Manchester United head into the final couple of months of the season firmly focused on booking their place in next season’s Champions League and winning the FA Cup.
United are currently second in the Premier League, nine points clear of fifth-placed Chelsea with eight games to play.
The Red Devils are also through to the last four of the FA Cup where they will face Tottenham Hotspur, and manager Jose Mourinho will be eager to deliver what should be viewed as progress on last season’s efforts.
United won the EFL Cup and Europa League during Mourinho’s first season in charge, but finishing in the top four and clinching the FA Cup would be an upgrade on those achievements.
Their last four tie against Spurs is one of the toughest football trips they could face, with Mauricio Pochettino’s side overcoming their early troubles at Wembley to settle in comfortably in their temporary surroundings.
Spurs are priced at 6/4 to win the game, with United on offer at 7/4. The draw is available at 9/4.
United have breezed through this season’s competition, winning their four games to date without conceding a goal.
Mourinho was unhappy with aspects of his side’s performance in their 2-0 quarter-final victory over Brighton & Hove Albion, and it’s fair to say that they will need to play much better if they are to progress further.
There has been little to choose between the two sides in recent years, with United winning four and drawing three of their last 12 meetings with the London club.
The winners of the tie will face either Chelsea or Southampton in the final. Antonio Conte’s side are currently 13/8 favourites to win the FA Cup, with Spurs at 2/1 and United at 5/2. Southampton are the outsiders at 12/1.
In the Premier League, fixtures against Swansea City (H), West Bromwich Albion (H), Brighton (A), Watford (H), West Ham United (A) and Bournemouth (A) should yield enough points to guarantee a top four finish, but big games against Manchester City (A) and Arsenal (H) will determine whether United end the season as runners-up behind their local rivals.
If City beat Everton at Goodison Park on March 31 they could win the title with a victory over United the following week and that is a scenario Mourinho will be desperate to avoid.
Pep Guardiola’s side are priced at 8/13 to win the game, with United available at 17/4 and the draw on offer at 29/10.
City have held the upper hand over United in recent years, winning six and drawing two of their last eleven meetings in all competitions.
If United are defeated by City it will increase the pressure to grab a victory from their home game against Arsenal on April 29.
Both Liverpool and Spurs hold realistic chances of catching United for second place, although bookmakers believe Mourinho’s side will win that mini-battle.
United are priced at 1/2 to finish second, with Liverpool second favourites at 5/2. Spurs are available at 11/2, while Chelsea can be backed at 40/1.