Man Utd and Erik ten Hag may face problem that Liverpool did not

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Manchester United and Erik ten Hag may face a difficult fixture schedule should they make it to the finals of the Europa League and FA Cup this season with the two games just three games apart. Liverpool were the only English representative in any of European football’s major finals last season but had six days between the end of the Premier League season and the showpiece event.

United have excelled in cup competitions this season and Ten Hag has already won his first silverware as Red Devils boss collecting the Carabao Cup against Newcastle last month. The Dutchman still harbours ambitions of adding the Europa League and FA Cup to his collection however would have to overcome an extreme fixture schedule to do so.

The Europa League final is scheduled for May 31st in Budapest before the FA Cup showpiece gets underway at Wembley on June 3rd. It would give United just one night of celebration if they were to win before travelling back for recovery sessions on Thursday and then final training on Friday.

The situation is different to the one Liverpool faced last year after they made it to the Champions League final. The FA Cup final was 14 days before the European showpiece while the last day of the Premier League season was six days before, giving the club much more time to rest and prepare.

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However, Ten Hag may look north for an example with Rangers facing a near identical situation following their shock run to Europa League final. The Gers lost to Eintracht Frankfurt in Sevilla on the Wednesday before returning to Glasgow for the Scottish Cup final on Saturday, beating Hearts 2-0 despite playing 120 minutes in midweek.

Ten Hag has suggested the fixture schedule will not be a problem for his players who are relishing the challenge of fighting for three trophies.

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“Yes I think so,” the United manager said when asked if his squad could cope with such a heavy workload after winning the League Cup. “Until now, we have managed it quite well and I think we can do it also until the end of the season. Except Anthony Martial, the availability from all the players is there.

“First, mentally – they are really ambitious, that is one thing and that gives them energy. Second, we have the type of players who can handle the load, the physical load.

“In my experience in Ajax, when we dropped out of Europe the levels went down, and when you are in it gives energy.”

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