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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer tips battle for Champions League places to go to final day

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects the battle for a top-four place to go right down to the wire.

Manchester United have closed to within three points of third-placed Leicester and are just two behind fourth-placed Chelsea after an eight-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.

United go to Leicester on the final day of the season, with Chelsea hosting sixth-placed Wolves, who are level on points with United and also in the top-four mix.

Against that backdrop, Solskjaer expects the race for a Champions League place to come down to a dramatic final day shoot-out between all the teams involved.

“I think the last round is going to be vital,” said Solskjaer. “You’ve got Chelsea versus Wolves and us against Leicester.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects the battle for Europe to run on

“There might be a three point advantage for us or for Leicester and it’s still an important game.

“I can’t see the difference between us and Leicester being a lot more than three points either way, the same with Chelsea and Wolves.

“So it’s looking exciting, it’s in a short space of time. So many games, so lots of things can happen but, yes, I think it will go down to the last game.”

United’s unbeaten run in all competitions is 15 games, with Solskjaer’s players playing arguably their best football under him and hitting form at just the right time.

But former United skipper Gary Neville warned against his old club getting ahead of themselves and believing they are ready to challenge for the major prizes, a point with which Solskjaer agreed.

Frank Lampard’s Chelsea and Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester are both in the driving seat

“Gary’s right in a lot of things he says and of course we cannot think we’re there,” said Solskjaer.

“If you look at the table, we’re nowhere near where we should be. Consistency has to be improved and we still have to improve on many aspects of the game.

“I don’t know how many points we’re behind the top two but Gary’s right – there’s definitely not going to be any complacency and thinking ‘we’ve cracked it’ because we’ve so much to do.

“We can see improvements but, yes, we need to make one or two – or more – very good decisions. It’s going to be an important summer, definitely.”

United look to have lost out to Borussia Dortmund in the race to sign Birmingham’s 17-year-old midfield sensation Jude Bellingham.

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Bellingham is set to snub United in favour of a £20million move to Dortmund, but Solskjaer was philosophical when pushed on the issue.

“Any young player needs to make a decision they’re comfortable with and where can he make an impact,” said Solskjaer.

“If you’re 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20, they’re important decisions for them.

“We’ve got some examples of players taking a chance, moving away from big clubs to smaller clubs, and it hasn’t worked.

“That’s a chance, a risk they take. I was 22 before I went to Molde, 23 when I came to United.

“John Arne Riise, who comes from a similar area to me, went to Monaco when he was 16 and we both won Champions Leagues as players, so there are different roads that lead to the destination.”

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Vishal Singh
Vishal is The Flick's editor. His interests include product UX designing and search marketing. He can be followed on Twitter at @Vishal7Singh.

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