Victory against the Cherries would move them up another spot. In that scenario, they would find themselves five points clear of Tottenham in fifth and in pole position to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Of course, there is still a long way to go and United must continue their impressive run against Bournemouth first, but there are promising signs for Erik ten Hag and his players. That is especially the case after rivals Liverpool were beaten 3-1 by surprise package Brentford on Monday night.
Goals from Ibrahima Konate (OG), Yoane Wissa and Bryan Mbeumo did the damage as Liverpool find themselves four points behind United having played one game more. But what impact has that result – with other contenders Newcastle and Tottenham also dropping points during the weekend&aposs round of Premier League games – had on the plot?
According to the renowned FiveThirtyEight supercomputer, Ten Hag and United are now 58 per cent shots to return to the Champions League next season, while data from the website has them down to finish third with 71 points. Arsenal (85 points), Manchester City (83 points) and Liverpool (68 points) complete the predicted top four.
That leaves Newcastle (49 per cent), Tottenham (20 per cent) and Chelsea (14 per cent) as outsiders. United are also given a slim three per cent chance at winning the title.
FiveThirtyEight seemingly views these latest results as a significant moment for the campaign. Indeed, in their most recent round-up on December 28, figures totted up by the supercomputer had United to finish in fifth place behind Newcastle, who have still only lost once this season following their draw at home to struggling Leeds, and Liverpool in the race for Champions League qualification.
It shows just how vital the latest round of fixtures may well have been for Erik ten Hag&aposs side.
How does the supercomputer work?
FiveThirtyEight uses SPI ratings, which have an attacking and defensive component, in order to determine which team is going to win a specific game. This is then all built up to see how many points each side will accumulate at the end of the Premier League season.
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