Aston Villa's Champions League push - Points needed to edge out Man Utd

Aston Villa v Brentford FC - Premier League
Aston Villa v Brentford FC - Premier League / Alex Livesey - Danehouse/GettyImages

Aston Villa's Champions League aspirations are within grasp as they inch closer to securing a top-five finish, leaving Manchester United's hopes of European football next season in jeopardy.

Villa's steady performances throughout the campaign have brought them to the cusp of greatness, with just two wins separating them from the coveted 66-point mark. This total could see them finish above their fierce rivals, Manchester United, and claim an impressive 5th place in the Premier League.

However, Villa's recent form has slightly dipped, with only three points collected from their last five league outings. This stumble has allowed Tottenham Hotspur to overtake them into 4th place on goal difference, with a game in hand.

Despite this setback, Villa's chances of qualifying for the Champions League remain strong, thanks to the forthcoming changes to the competition's format for the 2024/25 season. Finishing 5th could be enough to secure a place at Europe's top table, provided English clubs perform well in continental competitions this year.

Bruno Fernandes
Manchester United v Liverpool FC - Premier League / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Manchester United, meanwhile, face a daunting task to surpass Villa and claim the 5th spot. The Red Devils would need to win six of their remaining seven league fixtures, a challenging prospect considering their inconsistent form and demanding run-in. United's upcoming matches include tricky away trips to Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, and Brighton, as well as home clashes with Sheffield United, Burnley, and Arsenal.

The race for Champions League qualification has never been more thrilling, with several English clubs still competing on multiple fronts. Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, West Ham, and Aston Villa are all vying for European glory, giving England a strong chance of earning an extra Champions League berth based on the UEFA club coefficient.

As the season approaches its climax, Aston Villa find themselves in a more favourable position than their rivals from Old Trafford. With just two wins separating them from their European dream, the Villans are on the verge of realising their ambitions. The coming weeks will be pivotal as Unai Emery's men look to maintain their composure and secure a historic top-five finish.

The stakes couldn't be higher for both clubs, with the allure of Champions League football and the financial rewards that accompany it. Aston Villa's supporters are dreaming of competing against Europe's elite, while Manchester United's followers are desperate to avoid the ignominy of missing out on the continent's premier competition.

Every match will be a battle, every point will be precious, and every goal could make the difference between triumph and disappointment. The eyes of the footballing community will be fixed on the Premier League as Aston Villa and Manchester United fight relentlessly for the right to compete at the highest level of European football.

The team that maintains its composure, stays focused, and delivers when it matters most will be the one to claim the coveted Champions League spot. For Aston Villa, the dream is within reach; for Manchester United, the challenge is formidable. Only time will reveal which club will emerge victorious in this captivating race for European glory.