercussions for Man United, if Watford win the FA Cup:

The doomsday scenario for United is this: if they finish sixth, and Watford pull off a shock victory in the FA Cup final against Manchester City, Solskjaer’s team will have to play three qualifiers just to reach the group stage.

The first of those three matches would take place on July 25, which is the same day that United are due to play against Tottenham Hotspur in Shanghai in the fourth match of their pre-season tour. 

United and the organisers of the International Champions Cup, the pre-season tournament in which Solskjaer’s team are playing, have come up with a contingency plan, one of which is to play the Spurs game in Europe on an alternative date, but that would be seriously disruptive.

Also see: Brighton’s two-year contract offer for Man United’s Juan Mata

Real Madrid to offer Man United chance to sign Keylor Navas – Telegraph