The bookies expect Manchester United to finish in the top four this season but a quick look at the fixture list shows that they have a tough task ahead.
Of all the clubs competing for Champions League qualification, United have to play the most games against their top seven rivals.
While the likes of Arsenal and Spurs face just three of their competitors, United will play five, with March looking a particularly tricky month. After their FA Cup quarter-final match against Arsenal, United host Spurs in the league, followed by a trip to Anfield to play Liverpool.
April hardly gets better. United host the Manchester derby on the 12th before taking on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a week later. The tricky run ends in May with the penultimate game of the season at home to Arsenal.
So can Louis van Gaal and United negotiate these fixtures to bring Champions League football back to the club? With Arsenal and Liverpool hitting top form it seems unlikelier by the game.