Man Utd could face nightmare early-season fixture pile-up fans won’t be aware of after UEFA rule change

Manchester United could be faced with an early-season fixture pile-up ahead of the new campaign.

It has been a dismal season for United so far as they were knocked out of the Champions League after finishing bottom of their group.

In the Premier League, they were nowhere near the top teams as they currently sit eighth in the table, 13 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa and 29 points adrift of leaders Arsenal.

With three matches left to play, United could still finish in the European places, which could lead to a fixture pile-up in the early parts of the season.

As reported by The Athletic, if United fail to win the FA Cup final against Manchester City later in the month and finish in seventh place, they ‘could face a two-legged tie for a spot in the new revamped “League Stage” of the Conference League’.

The report stated: “No team directly qualify for the 36-team League Stage of the Conference League. Several sides must first compete in a series of qualifier rounds (the first round starts July 11 — a day before the Euro 2024 final).

“United’s potential qualification for the Conference League would depend on their performance in a two-legged play-off tie in August.”

This season, Aston Villa are the only English team in the UEFA Europa Conference League.

However, they face an uphill battle to reach the final after losing the first leg of their semi-final against Olympiacos 4-2 at Villa Park.

Ahead of the second leg, Villa boss Unai Emery said: “We lost the first leg clearly 4-2, tomorrow will be difficult to come back. But we must play tomorrow thinking to extend after the first 90 minutes.

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