The five fixtures that will make or break Man United’s top four challenge

Just a month ago, the top four looked like a distant dream for Manchester United.

However, the poor form of Manchester City and Arsenal, aided by a resurgence of United, has left the door ajar for Louis van Gaal to save the club’s league season. Pressure has, momentarily, eased on the egotistical Dutch boss as the kids have saved his horny bacon.

Rashford’s emergence has brought back the feel good spirit around Old Trafford and even Memphis Depay has begun to show his quality. The Dutch winger was astonishingly good at PSV last season, but has struggled to find his feet in the north-west so far. Martial, Mata, Memphis and Rashford have the makings of a new look United front line and Wayne Rooney is going to struggle to make his way back in to the side when he returns from injury.

Perhaps more by luck than judgement, Van Gaal has stumbled across some young gems in his academy and the squad has been given a face lift without spending hundreds of millions.

The remaining games, in both the Europa and Premier League will define Van Gaal’s tenure, so we have the five league games that could really make his Manchester United career..

Manchester Derby

Manchester City v Everton - Barclays Premier League

Manchester Derbies are always massive, but this one could be the pivotal fixture in the battle for a top four finish.

The Etihad on 20th March and Manuel Pellegrini will be going in to his last Manchester derby knowing that he will tarnish his legacy if he fails to guide such a talented squad to a top four finish.

Can Rashford, Martial and Memphis show maturity to perform on the biggest stage?

Trip to White Hart Lane..

Harry Kane celebrates

Historically, United and Spurs have ding-dong battles, but this could be a more cautious affair.

Sunday 10th April is the date for this one and the league table could look markedly different by then, but, aside from a remarkable collapse, Spurs will still be chasing the title.

Pochettino’s side are picking up a few injuries and looked fatigued against West Ham, yet they remain the most people’s title favourites.

Toffees visitors

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Martinez’s Toffees continue to struggle for consistency and their 3rd April meeting could be one of the most pivotal fixtures in the remainder of the campaign.

Everton’s energetic attacking flair will cause United problems, but their flaky defending will surely give chances to the pacey trio that United have favoured of late.

Manchester-Merseyside clashes always possess something special and this game will be no different.

Flying foxes visit Old Trafford

RanieriCheer

Leicester have shown they are in this title race right till the death and the Foxes could be about to secure the most surprising Premier League title in history when they visit Old Trafford in May.

Ranieri’s side have won hearts and minds with their fearless attacking game, whilst Louis van Gaal has largely alienated the neutrals.

The rapid counter attacking has become a trademark of the Foxes’ play and it could be the undoing of United’s top four push.

East Anglian battlers

Manchester United v Norwich City - Barclays Premier League

Heading to Norwich in one of their last couple of games of the season, Manchester United will likely need a win to continue their push for the top four.

The Canaries are likely to still be fighting for their lives and the industrious East Anglian side will provide a tough test at Carrow Road.

Steven Naismith is the sort of player to pop up with an irritating late goal, although Norwich’s current dire form will give United hope that they will be relegated by then.