The battle for the top four – or more likely, third and fourth place in the Premier League – is hotting up, with the prospect of .Manchester United proved that once again at the weekend, with the Red Devils lucky to escape with a point as they took on a tough West Ham side.While a number of Red Devils sympathisers have heralded it as a good point against an in form team, in truth United wasted handful of good chances throughout the game to take maximum points.With 14 matches remaining the Premier League season, there is sure to be plenty more twists and turns left in this race for a Champions League spot, but for United, the next six league fixtures will go some way to determining whether they will be in hunt come the start of spring.Fortunately for Louis van Gaal, while their rivals face a mixed bag in terms of opposition over the next few matchdays, United have a comparatively favourable immediate run, before they hit a tricky patch.Man United’s next six Premier League fixtures look like this:February 11 – Home v BurnleyFebruary 21 – Away v SwanseaFebruary 28 – Home v SunderlandMarch 4 – Away v NewcastleMarch 15 – Home v TottenhamMarch 22 – Away v LiverpoolUnited face just one team in the current top ten over their next four matches (an away trip to Swansea), with their only real distraction during this period being an FA Cup clash against League One’s Preston North End.For the Red Devils all of these matches are eminently winnable and they will be expected to collect maximum points. Given the huge fixtures at the end of March against Tottenham and Liverpool respectively and the back-to-back clashes home to Man City and away to Chelsea in mid-April, even more onus is placed on these next four matches.In terms of the spread of fixtures, despite two nasty fortnights, United should consider themselves relatively fortunate.Six of their 14 remaining league fixtures come against teams considered to be in the battle for relegation, with two – away to Newcastle and Everton respectively – against sides that will likely aspire to little more than midtable.Last weekend’s draw against West Ham was not ideal, but with the carrot of a chance to rectify that immediately dangling in front of them, United have one of the better chances to solidify a top four spot.Man United fans, do you think you’ll finish in the top four? Comment below… Man United are in good shape for a top four finish 1
The offence carries a maximum penalty of up to five years in jail.“I cannot interfere in what is going on but it certainly worries me,” Dalic told reporters when asked whether he feared the charges could affect Modric’s performance.“But knowing Luka and his character… I belive that he will stoically endure all this.“For me it is more important that he recovers from his current injury and that he plays,” Dalic said.He was speaking as he presented a 29-strong list of players for friendlies with Peru and Mexico to be played in the United States this month as part of preparations for the World Cup.Modric’s indictment has yet to be approved by a court and the 32-year-old is currently not threatened with arrest.Mamic is accused, along with three other people, of abuse of power and graft that cost Dinamo, the former Croatian champions, more than 15 million euros ($18.4 million), and the state 1.5 million euros.Cash was allegedly embezzled through fictitious deals related to player transfers. Modric testified last June over the details of his 2008 transfer from Dinamo to Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.From there he joined Real Madrid in 2012.Modric has shaken off a thigh injury and travelled with the Madrid squad to France for Tuesday’s second-leg last-16 tie against Paris Saint-Germain.He is considered the biggest star Croatia have had since 1998, when they surprised the football world by reaching the World Cup semi-finals before losing to eventual winners France.Croatia play in the World Cup Group D along with Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic is worried about the impact of criminal charges brought against Luka Modric less than four months before the World Cup © AFP/File / GABRIEL BOUYSZAGREB, Croatia, Mar 5 – Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic said Monday he was worried about the impact of the false testimony charges against captain Luka Modric on his performance less than four months before the World Cup.Croatian prosecutors charged the Real Madrid midfielder last week with giving false evidence during the multi-million-euro corruption trial of former Dinamo Zagreb boss Zdravko Mamic in Croatia.