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Should Manchester United sacrifice the FA Cup for a Champions League spot?

Manchester United are fighting on all fronts for trophies this season. While the title hopes slowly faded away, the FA Cup and the Europa League are surely two competitions that United can win, adding other trophies to the bag, as they are already EFL Cup winners.

However, the worry on conquering in every competition will mean that the players will be tired and probably not give 100% when needed. How come? As an example, United have this week’s horrible fixtures, as they play Chelsea away in the FA Cup, Rostov home in the UEFA Europa League on Thursday and Middlesbrough away in the Premier League on Sunday. It’s hard for any team and it is indeed tough for Manchester United.

This being said, should United sacrifice one competition to achieve at least the minimum target required, a spot in the UEFA Champions League? Well, this goes against Jose Mourinho’s and United’s principles of winning and fighting for everything, but we will all agree that there must be an order and a list of priorities that in the end may count more than originally thought.

With no striker tonight, at least as reported by the media, United may have decided their fate but one never knows whether it will be for good or bad. It’s, of course, a must to perform against Chelsea, but everything should be calculated really well. Will this trophy give us what we want? We won this trophy last year and it guaranteed us a place in the Europa League, but that’s not what United are looking forward this season.

I, by any meaning, am not saying that United surrender and hand Chelsea the win but Jose must think things well. He will take care of this himself, but I am sure that with his return at Stamford Bridge he will have memories of that shameful 4-0 loss and of course he will seek revenge meaning that he will do anything to win. But, the season’s targets must come first and he must think of it.

Gary Neville told Omnisport that United can actually afford to lose the game in order to try and qualify for the Champions League:

“It comes down to what Mourinho prioritises. The FA Cup could be a competition that United sacrifice because they have to try and get into the Champions League.

“Obviously the only two routes are the Europa League and Premier League games. It will be a big challenge mentally on Monday. It might be the one, at this moment in time, that they can sacrifice in terms of trying not to complicate the fixture congestion any more.”

Now, the talking points are obvious, Pogba will have the main role, Carrick, Herrera and Fellaini as well leaving us a bit clueless of what United may lineup creating a mess and an awkward atmosphere around the team. That’s not exactly what we are looking forward and Jose must calculate all of this. Of course, it’s hard being humiliated again and Jose is trying to avoid this. It’s a problem, causing headache not just the manager, but the club and fans as well.

It’s hard making a choice, as every competition is important, but Thursday evening games have caused troubles and issues on winning games in the Premier League, meaning sooner or later United must give up on one competition. The Premier League and the Europa League are the competitions the club must focus on and at this moment that’s what only counts.

In the end of the day, Jose will have to decide, taking into account everything setting the targets for next season. We can’t afford another season of Thursday night football financially and based on prestige. If for the sake of this, it means that we have to lose to Chelsea then bring it. Important things always must come first.

Written by Fabiola Cejku

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