Man Utd have Europa League advantage next season that Liverpool didn't have this year

Manchester United secured European football by winning the FA Cup (Image: Getty)

Manchester United may feel that they have been gifted a great opportunity to win a European trophy following their victory in the FA Cup last month.

After an eighth-placed finish in the Premier League, Erik ten Hag’s side defied the odds to beat rivals Manchester City at Wembley Stadium to book their spot in the Europa League next season.

The Red Devils are expected to spend big over the coming months under the instruction of Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and the influx of fresh faces into the dressing room could be what Erik ten Hag requires to guide his club to European glory.

Atalanta were victorious in the Europa League final last month, handing Bayer Leverkusen their first defeat of the season thanks to a hat-trick from former Premier League playmaker Ademola Lookman.

The Serie A side beat tricky opposition in Liverpool and Marseille en route to the final and, although those sides did not feature in the group stages of the Champions League, United may be offered an easier path through the competition after major changes were made to the format of the tournament.

With a new 36-team league format now in place in the Champions League, teams from the competition will no longer drop down into the Europa League next season.

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Liverpool had to contend with Champions League clubs dropping into the Europa League last season (Image: Getty)

Therefore, although there is a talented crop of sides set to battle it out for glory over the course of the campaign, there will not be an injection of top teams into the competition at a later stage – which will be music to the ears of United.

Tottenham, AS Roma and FC Porto are therefore likely to be among the likeliest teams to feature in the final of next year’s competition, which will take place at the San Mames in Bilbao, and United are definitely considered one of the favourites.

Ademola Lookman helped Atalanta to Europa League glory (Image: Getty)


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Victory in the competition will ensure that the Red Devils are playing Champions League football in the 2025/26 season, but Ten Hag believes that his side are more than capable of qualifying for the competition via the Premier League’s top four as long as he is granted three new signings this summer.

He said: “We need to get a striker in to work alongside Rasmus Hojlund. I also hope we manage to get another central midfielder and also a replacement for Varane. Then I think things will look very good for next season – with the caveat that the players are fit and stay fit. Then you can start playing towards the top four with such an eleven. That gives me hope and is also realistic in my eyes.”