Solskjaer Appointed Permanent Man Utd Manager: Can He Deliver Top Four Finish?

Martin Green

Thursday, March 28, 2019 11:57 AM UTC

Thursday, Mar. 28, 2019 11:57 AM UTC

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been handed the Man Utd manager job on a permanent basis after securing 14 wins in 19 games as caretaker boss

<p>The Norwegian has galvanised the squad with his positive approach and dragged the Red Devils back into the top four race. His finest hour came in Paris as Man Utd overcame a two-goal deficit to overwhelm PSG in the last 16 of the Champions League. Now he has been named as Jose Mourinho’s permanent successor in the Old Trafford dugout and he will bid to end the season on a high note.</p><p>The timing of the appointment is somewhat strange, as Man Utd have lost their last two games. They suffered a 2-0 defeat away at Arsenal, ending Solskjaer’s long unbeaten domestic run, and then Wolves put them out of the FA Cup with a 2-1 win at Molineux. But the Old Trafford hierarchy clearly feel Solskjaer did enough before that to merit the full-time job and they have used the two-week international break to put together a package for him. He has now signed a three-year deal and said he is “beyond excited to have the chance to lead the club long term”.</p><p>[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Ole’s at the wheel! We can confirm that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been appointed as &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/MUFC?src=hash&amp;amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#MUFC&lt;/a&gt; manager.&lt;/p&gt;— Manchester United (@ManUtd) &lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/ManUtd/status/1111191409976070144?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;March 28, 2019&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2>Man Utd outright betting</h2><p>When Solskjaer took the reins, Man Utd were 11 points adrift of the top four. After their remarkable upturn in form they are now just three points behind third-placed Spurs and two points behind fourth placed Arsenal, who leapfrogged them with that victory at The Emirates. Yet Chelsea are just one point behind Man Utd, and those four teams must now prepare for an epic battle to clinch just two spots in the top four. Each team has eight games remaining and Man Utd have one of the toughest run-ins.</p><p>They host in-form Watford and then travel to Molineux again in an attempt to gain a stronger result against seventh placed Wolves. A huge Champions League game against Barcelona is likely to tire them out before they tangle with West Ham at Old Trafford. Then they visit the Nou Camp before a trip to Goodison Park to play Everton. After that, Man Utd take on Man City and Chelsea at Old Trafford within the space of five days. Win both games and a top four spot should be theirs, but that is a tough ask.</p><h2>Top four odds</h2><p>Man Utd close their campaign with simple games against Huddersfield and Cardiff, who could both be relegated by then. Huddersfield certainly will be. Their fate rests on those tricky trips to Molineux and Goodison Park and the home games against title chasing Man City and Maurizio Sarri’s Chelsea. <a href="https://a.oddsmarket.com/record/v?c=150&amp;a=bf7f64f4-cd67-4904-9b00-6ded1d41fd18" target="_blank" title="Premier League Betting Odds">Bet365</a> odds show that Spurs are the 4/9 (1.44) favourites to finish in the top four, followed by Arsenal – who have an easier run in – at just 8/15. Man Utd are 5/4 (2.25) outsiders and Chelsea are now out at 2/1 (3.0).</p><p>Man Utd are huge underdogs in their clash with Barcelona and 20/1 (21.0) outsiders to win the Champions League. Finishing in the top four therefore looks like their best route into next season’s competition and the considerable riches and prestige that qualification brings. First up they must end their losing streak against a tough, dogged Watford on Saturday and they are 2/5 (1.40) with Be365 to pull it off. There should be a feel-good factor around Old Trafford after Solskjaer’s appointment, so you would expect them to win, and an Asian handicap will offer you more value in this game.</p>
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