MANCHESTER UNITED boosted their chances of finishing in a Champions League spot by beating Aston Villa – but the odds are still stacked against them.
But Unai Emery’s side are still in control when it comes to qualifying for the continent’s elite competition.
They sit five points ahead of the Red Devils and will be pushing to finish in the top four, having slipped behind Tottenham at the weekend.
However this season the Premier League is likely to be allocated an additional Champions League qualification spot for the team that finishes fifth.
That means Erik ten Hag’s men actually have a 21.3 per cent chance of qualifying for the tournament.
But United still fall considerably short of Villa and the rest of the teams above them in the table.
The current top three – Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal – will almost certainly be playing Champions League football next season, while Tottenham have been given an 87 per cent chance of qualifying.
Villa rank closely behind on 76.4 per cent, so it is unlikely Ten Hag will repeat his success of last year, when United finished fourth.
His side are only just beginning to turn their form around after losing nine Prem games this season.
The likes of Newcastle, West Ham and Brighton all have a very slim chance of finishing in the top five, with Chelsea set to miss out again after being given a 0.5 per cent chance.