With the final international break this term nearing its end, attention turns to the business end of the season for Manchester United.
For Manchester United, April will be a pivotal month for how their improvement under Erik ten Hag is measured. Fixtures in the Premier League are coming thick and fast, as well as an FA Cup semi-final and Europa League quarter-final tie on the horizon.
April 2: Newcastle United (A) – Premier League, Kick-off 4.30pm
A highly-anticipated clash in the top-four race will see the Reds make the trip to St. James’ Park. The reverse match ended 0-0 at Old Trafford back in October, though United overturned the Magpies 2-0 in the Carabao Cup final last month.
April 5: Brentford (H) – Premier League, Kick-off 8pm
Ten Hag will be keen to avenge his first meeting with Brentford when they come to Old Trafford; in the second game of the Dutchman’s tenure, United suffered a dismal 4-0 defeat to the Bees with all four goals coming before the 40th-minute mark.
Thomas Frank has his side in fine form this campaign and they have already beaten the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, as well as drawn against Arsenal and Chelsea.
April 8: Everton (H) – Premier League, Kick-off 12.30pm
What should be classed as an easy home outing for the Reds against the relegation-nearing Toffees could be made more difficult with Sean Dyche in the dugout.
Since replacing Frank Lampard, Everton have beaten top-of-the-table Arsenal and held Chelsea to a 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, though they are still considerable favourites to finish in the bottom three.
April 13 (H) & April 20 (A): Sevilla – Europa League QF, Kick-off 8pm
A place in the Europa League semi-finals is up for grabs when the Reds make yet another trip to Spain.
Should they progress, United will face either Juventus or Sporting CP in the semis.
April 16: Nottingham Forest (A) – Premier League, Kick-off 4.30pm
United have had three meetings with Nottingham Forest this season, resulting in an aggregate 8-0 win.
The Reds knocked Steve Cooper’s side out of the Carabao Cup and played out a comfortable victory at home in the league. However, The City Ground is a difficult place to visit, with their fans adamant about doing their bit to keep Forest in the top flight.
April 22: Brighton and Hove Albion (Wembley) – FA Cup SF, Kick-off TBC
A second trip to Wembley and second semi-final of the season awaits United in April, and it’ll be a difficult one. The Seagulls have been exceptional throughout this cup campaign and their league form has them sitting seventh-placed and eyeing European football.
Brighton made the trip to M16 on the first game of the 2022/2023 campaign, Ten Hag’s first competitive match in charge, and picked up a 2-1 win.
The winner of the tie will face either Manchester City or Sheffield United in the final.
April 27: Tottenham Hotspur (A) – Premier League, Kick-off 8.15pm
Antonio Conte’s reign has just reached its bitter end, as Spurs confirmed this evening that the Italian had finally parted ways with the club after days of speculation.
Cristian Stellini will take charge for the remainder of the season and former player Ryan Mason is taking on the role of Assistant Head Coach.
The game will be key to the top-four battle, with Tottenham currently occupying fourth place. In October, the Reds saw out a 2-0 win and a dominant performance in the reverse meeting with the London side.
April 30: Aston Villa (H) – Premier League, Kick-off 2pm
Unai Emery has Villa playing quality football and looking an entirely different side to the one Steven Gerrard oversaw.
The Spaniard’s first game in charge was a 3-1 win against United in November, which was followed by a 4-2 win for United just four days later.
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